The former 'Coronation Street' actress - who played Nicola Rubinstein in the ITV soap until 2018 and again briefly in 2019 - admitted she and her actor fiance Nikesh Patel are "shattered and smitten and everything in between" following the arrival of their daughter.

Nicola Thorp

Nicola Thorp

She wrote on Instagram: "We are delighted to say that we recently welcomed our beautiful baby daughter into the world.

"Everything they say about birth being a rollercoaster of emotions is true. We're shattered and smitten and everything in between."

As part of their daughter's birth announcement on social media, Nicola and Nikesh encouraged their followers to consider donating to the United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency amid the current the Israel-Hamas conflict.

She added: "Social media is a difficult place right now.

"If your timeline is anything like ours, it's filled with images of babies and children dying in conflict or living in fear and unimaginable danger.

"It doesn't feel right to share our news on here without also acknowledging how fortunate we are that our baby is safe.

"If like us you feel helpless, please consider donating to the United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency, who are responding to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and supporting pregnant women, new mums and their babies.

"Every child deserves to be born into safety."

Broadcaster Nicola confirmed in September that she and Nikesh - who announced their engagement in January 2023 - were expecting their first child together.

The couple made the announcement on Instagram with pictures from a professional photoshoot, which Nikesh captioned: "Some news". Nicola reshared his post.