Gemma Ward has welcomed a baby girl.

The Australian model - who has kept a low profile since the death of her then-boyfriend Heath Ledger in 2008 - and her partner David Letts have become first-time parents to a daughter, rumoured to be called Naia.

The 26-year-old beauty's friend, Nicole Trufino, revealed the news when she posted a picture of Gemma breastfeeding the baby on Instagram.

The caption read: ''Congratulations to my beautiful incredible friend @glouisew and her man @lettsy2106 for welcoming this little angel into the world!!!!''

According to Vogue magazine, Gemma's brother Oscar confirmed the news by posting on Facebook: ''I am officially an uncle''.

The Perth-born star - who shot to fame aged 15 - and her partner are thought to have emigrated to Hawaii in order to avoid unwanted media attention about the pregnancy.

Gemma has made the move into acting in recent years, with a role in 2008's 'The Black Balloon' and cameo appearances in 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' and 'The Great Gatsby'.

It was reported earlier this year she was planning a modelling comeback after singing with agency IMG Australia.

Gemma explained her decision to shy away from the spotlight in 2011, saying: ''I have taken a break from the media spotlight for the past few years and it was something spurred by Heath's death. We first met in New York and we were both struggling with things that I won't get into, and we bonded over that.''