Mom Unexpectedly Gives Birth in 10 Minutes While Aboard Ferry

baby hand

There are things pregnant women know they can't do when they are close to baby's due date -- don't fly, don't run marathons if that's not your thing, don't expect to see your feet, and don't travel too far from your house; in fact, stay home, cancel everything, and wait! Okay that last one isn't for real, but when you are in those final few weeks or days, sometimes you think twice before entering an elevator, taking a subway, or doing anything that isn't ideal for birth because what if you have to give birth right then and there.

One expectant mom thought nothing of traveling. In fact, she went to a whole other country. And soon after she boarded a ferry to start her journey home, it was go-time. Go-time for her meant that in 10 short minutes, baby would arrive.


After visiting family in Paris, a very pregnant Aissada Coulibaly was travelling home to Peckham in the London area with her husband Tiemoko and 2-year-old daughter Karidja-Lilly. They were on board the ferry Pride of Canterbury, and just as it started crossing from Calais to the Port of Dover at 6:45 a.m., Aissada started having contractions. 

If I had to guess what Aissada was thinking around this time, it would be ... False alarm, please make it be a false alarm! I can't have a baby on a ferry!

First aiders Andy McAllister and Shirley Fulton, along with Dee Leir and Kerenza Read, came to help the family and realized quickly that there was no time for anything -- baby was coming NOW! In 10 minutes, a baby girl was born! The ship returned to port and Aissada and her newborn, along with her family, went to a Paris hospital. Both mom and baby are fine and, in fact, returned home just a few days later.

The Coulibalys named their little baby girl Mariam-Calais -- Calais being the port the ferry was in when she was born. Beautiful!

Ten minutes. Kind of makes you re-think even taking an elevator while near your due date, doesn't it? Kind of also makes you realize how amazing our bodies are, how nature takes over.

Do you or did you avoid traveling too far while near end of pregnancy? What do you think of this story?


Image via mamihood/Flickr

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