'Lucky' baby girl born inside amniotic sac in extremely rare birth

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A baby girl was born still inside her amniotic sac in what has been described as an “extremely rare” birth.

When Annie Glasspool unexpectedly went into labour at her home in Witton Gilbert, near Durham, her husband Harry quickly phoned 999.

A ambulance crew was dispatched and when paramedics arrived, they found baby Katie’s head already showing and she was born within minutes, ChronicleLive reports .

But they were stunned to see that Katie was still inside her amniotic sac. Usually the sac, which protects the baby inside the womb, bursts during labour and the fluid comes away, known as your waters breaking.

These special births are incredibly rare but do not put the baby or mother at risk and are even considered lucky by some.

Paramedic Ian Nattrass, who has helped to deliver numerous babies in his eight year career as a paramedic, said: “Katie made a very unique entrance to the world, arriving in her amniotic sac, still intact – something that is extremely rare and is estimated to happen only around six times a year nationally.   

(L-R) Dad Harry Glasspool, Martin Heath, mum Annie Glasspool, Ian Nattrass, Michelle Ferguson and Nicola Lowes with baby Katie

 

“We helped to open the sac and cut the umbilical cord and checked both mum and baby over before transported them both to hospital in Durham.”

Ian worked with clinical care assistant Martin Heath and emergency care technician Nicola Lowes, while Michelle Ferguson, health advisor at the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), took Annie’s call.

Nicola added: “This is the first baby birth I’ve been to working for NEAS and it was lovely to hear her first cry so that we knew everything was OK.”

Now two months on from the birth, the team came back to reunite with the family and see how they were all doing.

Annie, who also has a two-year-old son called James, recalled: “I had been in early labour for several days, but every time we were about to go to hospital, it slowed down. On the day, when I rang the hospital after the first contraction, they said to wait an hour, but within half an hour, she was born.”  

Annie added: “I was so impressed with everyone. We were all listening to Michelle on the phone and once they arrived, Ian, Nicola and Martin were very reassuring.

“I had no idea that the birth was complicated because they were a real calming influence. It’s been lovely to see them all again and meet Michelle who answered the call in person.”

NEAS health advisors can take between 60 and 100 calls for patients during a 12 hour shift but baby births often stand out. 

Despite helping a number of new mums bring their babies into the world over the phone during her 17 years’ service, mother-of-two Michelle has never met any in person.

She said: “It’s always an honour to be involved in a baby birth and it’s been extra special to meet the family.”

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