Rebecca Adlington has sadly announced that she has suffered a stillbirth, after her 20 week scan found no heartbeat coming from her baby.

Posting the heartbreaking news to Instagram, Rebecca wrote: "I don't really have the words right now but unfortunately we went for our 20 week scan this week and they found no heartbeat.

"I gave birth to our angel, Harper on Friday at 7pm. We held her, and had time with her. We will forever love her and remember her always."

Rebecca then thanked the medical staff at Wythenshawe, writing that she couldn't have survived the horrific experience without them.

She continued: "I don't have the strength or words right now and don't feel ready to share this news. However, I can't pretend to be ok or fake a smile.

"I can't have people ask me how pregnancy is or when I am due as I still look pregnant. I don't have the strength to tell this news individually.

"We are so truly heartbroken. Our beautiful girl. Rest in peace."

Commenters were quick to share condolences to the former Olympic champ, with fellow sportswoman Jessica Ennis Hill writing: "Oh Becky I’m sending you and your family so much love. I’m so sorry xxxx"

TV presenter Angellica Bell commented: "Sending you so much love. So so sorry xx" and Helen Skelton simply shared two heartbroken emojis.

Last year Rebecca heartbreakingly suffered a miscarriage and had to undergo emergency surgery.

Opening up to OK!a year on from her devasting first loss, Rebecca said that she and husband Andy Parsons still battle the painful aftermath on a daily basis.

"Even back in March, he [Andy] was like, ‘We would be having a baby right now’," she tells us. "But I don’t look back. I don’t like being one of those ‘what if’ people, as it clearly wasn’t meant to be. But Andy deals with things differently.

"It’s about sharing that emotion with him and making sure we’re all OK. People only asked if I was OK, not Andy, so I think it’s really critical to acknowledge each other. It definitely helped bring us closer because he was emotionally devastated by it too. Not just me."

The swimmer – who shares two-year-old son Albie with husband Andy, as well as daugher Summer, eight, with ex-partner Harry Needs – was later kept in hospital to battle sepsis, a kidney infection and a high fever.

She announced the heartbreaking loss to her followers on Instagram, describing it as a "devastating time" for her family, and one which, understandably, they found difficult to process.

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