Shakira and beau Gerard Pique celebrate imminent birth with intimate portrait in support of UNICEF
16 JANUARY 2013
Gazing happily at the camera, Shakira shows off her baby bump while her partner Gerard Pique stands behind her, lovingly cradling her blossoming tummy. The intimate black-and-white picture - in which Shak wears a bikini top and skirt and her man shows off his toned torso - was released by the couple in celebration of the little life they'll soon be welcoming.
"We'd like to celebrate the imminent birth of our first child with all of you," writes Shakira in the Twitter post that accompanies the photo.
World-famous singer–songwriter and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira and FC Barcelona star Gerard Piqué are inviting friends and fans today to join their online baby shower – in support of the world’s most vulnerable babies.
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“To celebrate the arrival of our first child, we hope that, in his name, other less privileged children in the world can have their basic needs covered through gifts and donations,” reads the invitation from Shakira and Gerard. “Thank you for sharing this unforgettable moment with us.”
Expecting their first baby, the couple decided to share the excitement using innovative social media tools. The online baby shower engages social media fans by welcoming them to visit Shakira and Gerard’s virtual living room. There, guests can learn about the issue of child survival and purchase an ‘Inspired Gift’ to help give babies around the world a healthy start to life. UNICEF’s Inspired Gifts are real, life-saving items distributed to children and communities in some of the poorest corners of the globe.
At the baby shower, Inspired Gifts cost as little as US$5, which can buy a mosquito net to ensure a sleeping child stays safe from malaria, one of the leading causes of child death worldwide. For US$10 guests can buy polio vaccines to protect 17 children from contracting this incurable viral infection, while US$37 purchases a baby-weighing scale to monitor growth in the first critical years of life.
The couple's new arrival is expected in the next few weeks. Last month, Gerard took to Twitter to announce the birth of their baby boy. But while some fans rushed to offer their congratulations to the couple, others accussed him of trying to pull the wool over their eyes.
The footballer had posted the happy news on Spain's Day of the Holy Innocents, which is similar to April Fool's Day. And with no official confirmation coming from representatives, or any acknowledgement on Shakira's Twitter page, it appeared the announcement was a ruse.
The 35-year-old Grammy winner revealed in September that she and her sportsman beau were "happily awaiting the arrival of our first baby". She later revealed the new baby is a little boy.
Gerard recently revealed during a radio interview that the couple had not decided what to call their firstborn. "Concerning the name, we just haven't been able to decide," he said. "There are ridiculous names, like Ulisito, that came out of the press' need to report nonsense. There was also Biel, which we like, but I don't think it will be that one either, or Gerard. We'll see."
Shakira and Gerard have been dating for two years, and the Colombian star says he is the "best thing" that has ever happened to her. She said: "This man is the best thing that could have happened in my life. And now the baby!"
She was in a relationship with Antonio de La Rua, the son of former Argentinian President Fernando de la Rua, for more than a decade. They split in 2010.