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Woman gives birth in car park

Posted: 20 February 2018
Kate Ewer, Head of Communications

A woman gave birth to her first child at Watford General Hospital on Monday 19 February but not quite in the spot where she had planned.

Sian and Samuel Austin with baby daughterSian Austin was advised to come into the Alexandra Birth Centre when she called the hospital. But while husband Samuel parked the car and she walked from the car park towards the birth centre, baby Austin couldn’t wait any longer and made a far quicker entry into the world than anyone had expected.

Fortunately Sian did not give birth alone. Complaints adviser Madge Taylor heard Sian call out for help and went to her assistance along with her colleague Andrew Headland.

Madge said: “I knelt down and saw that the baby was crowning. The baby arrived extremely quickly much to everyone’s surprise. I just had time to catch her as she delivered into my hands. Once the baby was fully born I supported her from the front and Andrew supported the baby from behind mum. She was a lusty baby, crying loudly, well and truly okay and I wished her a happy birthday.”

Reflecting on what happened, Andrew said: “I felt a mishmash of feelings about how unexpected and amazing and powerful the whole event was. It put our fuss and worries about our usual daily concerns into perspective.”

Another member of staff wrapped her coat around the new born girl and a midwife reached the car park a few minutes later to attend to Sian. 

Although shaken by the speed and unexpected nature of events, Sian was otherwise well and both mum and baby were discharged the same evening. 

Sian said: “The experience was all very sudden and I was relieved after giving birth as this meant that I could finally move. My husband and I would like to thank the amazing staff at Watford General who were brilliant throughout my care. We would also like to thank the members of the public who helped us.


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  1. For more information, please contact Name, title in the Trust’s communications department on telephone: 01923 436 281 or email: info@whht.nhs.uk. Out of hours, please call 07900 228 031.
  2. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute trust serving people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three sites at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and sees about 600,000 patients a year. We are one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and volunteers.