Woman gives birth on motorway after being sent home by hospital

For further information, contact Melissa Maimann at Essential Birth Consulting. Article

A woman gave birth in a car as it drove along a motorway after being sent home twice that day by a hospital because she wasn't ready.

Rebecca Longley, 20, delivered Aaliyah herself as boyfriend Andrew Mildenhall tried to stay focused on the road ahead.

The couple had first gone to the hospital that morning and then again in the evening but were told both times that Miss Longley wasn't ready to give birth.

Ten minutes later the couple decided to take matters into their own hands and head back to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, Hants.

But before they got there Miss Langley went into labour and gave birth to 6lb 1oz baby girl Aaliyah on the front passenger seat on the M3 motorway.

The couple have now called on the hospital to review its admissions procedures.

Miss Longley, from Hamble, Hants, said: "I really had no idea what to expect because it was my first child. I had a real mix of emotions.

... "I had no drugs and I was screaming with pain but my natural instincts kicked in as soon as I saw the baby's head pop out.

"I just knew what I had to do."

Miss Longley and Mr Mildenhall, 21, first visited the Royal Hampshire County Hospital at 7am but were turned away.

They tried again at 8pm but were met with the same response.

Two hours later she phoned the hospital's maternity ward and said that her waters had broken but she was told to stay at home.

Aaliyah made her entrance just before 10.30pm as Mr Mildenhall drove along the motorway ...

A hospital spokesman confirmed that Miss Longley was sent home twice but said that the advice was given because of the slow progress of her labour.

... "We would describe Rebecca's labour as totally natural, albeit rapid once it had begun."

Why not stay home? As a healthy woman, a midwife-attended home birth would have been far safer than a motorway birth. The experience might have been terrifying for this woman who had been told she was not in labour and to stay home. How would the experience had been if she had been able to call her midwife out to her home, be assessed, maybe the midwife would have gone home, and then when the woman felt her labour had progressed more, the midwife could have come back out and stayed with her?

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448