News

Giving birth without medical help

Births in places like taxis are rare and often come with risks, two gynaecologists told The New Paper.

Dr Arthur Tseng, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, said the couple were lucky that all the factors were in their favour.

"If a baby were to be successfully delivered outside of the hospital, the mother would have had to have a low-risk pregnancy, with all factors that might sabotage a normal delivery absent," he said.

"They are rather rare, as most parents-to-be are well prepared to come to the hospital when the wife is in labour."

He added that it would also have been riskier as the baby was borderline pre-term, which could have led to complications.

Dr Wee Horng Yen, an obstetrician and gynaecologist of 15 years, said there is no official local data on such incidents.

Also noting that complications could arise, the senior consultant at O & G Care Clinic, said: "The baby may not breathe spontaneously. Should this occur, the baby will be deprived of oxygen, causing brain damage.

"As the delivery environment is not clean, there is increased risk of infection."

Dr Wee also said that when the baby is being delivered, the nerves around the baby's arm could be injured if the wrong technique is used.

He advises those having an unplanned delivery to call for an ambulance immediately.

Dr Wee's tips for unplanned deliveries:

  • If the baby's head can be seen, find a place to lie down or sit in case the baby drops.
  • Hold off pushing if a medical attendant is nearby. l If the baby has been delivered, dry him with a towel and use another clean towel to keep him warm.
  • Do not attempt to pull the umbilical cord or cut it.
  • Stay on the phone with the paramedics to get further advice.