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Mum gives birth on Tube

PUBLISHED: 12:36 30 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:53 07 September 2010

Sanchez Manning A YOUNG Polish mother who gave birth on the Underground has spoken of her anger at being sent home from St Mary s Hospital two hours earlier. In dramatic scenes not witnessed on the Tube since 1924, Julita Kowalska, 26, went into labour un

Sanchez Manning

A YOUNG Polish mother who gave birth on the Underground has spoken of her anger at being sent home from St Mary's Hospital two hours earlier.

In dramatic scenes not witnessed on the Tube since 1924, Julita Kowalska, 26, went into labour underground on the evening of December 19.

After leaving St Mary's she boarded the train at Paddington with her sister Anna, changed to the Jubilee line and headed towards Wembley.

But before reaching her destination she was forced to get off at Kingsbury with the growing intensity of her labour pains.

"We rushed to the incoming train but I felt there was pressure in my stomach, like the baby was coming," she said.

None of the other commuters came to their aid but the two panicked women were eventually helped by a young Hungarian man and the station supervisor.

The staff member helped her to his office where he laid out a blanket on the concrete floor.

He had called for an ambulance around 9pm but before it arrived Ms Kowalska's waters broke and, with the help of paramedics, she gave birth at the station 24 minutes later.

Her new daughter Jennifer is now a healthy one-month tot who weighed in at 7lb 8oz. But the mother said: "It was very intimidating to have to undress in front of all of these men. It was very difficult but they were very nice."

Just hours earlier Ms Kowalska had been taken by ambulance to St Mary's in Paddington, but after being examined by a midwife she had been sent home.

While at the hospital she claims she was told by the midwife not to come back "every time you have pain" and bundled out of the ward.

She said: "She grabbed my jacket and pulled me out of the maternity ward. Outside the door she told me, 'You do not need to come back to the hospital every time you have pain'."

Still upset about the incident, Ms Kowalska said she would never have been subjected to this kind of treatment in her own country.

But hospital bosses have hit back, insisting Ms Kowalska was given a "thorough physical examination", which showed she was not in labour at the time.

A spokeswoman said: "In these circumstances, expectant mothers are discharged with advice on when to return.

"It is trust policy never to turn away a woman who is in established labour.

"Beds are always available for women who are in established labour and staff are available to speak to and advise women 24 hours a day. Ms Kowalska was at no stage turned away due a lack of beds.


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