NEW mother Gemma Atkinson has said her beloved dogs did not leave her side after her waters broke.

The former soap star gave birth to her first child with Strictly Come Dancing star Gorka Marquez, on July 4.

The president of Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary in Ramsbottom shared a photograph on Instagram where she is sitting on the floor with her legs apart and her dogs Norman and Ollie cuddled up next to her.

She wrote: "Gorks took this picture a few hours after my waters had broke.

"They didn't leave my side, they were totally aware little sister was on her way."

Atkinson announced her new arrival on July 6, when she said: "And just like that, we're a three!

"Our beautiful baby daughter arrived on Thursday 4th July and myself and Gorks couldn't be happier.

"She's incredible and she certainly made an entrance, giving us all quite a fright at times! Little Miss independent already!

"Thank you SO much to the Midwives, nurses & doctors at The Royal Bolton Hospital who did the most incredible job taking care of myself and my baby.

"You're all so wonderful and I'm so grateful to have had you all with me and to have been under your care these past 4 days.

"Back home now for family time and to introduce little lady to her big brothers Norman & Ollie.... Let the next life chapter begin."