Cindy Preisel, pregnant with her third baby, decided to venture out on a shrimp boat. While in open waters, she experienced contractions that only kept increasing. She was going into labor.
With no time to get to shore, the boat captain grabbed paper towels, a piece of twine and boiled a pair of scissors. With his makeshift surgical tools in place, he was ready to help deliver the baby. Even in a sterile environment surrounded by medical professionals, giving birth can be one of the most painful and wild experiences a human being can go through. But the miracle of life doesn’t always stick to a schedule, and you could end up delivering your baby in one of these crazy places we’re about to show you.
Number 8: The Library
Nothing like pushing out a tiny screaming human in the very place you’re expected to be silent. This was the case with Dominique Trevino, who started having contractions while on a bus and had to hop off at a Denver library while another passenger called an ambulance. As soon as Trevino walked in she had to lie down and she only had to push twice before the baby was out. Although a library is hardly the best place to give birth, Trevino did the right thing by getting off the bus as it eliminated the risk of complications from bumpy roads and gave her a safer place indoors to deliver her baby.
Number 7: An Airplane
Debbie Owen had seven weeks left in her pregnancy so she didn’t hesitate to jump on a plane from the Ivory Coast to London. But at 10,500 m (34,450 ft), she felt contractions. She told the flight attendants, and they checked for a medical professional on board. Luckily, a Dutch maternity ward doctor was a passenger. on the flight and helped Owen deliver her baby. Even if you think that you can make it to your destination, always let the flight crew know what is going on. They can help you by alerting the airport in advance so its emergency personnel can be ready in case you do go into labor.
Number 6: An Elevator
Let’s face it. Elevators get stuck. And isn’t it just your luck that it happened to you while you’re already having strong contractions. Like Katie Thacker from Tacoma, Washington, who was on her way to the maternity ward with three nurses and a midwife when the hospital elevator got stuck. Katie delivered her baby stuck between floors, but she had all the right people around her to do it safely. Elevators can be tiny, so chances are you won’t be able to lie down to push. Make sure to adopt a squatting position. This way you’d also avoid massive blood loss, and it can shorten the stages of labor if you know you’re going to be there for a while.
Number 5: The Subway
The subway can be one of the dirties environments you could give birth in. So get off at the next stop. If you think you can’t walk. use the resources around you. Like the emergency intercom that will patch you through to the train’s operator, who can call an ambulance. This is exactly what Wanda Dueno did when she was on the New York subway and suddenly went into labor. Her healthy baby boy was delivered on the train, but he and his mom were quickly shuttled to a hospital by paramedics who had arrived at the scene.
Number 4: The Post Office
Sonia Marina Nascimento went to her local post office in Cambridgeshire, England, to buy mobile credit minutes for her cell phone. Little did she know that she would leave with a very special delivery. Her newborn baby daughter. When Nascimento started labor, the postman’s wife went to get a taxi to take her to the hospital. When she came back from hailing the cab, the baby had already been delivered and was being weighed on the parcel scales. It’s important to let other people help you. You need to focus on what your body is doing. Having someone else call a cab and wait outside for it is better than you waiting on the street while you’re in labor.
Number 3: A NASCAR Track
On a September morning in 2012, Shawna Arnold went into labor. On the way to the hospital with her boyfriend, she realized the baby was coming faster than expected. This forced them to make a pit stop in the parking lot of a NASCAR track in Loudon, New Hampshire. The soon-to-be parents delivered their baby girl by themselves in their car. The new father then ran to the track’s office for some extra help. Luckily, the director of operations for the New Hampshire Motor Speedway had EMT experience. Giving birth in the parking lot of a NASCAR track might be odd, but the couple did the right thing when they pulled over so the baby wouldn’t b be born in the backseat of a speeding vehicle.
Number 2: A Grocery Store
On December 26th of 2017, a woman who was a frequent customer of a grocery store in Fresno, California, suddenly went into labor while shopping. Employees called 9-1-1. After being put on hold three separate times, they had to play the part of midwives. When the delivery was over, they realized something was wrong. The umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck, but some quick thinking and a pair of scissors stopped it from being choked. The drama wasn’t over. Now the newborn was turning purple. They wrapped the infant in a sweater and a blanket to raise its body temperature, which saved the baby’s life. Unexpected labor can mean having to improvise when the baby is coming. Do whatever it takes to deliver the child, but make sure you get to a hospital as quickly as you can afterward.
Number 1: In a Cab
Erica Davidovich was pregnant with her fourth child. After feeling contractions, she and her husband used the Uber app to call for a ride to the hospital. But 2.5 km (1.5 mi) into the trip she went into active labor. The driver did the best thing in a situation like this. He pulled into a parking lot, where the baby was delivered in the backseat in less than three minutes and with no complications.
- Mom, baby born in Denver library meet the press. Nicholson, K. (2009). The Denver Post.
- Can I Ride Roller Coasters While Pregnant?. Sybertz, A. (2022). VeryWell Family.
- What Happens to Babies Born on Planes. Ellwood, M. (2018). Condé Nast Traveler.
- Katie Thacker, Washington Mom, Gives Birth On A Stuck Elevator. Samakow, J. (2012). Huffpost.
- Baby girl born in parking lot at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. AutoWeek (2012). Autoweek.