OFRA GRADY holds her grandson as her daughter Einav, the baby’s mother, watches while a hospital worker leans into the car in which he was born.
(photo credit: KAPLAN MEDICAL CENTER)
Ofra Grady apparently learned enough about childbirth in 18 years as a maintenance worker in Kaplan Medical Center’s obstetrics department to deliver her own grandchild in the family car while her husband was driving them to the Rehovot hospital.
Grady spent six years cleaning Kaplan’s delivery rooms and saw thousands of births, including those of her 11 grandchildren, but she never delivered a baby before.
On Monday morning, she had her first opportunity.
Grady, a resident of Bnei Ayish, about 15 km. west of Ashdod, went to her daughter Einav’s home and found her screaming in pain, “Pressure on my stomach. I feel the baby is coming out!” Ofra called to her husband to start the car and the two of them helped the expectant mother get in. “I feel the baby’s head!” shouted Einav.
As it was in motion, Ofra thought a car was not the best place for her daughter to give birth, but she no longer had a choice. So she helped as the infant emerged and wrapped it in a blanket, feeling greatly relieved to hear the newborn baby’s first cry.
When her daughter, who had not asked her gynecologist the sex of the child, asked its gender, Ofra looked and said: “It’s a boy!” A Kaplan obstetrics team was alerted by the family and awaited their arrival at the hospital entrance to care for mother and baby, who were both well.
Ofra cleaned up the car afterward.
A hospital clinician said, in the event of a baby being born in a vehicle: Call for medical help; place the woman on the back seat in as comfortable a position as possible so the baby does not fall on the floor; and encourage the mother to breathe deeply and slowly.
Be ready to pick up the baby when the head and the shoulders begin to emerge, then cover it with a blanket to keep it warm. Wait for the ambulance or hospital medics. Do not cut the umbilical cord with a knife that is not sterile. If there is a sterile gauze in the car, it can be tied on the cord between the placenta and the infant. Wait for the placenta to emerge spontaneously.
After that, massage the abdomen with circular motions to help the uterus contract and prevent bleeding.