Pupil gives birth on way to school

2011-03-17 00:00

COMMUNITY members at Manor in Pietermaritzburg rallied to help a pupil who gave birth in a thicket yesterday morning after she went into labour on her way to school.

The 20-year-old grade 11 pupil from Amaqonqo township near Table Mountain, whose identity cannot be revealed, said that she was on her way to school when she started feeling nauseous.

“I was in the bus on my way to school and I told a friend that I wasn’t feeling well. So, I got off at Manor Sports Grounds because I wanted to walk to my aunt’s house who lives nearby,” she explained.

While she was walking to seek help, she felt a strong need to urinate, so she went into the bushes to relieve herself.

“She was suddenly overcome by strong labour pains and because of the contractions, she could not stand. She cried out for help.”

An off-duty policeman, Jerome David (22), said he heard dogs barking non-stop and then a neighbour alerted him that there was a girl in the bushes.

David said the whole neighbourhood rushed to help the young woman who was stricken with pain.

“We called the ambulance but then it took forever for it to arrive. Then the women in my area helped the pupil in her school uniform to deliver the baby,” David said.

Melda van der Merwe, an 18-year-old who herself is eight months pregnant, cut the umbilical cord. “I saw a girl bending over in pain. I quickly went outside to see what was happening. I was scared but ... I cut the umbilical cord with scissors because the mother was bleeding profusely,” she said.

She also gave the new mother clean clothes and covered the newborn with foil to keep him warm.

Both other and boy are doing well at Northdale Hospital.

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