After giving birth to daughter Belle last March, presenter and charity campaigner Katie Piper was looking forward to a productive maternity leave.

“I remember thinking, ‘I’ll catch up with all my emails, I’ll make a few photo albums, probably give myself a pedicure, sort out my clothes drawer,” the 31-year-old says with a smile.

“Then when I had her it was like, ‘No, you can’t do anything!’ It really opened my eyes to how being a mum is a full-time job.”

Belle is sleeping through the night now, and Katie – who recently got engaged to carpenter boyfriend James – is back looking glamorous in monochrome and stilettos, as she promotes her current show.

It’s almost seven years since the former aspiring model was left severely scarred and in need of numerous operations after a horrific acid attack to her face in Golders Green, where she used to live, organised by a man who’d previously assaulted and raped her in a hotel room.

Katie bravely shared her story in the Bafta-nominated documentary Katie Piper: My Beautiful Face in 2009, and in the same year set up The Katie Piper Foundation to help others living with burns and scars.

She’s appeared in various programmes since then, penned several books and can currently be seen on screen in the second series of Bodyshockers, the Channel 4 series exploring the craze for body modification.

In the latest instalment – Nips, Tucks And Tattoos – she meets people who regret their procedures, and introduces them to others considering similar changes.

“When we came to film a second series, I thought, ‘Well, surely we’ve covered everything’, but people came pouring in, because it’s becoming mainstream,” she says. “You can go into a shop and be served by someone with (tattoo) sleeves, and wouldn’t think that’s very alternative. People are pushing the boundaries – tattooing the eyeballs, inside the lip...

“In the ‘80s and ‘90s, we’d experiment with hair dyes, maybe get our ears pierced, or tie-dye clothes. And now life’s moved on and it’s much more accessible to tattoo yourself with a gun off the internet, or get a huge tattoo and pay it off monthly.

“We’re losing perspective of how invasive and permanent these things are. The person we are in our teens and 20s isn’t the person we’re going to be for the rest of our lives. And their career aspirations might not be the same for the rest of their lives.”

Does Katie find it tempting to talk the programme’s subjects out of going any further?

“It’s not set up to be critical or judgmental, because for a lot of people tattooing and modification is a form of expression, and I think it is art, it’s quite a beautiful thing,” says Katie.

“But it’s about trying to intervene if people are following a celebrity or following fashion, or doing it on a whim without researching, and saying, ‘Let’s keep it in perspective’.”

So what will Katie do if Belle wants to dabble in tattooing or piercings when she grows up?

“Holding her now, especially when she’s just had a bath and she’s in her little towel, her skin’s like velvet with chubby little wrists and legs,” the presenter says, smiling.

“The thought of her tattooing a scorpion up her side is awful! But it would be entirely up to her, and if she had a tattoo I don’t think I would tell her off. It’s her body, her decision.”

Belle has already met people from all walks of life, having accompanied her mum to charity workshops and events.

“She’s met people with disabilities, burns, scars,” Piper adds. “I want her to grow up respecting her body and herself. I can’t live her life for her, she’s got to make her own mistakes. So fingers crossed!”

Katie is clearly passionate about her charity work and sharing her experiences with others, but she’s welcomed the opportunity to shift the focus away from herself through Bodyshockers.

“It’s really exciting working on different pilots and ideas, and it’s nice to be in a different space of not just making documentaries about my story or burns and disfigurement.”

She’s still regularly approached by people who can relate to her story and have experienced their own challenges or traumas.

“It’s not like being a celebrity; it’s more like being a hairdresser. People tell you really private things, which is a privilege,” she says.

“It’s an eye-opener to the evil in the world, but then also the human strength and spirit we all carry.”

  • Bodyshocker: Nips, Tucks and Tattoos is on Channel 4 on Monday at 10.35pm.