Christmas Day Surprise

A Welsh woman had a surprising Christmas birth, by giving birth in front of an Indian restaurant. This isn’t the typical, “Oops, we didn’t get to the hospital in time” birth on the side of the road, though.

She had planned a home birth, but when she was in labor, the midwives discovered that the baby was in breech position, so they transferred to the hospital. Surprise #1.

In the ambulance, labor and birth continued, so the driver pulled over on the side of the road, where the baby was born, head-first. Surprise #2.

The mom said she didn’t know why the baby suddenly flipped vertex, but thinks the movement of getting into the ambulance or riding down the road may have been somehow involved.

It’s also possible that the midwives were incorrect in thinking that the baby was breech to begin with. Absent an ultrasound, the only way to tell the baby’s position is by feeling the head and butt, through the layers of maternal skin, fat, and uterus. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell which is which. Once the baby begins descending in the birth canal, it is much more obvious whether it’s the head or the bottom, but usually once the baby is firmly engaged in the pelvis (whether before labor even begins, or definitely by the time the baby is partway down), the baby does not ascend and disengage. It’s possible that when doing a cervical check, prior to the beginning of pushing, the midwives felt the baby’s bottom, and called for the hospital transfer, thus giving the baby time to flip before starting to be pushed bottom first into the vagina.

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