Mum Sonia Banks speaks out after giving birth on Southeastern train
A mum has spoken about the terrifying but glorious moment she
gave birth on a Southeastern train.
Sonia Banks, 22, went into labour seconds after catching a packed commuter service to
An off-duty midwife, nurse and policeman all helped baby Phoebe
into the world on the carriage floor. She weighed in at a healthy
Speaking from her boyfriend’s family home in Poplicans Road,
Cuxton, Sonia said: “I was absolutely petrified because the last
time I gave birth I haemorrhaged at birth and needed a blood
transfusion to save my life.
"I was so scared that it would happen again.
“I kept thinking I don’t want to be giving birth on a train in
front of all those people.
“I can’t really remember the birth, I remember I was leaning
over a seat and it all just happened so quickly.
“When I saw Phoebe for the first time I fell in love with her
straight away. She’s perfect, so beautiful.”
Sonia’s boyfriend Allan Stanley, 21, and his mum Mari-Anne
Stanley, 40, took her to Tunbridge Wells Hospital on Thursday after
her waters broke.
Mrs Stanley said: “They did some very basic checks on her, they
didn’t do a proper internal examination. They said ‘go home because
you’re not going to give birth for a long while yet’.”
"I kept thinking I don’t want to be giving birth on a train in front of all those people" – Sonia Banks, who gave birth on a train
The trio got a lift
back to Sonia’s flat in Borough Green, where they boarded the train
from London Victoria at 7.08pm in a bid to reach Mrs Stanley’s
Her labour began as the train pulled out, despite the baby not
being due for a week, and was in full swing when the train reached
Conductor Colin Brooker used his tannoy to plead for anyone who
The dad-of-four said: “We had everyone we needed right there on
the train. We were only missing a vicar to baptise the baby.
“I kept all the passengers on board informed about the delay and
there was a big cheer when we announced the baby was born.
“In all my 41 years working on the railway I’ve never
experienced anything like this. It was amazing. I’ll be having some
celebration drinks to wet the baby’s head.”
Mr Stanley, a qualified chef, said: “I stayed in the carriage
with Sonia and mum ran out onto the platform screaming at the guard
and driver to stop the train because Sonia was giving birth.
“Sonia was screaming so loud. Mum was holding her hand and I was
stroking her back telling her everything was going to be okay.
“Inside though I was petrified – this wasn’t what we
“We can’t thank the train staff and passengers who helped us
“We’re both so happy. Phoebe is absolutely beautiful and I love
her to bits. I’m so proud of Sonia too.”
A spokesman for Tunbridge Wells Hospital said it was standard
practice to send pregnant women home, and Sonia was assessed
Amazingly, it is not the first time the family has been in the
In 1995, Mrs Stanley gave birth to her second set of identical
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