Kate Ferdinand discusses daughter Shae's birth for the first time - and the complications that led to them spending her first few days apart

Kate and her husband, former England and Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand, welcomed their second child together in July last year

Kate Ferdinand smiling
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate Ferdinand has opened up about the birth of her daughter, Shae, for the first time, and revealed that she spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit. 

Kate and her husband, former England and Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand, welcomed their second child together in July last year, announcing their arrival on Instagram.

They already have a two-year-old son, Cree, together, while Kate is also the stepmother of Lorenz, 17, Tate, 14, and Tia, 12, who Rio shared with his late wife Rebecca Ellison. 

Kate had a C-section, but following Shae’s birth, the newborn was rushed to the NICU after being diagnosed with congenital pneumonia. She said, looking back on her Blended podcast, on which she celebrates and looks at blended families, "As soon as I stepped into the theatre I just panicked. I have never had a panic attack but I envision that's what a panic attack feels like. I had the spinal so I was numb from the waist down and I just felt so claustrophobic.”

She explained that Rio, whom she married in 2019, was trying to talk to her, but she couldn’t talk to anyone: “Everyone was happy in the room and I just kept saying 'Am I meant to be excited now?' I don't know what came over me." 

Kate and Rio Ferdinand

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And she began to panic further after Shae was born but didn’t begin to cry straight away. She continued, "She was really cold and very blue. I felt very spaced out when they gave her to me so it felt quite different to Cree, I didn't connect.

“Then in the recovery room, she was screaming. Normally you can calm them down so I asked the midwife 'Can I feed her?' I am bottle feeding, and she looked at me and said, 'I'm going to feed her.’ And when she said that I knew that there was something wrong.”

Shae went to the NICU with dad Rio, meaning that Kate was alone. She explained that she felt “guilty” to be sat there watching Love Island on the TV while her newborn was in intensive care. 

But fortunately, Shae was able to come home and Kate and Rio have settled into life with a young baby once again – and she’s keeping fans updated on Instagram. 

In other family news, Tess Daly reveals how Vernon Kay’s parenting style is “for the greater good” and Julia Roberts shares her 'simple rules' for parenting teens.

Freelance writer

Adam is an experienced writer who regularly covers the royal family and celebrity news for the likes of Goodto, The List, The Metro, and Entertainment Daily. However, you can also find Adam covering relationships, mental health, pet care, and contributing to titles such as Creative Bloq.