Gloucester: Fire Chief Phil Dench shakes hands with Firefighter Tom Savage after presenting him and Firefighter/Paramedic Jon Sanger, Fire Capt. Bob Fuller, Firefighter/Paramedic Jeff Pool and Police Lt. Joe Aiello with stork pins for their role helping deliver baby Maggie Berthiaume at her family’s home on January 23rd. Photo by Kate Glass/Gloucester Daily Times

 

Motherless birthing and the one way street of obstetric choice

In another case of the disappearing agent, Australian newspapers have been breathlessly reporting the amazing case of an intrepid Australian doctor “performing” the delivery of a healthy baby with nothing but a first aid kit and an oxygen mask – high in the air between Auckland and Santiago.

The mother is nearly invisible in this story – reduced to a silly stereotype of the oblivious woman who didn’t even know she was pregnant. This stereotype is usually associated with classist disparagement, but I think this time there’s more than a whiff of racism in the mix. After the first paragraph, however, she fades into the background, replaced by the superhero doctor who “performed” the delivery and “guided” the baby into the world single-handed. The papers made much of the doctor being thanked with bottles of French champagne and a smooch from an airline pilot. (Ew.)

Headlines from other papers included these gems:

Mid-air delivery for Australian doctor

First class reward for doctor

Baby delivered a mile-high

Stork class to first class for flying doctor

Aussie doctor helps mid-air birth

Stork pins: acknowledging the real heroes of birth

Police officer delivers baby on Wellington Parade after responding to reports of screaming

Father delivers his baby: I had performed the Unthinkable!

Muskogee grandfather delivers granddaughter in gas station parking lot

Bryce to the rescue as deaf mum goes into labour

Queensland dad delivers baby on kitchen floor

Bangkok special police deliver 42nd traffic baby

Clara City, Minn., man helps with unexpected home delivery of his son, daughter

Hero dad delivers baby girl

Baby delivered on side of road

Boy, 12, helps deliver baby brother

Murrieta Fire helps woman give birth at gas station

Special delivery: Fort Polk spouse gives birth in the bathroom

Paramedics untangle cord at home birth

Shock home delivery in ten minutes

Belmont student nurse delivers in a crisis

Mother of bride delivers passer-by’s baby

Two Wildwood firefights get stork pins

Special home delivery earns stork pins for EMTs

Got stork? For Labor Day, paramedics share tales of on-the-job deliveries

Cetronia’s special delivery

Baby delivered at Winchester Hospital during blizzard, united with emergency department staff

Dumfries-Triangle EMTs rewarded after delivering a baby boy

Mohegan VAC holds annual brunch

Student paramedic helps deliver baby