Nicola Wheeler has revealed that she is nearly nine months pregnant with her first child.
Thanks for all your congratulations still got a couple of weeks until 👶 arrives. Unless he/she gets impatient 😏❤️
- Nicola Wheeler (@nicola_wheeler) February 17, 2015
An Emmerdale source told The Sun, "Everyone is very happy for Nicola, it is wonderful news for her and her partner.
"But hiding her bump has presented a real challenge and the team have had to be very clever in keeping it under wraps."
The source added that Nicola's maternity leave has presented a challenge for the ITV show's writers, as they've had to devise a reason for her absence that is 'in keeping with her character's story - which is the complete opposite of hers.'
Nicola's alter ego, Nicola King, had a miscarriage last December and is now struggling to come to terms with the fact that she won't be able to get pregnant again and she is going through an early menopause.
"But the bosses are happy with the storyline the writers have come up with and hope viewers feel the same," the source added.
Nicola's pregnancy announcement follows that of co-star Emma Atkins, who recently announced that she will also be taking maternity leave this year.
More on Parentdish: Emmerdale actress Adele Silva's baby joy after three miscarriages
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