A mum gave birth almost two years to the minute of the birth of her first child.

Nicole Charles was hosting a second birthday party for her daughter Nia Rose, at their home in South Norwood, when she went into labour on August 23.

When the 31-year-old, who had planned a home birth, was visited by her midwife from Croydon University Hospital she was told the new addition would not be joining the party and was likely to be born the next day.

But hours later she gave birth to a second daughter Sophia, weighing 6 lb 13 oz.

The little girl was born at 11.38pm, just five minutes before her big sister, who arrived at 11.43pm on the same day in 2011.

Miss Charles said: “The family were over for cake and snacks, but from the morning I could feel tension building.

“I just thought labour is so long there is no point making a fuss, but by about 5pm I had to ask people to leave.

“The midwife, Dione Lloyd-Brown, came at about 9.30pm and said I had a long way to go as I was only 2cm.

“At 11pm Nia was in bed, but I started to howl so we called the midwife again and when she arrived the baby was crowning.”

Miss Charles had planned to call her Leo Rose after her star sign, but her late appearance means she is actually a Virgo.

Miss Charles joked: “I thought it was impossible for her to come on her sister’s birthday as she was due on August 18, but she was determined to come out.

“I think it is lovely and it is very economical for me, they will be able to share parties and cakes.”

The theatre director, who had originally planned to give birth in hospital before changing her mind, praised the home birthing team.

She said: “Only 2 per cent of mothers give birth at home in Croydon, but the service provided is second to none and you can snuggle into your own bed after the strenuous birthing process.”