With Claire Sweeney

Claire Sweeney is happy to report that miracles can happen and that the baby she is expecting is one of them.

She’s 43 – an age at which most women would assume motherhood had passed them by – and will give birth this month to a son.

“Finding out I was pregnant was a gorgeous shock – it truly shows that God works in mysterious ways and I think it was just meant to be,” said the Liverpudlian actress, who originally found fame on Channel Four's Brookside and has since become a well-loved TV presenter, Loose Women guest panellist, and starred in West End musicals.

“I always thought I’d have a little girl, so that was another surprise but a lovely one. I’ve thought about calling him Gabriel, because he’s my little angel sent from heaven, but I’ll wait until I see him to finally decide.”

Even the fact that her personal life is far from settled – she and the baby’s father, marketing consultant Daniel Reilly, 29, broke off their engagement at Christmas shortly before she discovered she was pregnant in January – doesn’t appear to have dented her contentment.

“Dan has been brilliant, he couldn't have been better, he’s so supportive. He will be there at the birth, which will be in Liverpool as I have a support system there – my mum and his mum. I feel very lucky. I’m just enjoying these last few weeks before the birth because I know I won’t have much time to myself after that!”

Her pregnancy joy is even more profound, she said, because she suffered two miscarriages, one at 12 weeks in 2012 and another shortly after conceiving in May last year.

“As every woman knows, miscarriages are terribly upsetting. Mine were reasonably early and I can only imagine how hard it is for women who have them late on,” she said.

“While I was very fatalistic about my first one and just told myself the pregnancy wasn’t meant to be, the second one was so much harder. You can’t help thinking, ‘Am I ever going to have a baby?’”

She's looked after her health throughout with advice from experts at the first online antenatal fitness platform, Results With Bump, on which she appears exercising and doing yoga. “When you're pregnant for the first time, you're not really sure what you can or cannot do as, above everything, you want to protect this precious baby. I wanted to exercise but didn't know what or how much,” said Claire.

“The team calmed my nerves and eased me into a workout which really helped improve my sleep, posture and relieved my back strain and gave me advice about nutrition to minimise tiredness.”