Liam Payne's sister Ruth Gibbins has defended her brother and his girlfriend Cheryl for keeping mum about their baby news.

The couple has been the focus of speculation for months, and while the Girls Aloud singer is sporting an ever expanding baby bump, the pair has refrained from making an official announcement.

Responding to questions about why they have not shared the news with fans directly, Gibbins turned to Twitter to explain it was a private matter.

"'Bump or no bump, announced or not, it's completely up to my brother and cheryl what parts of there private lives they choose to share and when (sic)," she tweeted.

Appearing at a charity event earlier this week, Cheryl seemed to be making a public statement by putting her growing baby bump centre stage. Wearing a clingy khaki jumper dress underneath a billowing black coat, her sizeable bump was on display for all to see.

And while they haven't said it, there was no mistaking Cheryl's pregnancy glow and the couple's obvious excitement as they faced the paparazzi beaming from ear-to-ear.

While it seems fair to conclude that Cheryl is indeed expecting her first child, fans of the star are now speculating when the baby might be due and what they might name him or her.

And it seems Liam has been thinking about parenthood for some time according to Mirror Online. In an interview with Hits Radio, conducted when the 23-year-old was still recording with One Direction and long before he and Cheryl were a couple, Payne was questioned about his future plans for a family.

"I like the name Taylor," he explained at the time. "Taylor's pretty neutral for a boy or a girl. That's what I'm going to call my first child if I had children."

As Cheryl and Liam prepare to become first-time parents, fans have been taking to Twitter to share their excitement at the couple's forthcoming arrival and calling for an official announcement.