BRITNEY Spears is expecting a baby girl – but she could lose the tot from a condition linked to smoking, doctors said last night.

The star was taken to hospital on Sunday suffering placental abruption. It can kill a foetus in just TWO HOURS.

Doctors at the private Destin hospital in Florida at first feared Britney was having a miscarriage.

They later played down the problem calling it a “common complaint”. Britney was kept under observation for two days.

The condition hits five per cent of mums-to-be. Sophie Wessex suffered it while pregnant with baby Louise – and doctors performed an emergency Caesarian to save her.

But experts yesterday said Britney’s heavy smoking would have massively boosted the chances of the condition affecting her.

Hubby Kevin Federline’s ciggy habit could also have contributed as passive smoking boosts miscarriage risk by a third.

Britney, 23, married dancer Kevin, 27, in September claiming their plan was to “have lots of babies”. She stopped partying and even stopped dying her hair blonde as mums-to-be are advised not to bleach their locks.

In November she was seen with a suspected baby bump but denied she was expecting. Her continued chain smoking also calmed baby rumours – few thought she would carry on puffing while pregnant. But since February she appears to have given up the habit.

Pregnancy rumours were fuelled just before Britney’s hospital dash when she and Kevin were spotted on a Florida beach with baby magazines.

Pals now hope Britney’s problems will force Kevin to curb his smoking and take care of her. Last month he stunned onlookers in Las Vegas when he went on a bender with pals as a tired and depressed looking Britney stayed at home.

-Emma Morton

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