Kerry Katona ''nearly died'' giving birth to her baby daughter earlier this month.

The former Atomic Kitten singer welcomed her fifth child into the world on April 4, but the delivery didn't go according to plan after she reportedly developed pre-eclampsia, which can be fatal if undiagnosed.

The insider told the Daily Star newspaper: ''The birth didn't go smoothly at all, she nearly died. Kerry had pre-eclampsia and her legs and feet swelled up. The condition can be fatal for both mums and babies but thankfully Kerry's baby was fine. It was Kerry who was in danger.

''Her mum Sue was really scared Kerry was going to die. She lost a lot of blood.''

The 33-year-old star - who already has daughters Molly, 12, and Lilly-Sue, 11, with her first husband Brian McFadden and Heidi, seven, and Max, five, with second husband Mark Croft - spent four days in hospital, before returning to her Oxfordshire home with her daughter and her fiancé George Kay, 34.

The source explained: ''George was there throughout and is now being more protective than ever of Kerry.

''He was terrified but had to stay strong for her - he thought he was ­going to lose her.''

Kerry - who filed for bankruptcy a second time last year - is yet to announce the name of her new bundle of joy.