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'I had no idea I was pregnant. I didn’t put on any weight': Mum who gave birth to 9lb baby in street but didn't know she was expecting

Midwifery expert Jane Munro says it is "very rare" for women to go full term unaware they are pregnant

 

A new mum who gave birth in the street has insisted she had “no idea” she was pregnant.

Michaela Rhodes, 27, of Dewsbury, went into labour in the car as she and husband Alan, 36, were going shopping.

Alan pulled over and minutes later Michaela gave birth on the pavement, helped by a passing nurse and a 16-year-old schoolboy.

Michaela, whose daughter Lilly weighed 9lbs 2oz, said: “I had no idea I was pregnant. I didn’t put on any weight.”

Asked how it felt to suddenly become a mum she said: “Very weird!”

Michaela and Lilly are both doing well while school nurse Angela Robinson-Dobbins, 47, and Castle Hall Academy student Ruwais Khan have been praised for their role in the express delivery.

 

Ruwais dialled 999 and relayed instructions while mum-of-two Angela brought Lilly into the world.

The drama happened at 8.30am in Flash Lane, Mirfield.

Experts say it is perfectly possible – though very rare – for women to go full term without realising they were pregnant.

Jane Munro, a professional advisor with the Royal College of Midwives, said: “It’s very rare, about one in 2,500 births according to the latest study.

“It all comes down to how well women know their own bodies, and some women know them better than others.”

Ms Munro said some mums-to-be didn’t put on much weight and didn’t have much of a bump.

She added: “Even the baby’s movements, gentle kicks, may be dismissed as indigestion.”

Some women didn’t know they were pregnant for up to 20 weeks while others knew at just 10 weeks.

“Also, life is so busy,” said Ms Munro. “And even putting on half-a-stone could just be seen as normal weight gain.

“It’s very unhelpful to make judgements. This can happen to women across all socio-economic groups.”

The Examiner’s exclusive story caused massive interest on Facebook and Twitter with readers surprised and delighted in equal measure.

Many were puzzled at how a woman could be pregnant without knowing.

Gemma Traynor wrote on Facebook: “Not sure about this, even though I had no morning sickness or cravings or anything like this.

“My baby was 7lbs and you could tell I was pregnant. A 9lbs baby is big and surely she must have felt it moving and her tummy must have grown? Anyway good luck to you all and congratulations.”

Nicola Walker said: “It is a medical fact females can go full term without any symptoms of pregnancy at all! Not common but still happens. All the best for this new family.”

Jakii Knell felt Michaela’s pain and said: “Some people have periods all the way through a pregnancy and that’s what makes them think they not pregnant.

“No matter what they feel like plus if her placenta was in front of baby she wouldn’t have felt baby kicking.

“There’s a lot of things that put together would make somebody completely unaware of being pregnant.

“The baby’s weight has nothing to do with it. Some people don’t even get a bump and they know their pregnant! Congrats to the new parents! Hope you’re over the shock now.”

Margaret Pokorowicz added: “A friend of mine didn’t know she was pregnant until in labour and when on the stretcher to take her to hospital wanted to know “where’s that lump come from?” The baby was all at the back and her stomach wasn’t enlarged at all.”

Woman gives birth to 9lb 2oz baby on pavement - and didn't even know she was pregnant: click here to read

Unusual birth stories: more dramatic deliveries and unexpected arrivals : click here to see more

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