Woman delivers own baby during Hurricane Irma

Sept. 10 (UPI) — A Miami mother delivered her own baby at home Sunday because Hurricane Irma prevented paramedics from reaching the woman, fire officials said.

At her home in the Little Haiti neighborhood, the woman went into labor and called 911.

Paramedics weren’t able to reach her because of the dangerous conditions, including strong winds.

Jackson Health System coached the woman through the birth.

“We weren’t able to respond. So she delivered the placenta, also. Dispatch told her how to tie it off. She’s stable at home,” Assistant Fire Chief Eloy Garcia told the Miami Herald. “We made contact with the assistant medical director here. Talked things through.”

The City of Miami posted on Twitter: “It’s a girl!”

Emergency workers later took the mother and newborn girl were to Jackson Hospital. The woman and girl were not identified.

Hospitals throughout South Florida had pregnant women ride out the hurricane.

At Jupiter Medical Center in Palm Beach County, the mother must be 38 weeks of gestation and be pre-registered. Her partner also can stay at the hospital.

Boca Regional Hospital also accepted expectant mothers.

“We are here for our community,” Brian Altschuler, vice president for ancillary operations at Boca Regional Hospital, told the Palm Beach Post. “We are not closed. We are not evacuating. We have great plans in place.”

During hurricanes, mothers give birth at a higher rate because the drop in barometric pressure triggers the rupture of the fluid-filled amniotic sac membrane.

“It’s certainly not cut-and-dried, but there is some scientific evidence that changes in pressure can contribute to membrane rupture,” Dr. Jonathan Schaffir, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Ohio State University College of Medicine, told Live Science in 2012. “The idea behind this belief is that the amniotic sac is like a balloon, and if you lower the external pressure on it, there is an increased risk it can ‘pop.'”

Jade Wolkind-Mohl, nurse assistant clinical manager for the maternity ward at Jupiter Medical Center, said: “I’m thinking we might have a lot of Irmas.”


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