Stork pins

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


8 thoughts on “Stork pins”

  1. Definitely sharing! GRRRRRRRR —- you would think that journalists would be educated enough to realise that it is WOMEN who give birth. When are people going to wake up to the truth that the birth of a baby – except in the rarest of circumstances – does not depend upon the person holding their hands out to catch???

  2. Why in these kinds of media reports do the birthing women barely feature but some bystander who merely sticks out their hands is classed as a hero worthy of public recognition. As we all know, women are perfectly capable of birthing and catching their own babies. We’d be stuffed as a species if they couldn’t. What these heros contribute to the situation is superfulous and hardly worthy of congratulations. I also find it noteworthy that breech babies born in airplanes, on the side of the road, and at home come out of women’s vaginas just fine in almost all cases but in hospital they need surgeons to cut them out in almost all cases.

  3. It only goes to compound the idea that home birth is inherantly unsafe. While outcomes at unplanned home births do tend to show greater hazards (probably largely due to the fear involved and hospitalisation style of birthing: supine position, cutting cord too early, tugging cord etc), and i so agree, the women are the real heroes of these stories. One of my teachers at school loved to tell her class repeatedly about how she gave birth in a car on the side of the road (all the kids had to do was ask and they could practically skip a lesson and hear the story again lol) it was obviously an amazing event to her, something virtually all women could have if they wanted. She was the star, when she told the story.


    TORQUAY father Peter Stapleton said he’d always liked the idea of a home birth.

    On Wednesday he got his wish, when he unexpectedly delivered his son on the family’s bathroom floor after fiance Amber Wood realised she would not make the emergency dash to Geelong Hospital.

    The drama happened shortly after Ms Wood woke on Wednesday morning, when she felt sharp contractions and knew baby Bodhi was on his way.

    “Pete came back from the kitchen and I said that he probably wouldn’t be going to work today,” Ms Wood said.

    “We started to get ready to go to the hospital but then I realised it was happening quickly.”

    The couple had just organised for someone to care for daughter Luca, 3, when Ms Wood knew she wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time.

    “I just thought, ‘I can’t stand up and go to the car, this is happening here’,” she said.

    Mr Stapleton created a makeshift bed on the bathroom floor of the couple’s home after a last minute decision to move from the newly polished bamboo floors in the lounge room.

    Mr Stapleton, a project manager at Barwon Water, has no experience delivering children but at 8.15am, with their midwife on one phone and the paramedics on the other, he welcomed little Bodhi into the world.

    “It was all textbook stuff, you just go into another frame of mind,” Mr Stapleton said.

    “Everything the midwife said would happen, happened.”

    After a lengthy birth with Luca, Ms Wood welcomed the speedy arrival of her 3.85kg (8lb 8oz) bundle of joy. Tradesmen at the property next door were surprised with the result after hearing strange sounds from the Torquay home.

    “Having a baby is not a quiet event,” Mr Stapleton said.

    “The dog was inside but with all the noise he kept a respectful distance.”

    Ms Wood and Mr Stapleton are the third local couple in the past two months to welcome their baby at home after not making it to the hospital at time.

  5. Ugh, this drives me NUTS!
    8 months ago I delivered my baby girl at home, on the bathroom floor, unplanned. I delivered her. Yes my mother caught her, yes my husband was there helping me as much as he could also, but I delivered her. I am certainly no hero, I think any woman could do the same thing in the same circumstances, and I don’t expect people to be rushing around showering me with praise, but I hate hate HATE everyone going on about how amazing my mother and husband are for “delivering her”. Pretty sure I did all of the work involved.
    Really it’s just yet another example of how medicalised birth has become, people seem to have forgotten that for most babies, they will arrive safely in this world with or without anyone other than their mother “delivering” them.

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