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West Suffolk: Babies delivered in ambulance or roadside

09:03 03 January 2013

West Suffolk Hospital

West Suffolk Hospital

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BABIES have been delivered in secret at home, by relatives on route to hospital and in transit from a military base, the EADT can reveal.

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According to information released by the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, 25 women did not deliver in a maternity ward bed as planned between January and October last year.

A further 37 women were not on a ward when they gave birth in 2011.

The majority of mums – more than two- thirds – were said to have had quick labours or simply left it too late to arrive at hospital.

While nine mothers gave birth in the back of an ambulance, in at least four other cases it was the father who delivered the child by the roadside.

One mother was said to have arrived at the hospital having concealed her pregnancy.

According to the documents, which were released under the Freedom of Information Act, in 2011 one woman gave birth in the X-ray department while in both 2012 and 2011, two heavily-pregnant women made it to the entrance of the hospital’s A&E department before giving birth.

Another woman delivered outside the ward as she made her way there from RAF Lakenheath.

A spokeswoman for the West Suffolk said expectant mothers are invited to attend “active birth classes” where they are told about the signs of labour and are given a tour of the ward. She added: “They are also advised to make sure that they have their bags packed ready for their stay in hospital, have transport arranged and know where to park when they arrive.

“Mothers-to-be should telephone the labour ward in good time and speak to a midwife, who will then be able to advise when to attend the hospital. On arrival, they should report straight to the labour ward.”

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