Kristina Rihanoff and Ben Cohen reveal the name of their daughter

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  • Strictly Come Dancing professional Kristina Rihanoff and rugby player and former Strictly contestant Ben Cohen have revealed the name of their daughter.

    The couple have chosen the Slavic name Milena, which they shorten to Mila, teling HELLO! magazine that they were ‘incredibly proud’ of their new arrival.

    Ben and Kristina confirmed news of their baby’s arrival around two weeks prior, releasing a statement which read: ‘Ben and Kristina are delighted to confirm they are the parents of a beautiful baby girl. They would like to thank friends and family for all their kind wishes at this happy time.’

    They have since released further details of Milena’s delivery, including the gruelling 19-and-a-half-hour labour, where the cord was wrapped around Mila’s neck.

    ‘There comes a point when it is not happening and you do worry,’ said Kristina. ‘I was squeezing Ben’s hand so hard that I thought I might break it!’

    ‘Kristina is a natural mum,’ Ben added. ‘It was very emotional and it gives you even more respect – it’s nature at its best. I’m proud of Kristina, proud of Mila and proud to be a dad again.’

    Back in January, Kristina shocked TV audiences when she revealed she was pregnant with boyfriend Ben Cohen’s baby only 48 hours after entering the Celebrity Big Brother house.

    Alluding to sharing the intimate news with her new celeb pals only 48 hours after meeting them, Kristina said, ‘Obviously I thought it’s very private news, you know but because we are living as one family now and everybody is sort of supporting one another now.’

    ‘There was something that happened in my life before I came into the house over Christmas,’ she told her fellow housemates.

    ‘It happened to be that I found that my boyfriend and I are going to have a little one.’

    Kristina making the announcement in the Big Brother house

    Whilst Russian ballroom dancer Kristina told fellow housemate, Hollyoaks star Stephanie Davis that she was only three months pregnant at the time, a photo shoot of Kristina and formal interview detailing the pregnancy had already been released with HELLO! magazine.

    Speaking about her delight at the news, Kristina said that her side of the family had been spending Christmas together when she revealed her pregnancy.

    ‘My mother was with me… and when we found out she put her arms around me and she cried with joy…it is her lifelong dream for me to have a child and it was lovely to see her so happy.’

    ‘I think I am on a new path,’ she added. ‘Learning about myself, how to relax and how to enjoy a more simple and balanced life. I can’t say I’m not nervous. But I’m very excited about the future.’

    A spokesperson for the pair said, ‘Kristina and Ben were surprised and delighted to find out that she was pregnant shortly before she entered the Big Brother house…she is well and looking forward to being a mum.’

    In what was deemed another case of the ‘Strictly curse’ Kristina and Ben, 37, were partners on the eleventh series of the BBC One dancing contest between September 2013 and December 2013. 

    The rugby player and his dance partner later became a romantic item after the breakdown of Ben’s marriage and estrangement from his wife Abby in 2014.

    Ben and Abby met in 1995, when the sportsman was 17-years-old, and have twin daughters, Isabelle and Harriette, together.

    Over the New Year, before finding out about the pregnancy, Abby released a statement on Twitter, saying; ‘As you all know [the last year] hasn’t been the easiest for me, I lost what I thought was the most important person to me and my life only to make me realise that actually I haven’t.’

    Kristina and Ben both maintain they didn’t get together until after the split was finalised.

    Before dating Ben, Kristina had also been in a romantic relationship with another Strictly dance partner, boxer Joe Calzaghe, who also had two teenage sons from a previous relationship.

    The pair split in 2013 reportedly after disputes over whether to have children.