SHARE
COPY LINK

HEALTH

Stunned mum, 45, didn’t know she was pregnant

A 45-year-old French woman says she had no idea she was pregnant until her baby literally popped out while she was on holiday at a ski resort in the Alps this week. It may sound unbelievable but the phenomemon is not as uncommon as you might have thought.

Stunned mum, 45, didn't know she was pregnant
Woman gives birth in French Alps, but claims she had no idea she was pregnant. Photo: Myllissa/Flickr

The mum, named only as Karine was at the Val Thorens ski resort on holidays with her family when she rushed to the bathroom early on Tuesday morning because she was not feeling well. However she soon realized it wasn’t a case of stomach flu.

The mother from near Lille in northern France, was on birth control and says had no idea she was pregnant. Incredibly within 15 minutes of the first pain she had given birth to a healthy baby girl, French paper Dauphiné Liberé reported.

"We are flabbergasted. There had been no symptoms, no one knew. There was pains, but we were told it was psychological. Especially since my wife has used contraception for long time," said the new dad, who was named only as Eric.

The couple already had two children, but it had been 12 years since the birth of the youngest one.

It was some quick thinking on the part of the father that allowed for the birth to go as well as it did. When the dad-to-be realized this was not just a case of cramps he went to to grab his brother and sister-in-law who were sleeping in an adjacent room in the lodging at the Val Thorens ski resort in the Alps.

After a brief assessment the sister-in-law, a trained prenatal nurse, realized the pains were contractions and even spotted the tiny head of the child beginning to emerge from her mother. The sister delivered the baby before paramedics even had time to arrive.

It was a rare, but not unheard of case of a surprise baby. While the mother and her brand new 3.2 kilo daughter were being flown to the maternity ward in the nearby city of Albertville, a nurse reportedly told her it was the fourth case he’d personally been involved in.

Indeed there are many reasons why a tiny minority of pregnant women do not know they are expecting until they reach labour, which range from false negative test results, weight and psychological issues or just ignorance of the signs and symptoms.

A Serbian study estimates that one out of every 7,225 pregnancies is unknown to the mother until the moment of delivery.

"This is an extreme situation, and a very rare situation, because it is pretty hard to miss all of the signs of pregnancy," Dr Patricia Devine,from Columbia University Medical Center told CNN.

"Sometimes you doubt that they were completely unaware. Other times, it's completely plausible," she added.

Aside from the avalanche of practical concerns over caring for the unexpected arrival, such as time off work and getting the baby home from the Alps, the stunned parents also had to quickly come up with a name for the little girl.

“It will be Toscane, followed by Odile and finally Rosaëlle,” the parents said. The middle name, Odile, is that of the sister-in-law who brought the little girl into the world.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

HEALTH

France brings in free contraception for all women aged 18-25

Free birth control for all women under 25 will be available in France from Saturday, expanding a scheme targeting under-18s to ensure young women don't stop taking contraception because they cannot afford it.

France brings in free contraception for all women aged 18-25
A doctor holds an interuterine contraceptive device (IUD) before inserting it in a patient. Photo: Adek Berry/AFP

The scheme, which could benefit three million women, covers the pill, IUDs, contraceptive patches and other methods composed of steroid hormones. Contraception for minors was already free in France.

Several European countries, including Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, make contraception free for teens. Britain makes several forms of contraception free to all.

France announced the extension to women under 25 in September, saying surveys showed a decline in the use of contraception mainly for financial reasons.

The move is part of a series of measures taken by President Emmanuel Macron’s government to boost women’s rights and alleviate youth poverty. The free provision is supported by women’s groups including the association En Avant Tous.

“Between 18 and 25-years-old, women are very vulnerable because they lose a lot of rights compared to when they were minors and are very precarious economically,” spokeswoman Louise Delavier told AFP.

Leslie Fonquerne, an expert in gender issues, said there was more to be done.

“This measure in no way resolves the imbalance in the contraceptive burden between women and men,” the sociologist said.

In some developed countries, the free contraception won by women after decades of campaigning is coming under attack again from the religious right.

In the United States, former president Barack Obama’s signature health reform, known as Obamacare, gave most people with health insurance free access to birth control.

But his successor Donald Trump scrapped the measure, allowing employers to opt out of providing contraception coverage on religious grounds — a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in 2020.

Poland’s conservative government has also heavily restricted access to emergency contraception as part of its war on birth control.

SHOW COMMENTS