- Mpumalanga police officers have been lauded for helping to deliver a baby.
- The baby was born in front of the Bethal police station.
- Sergeant Itumeleng Motalane delivered the baby with a little bit of help from Google along the way.
Instinct and a little bit of help from Google have seen a Mpumalanga police officer safely deliver a baby in front of the Bethal police station.
Sergeant Itumeleng Motalane had only just reported for duty on Monday evening when she and her colleagues heard a commotion at the police station gate. Motalane rushed outside and found a woman in labour, accompanied by her husband and sister. The 35-year-old pregnant woman was screaming due to labour pains, police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said.
The 39-year-old police officer, who is a mother of four, sprang into action and took on the role of midwife. Constable Tilane Lebitsa, 29, also stationed at the police station, assisted Motalane.
"At that time, I had no hand gloves and there was no time to search for one as someone was in pain. I had to risk my life for the sake of the woman and the baby she was carrying. My only fear was that I have never been confronted with this type of challenge before as all my four children were born at the hospital. I told myself that I have to confront my fears and remedy the situation," Motalane said.
After the child was born, Motalane was uncertain about how to handle the umbilical cord and turned to Google for answers.
"I had no idea how to separate them. I used my phone to Google for home birth information with specific reference to the umbilical cord," she said.
Motalane found a shoelace, sanitised it and used it to tie off the umbilical cord.
"I was so confused that I could not even hear the baby crying. My male colleagues, who stood at a distance, were very happy and made screams ululating that the child was alive. That is when I started hearing the cries of the baby," she recalled.
Motalane's colleagues had already called an ambulance. However, in the interest of getting the mother medical assistance as quickly as possible, Lebitsa volunteered to drive the woman and baby to a hospital.
The mother and her baby were admitted to the Bethal Hospital, and the child was declared healthy and strong, Mdhluli said.
Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24's 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.