A car wash, a fish and chip shop and a fast-food restaurant.
These are just some of the 320 locations in New South Wales where mothers unexpectedly delivered their babies last year.
According to NSW Ambulance, 142 women delivered their babies with the assistance of a call taker across the state in 2016.
Monique Jensen, 32, was one of them.
She was at her Whalan home in western Sydney and her husband was dropping off her young twins at a relative’s home when her water broke.
“I felt the urge straight away to push, and I was panicking because he wasn’t there, there were no doctors there and I knew I wouldn’t get to the hospital on time,” Ms Jensen said.
“All of a sudden my water broke and I had a constant urge to push and it really scared me.”
Ms Jensen’s mother and neighbour came to her aid and called triple-0 but her contractions increased and that was when she knew she would have to rely on the remote guidance of call taker Chris Lewis.
A year on, Ms Jensen and her daughter Shylah-Rain, met Mr Lewis for the first time.
“I am just so grateful,” she said.
“You did things so perfectly and so clearly for everyone at home to understand.”
Don’t drive, stay at home
Mr Lewis has delivered 13 babies over his five-year career as a call taker and successfully talked Ms Jensen’s mother and neighbour through the birthing process.
“It was one of those rare ones where it is a real family affair and you’ve got children helping mum deliver a baby safely and soundly at home,” he said.
Mr Lewis dispatched an ambulance immediately but it did not make it on time.
“Fairly quickly it became evident from the pushing, the water had broken, the baby was nearly full term … it was coming,” he said.
“Bub went from coming, to out and in mum’s arms within minutes.”
Mr Lewis said while it might seem daunting for mothers to deliver a baby outside the safety of a hospital, call takers were highly skilled and could help guide those who went into labour suddenly.
“Don’t try to drive, stay home, call us, we will come to you and we can talk you through exactly what is happening that way,” he said.
“If you are in a car, it’s much harder because mum is not going to be in a clear position where we can see what’s going on.”
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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