pasha kovalev rachel riley

Exclusive: Rachel Riley spills the beans on her birthing plans with husband Pasha Kovalev

The Strictly Come Dancing couple will soon become parents

Rachel Riley, Pasha Kovalev

With only days to go until Strictly Come Dancing stars Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev become parents, the Countdown presenter has opened up about her pregnancy. Speaking exclusively to HELLO! at a gala fundraiser for international football charity Grassroot Soccer ahead of World Aids Day, Rachel revealed working so far into the pregnancy was always her plan. "I've been lucky as it's been plain sailing so far and I'm hoping that's a good indication for the birth and the baby," she shared.

Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev are expecting their first child very soon

"I'm really enjoying being pregnant. People are so nice and every time someone gives you a seat on the Tube or helps you with your bag, it’s so nice. I’m hoping for a natural birth. We’ve got a doula and I’m going to try hypnobirthing."

Exclusive: Rachel Riley shares baby excitement with husband Pasha Kovalev

There is also a helping hand available from her mother-in-law, who has flown in from Pasha’s native Russia to be around for the birth of her first grandchild. "She’s going to be here for a couple of months. It’ll be lovely to have her in the house," Rachel said.

Watch this video of Rachel Riley doing volunteer work

Being with Pasha and hearing about his childhood has given her a different perspective about organising the household for the arrival of a baby. "When he was born in 1980, it was the Soviet Union and so his mother didn’t have things like nappies or even running water," she said. "They kept the baby on the floor and he’s come out as he is so it makes you feel a little bit more relaxed. You don’t need all this stuff, all the gizmos; you just need your instinct."

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The couple will also make sure their baby speaks Russian as well as English to honour both sides of the family. "We’ve got baby books with farmyard animals described in Russian so Pasha is going to be on bedtime story duty, otherwise they won’t be able to speak to their grandma and uncle," said Rachel. First, however, there is Christmas with a newborn in the family to prepare for. "Pasha’s mum will be there and we’ll get the whole family round," Rachel told us. "They’re very excited."

To read the full interview, buy a copy of the latest issue of HELLO!, out now

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