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Baby born in back of car

DOING FINE: Laura, Michael and young Mia. Picture: MATT WALKER
DOING FINE: Laura, Michael and young Mia. Picture: MATT WALKER

LITTLE Mia Russell was born on the back seat of a car after her parents were told to drive to a hospital 20 miles away for her birth.

Paramedics and a midwife arrived just in time to help Laura Hollman give birth in the back of her partner’s BMW in Teston, near Maidstone.

Miss Hollman, 22, of Drawbridge Close, Shepway, Maidstone, said: “My midwife was at Maidstone Hospital and that was where I had planned to give birth. It was early in the morning and I knew it wouldn’t be long so I phoned the hospital and they told me to count the contractions. They said if I wanted to go now I’d have to go to Pembury as they were so busy.

“I phoned Pembury and they told me to give it an hour, have a bath and see how I felt, but an hour later I knew it was going to be soon.”

Miss Hollman and her partner, Michael Russell, began the drive to Pembury Hospital, near Tunbridge Wells. But as they neared Wateringbury, Miss Hollman’s waters broke.

The couple called 999, where the operator advised them to abandon their trip to Pembury and head back to Maidstone Hospital.

Miss Hollman said: “I knew I wasn’t going to make it. They told me to pull over and I started pushing. One paramedic arrived in a car, then another on a bike, then an ambulance and a midwife, who was off duty but turned up to help. It was frightening but I was in too much pain to care.”

As the drama unfolded, neighbours came out and provided copious cups of tea. Mia and her mother are now back at home and doing well.

Mr Russell said he had been concerned for his partner’s safety. He added: “She was screaming in the back and it made me panic because I thought something might be going wrong. Fortunately, Mia’s a perfect baby and both are doing really well, but it wasn’t the way we had planned for her to come into the world.”

A spokesman for the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, said: “Women who phone in are asked how often their contractions are. From that information it did not appear that Miss Hollman’s contractions were coming that quickly.

“It was her first baby, so it normally takes between 12 and 16 hours. She was told to keep a watching brief and call back later. She phoned back an hour later and maternity said they were very busy and they would be better going to Pembury if they wanted to go now.

“When we found out her waters had broken, a community midwife went along to help, an ambulance was called and she was taken back to the post delivery ward at Maidstone Hospital.

“Mothers having babies in cars and car parks is quite common, but it’s not normally the first baby. The hospital has apologised to Miss Hollman for all the inconvenience.”

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