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10 things you never knew about giving birth on the Tube or in public

Every mum-to-be has a birth plan, and there you’ll have scoped out the preferred and safest place for you to give birth to your bundle of joy. It will all be there from a homebirth, a water birth or in the hospital.

Some women, however, have given birth in some interesting places – from the London Tube to other places you would never have thought of!

1. The Tube is not the only place you can give birth in public

Multiracial group of hipster friends having fun in tube subway station

Public places that women have given birth on include:

  • A South Wales beach (while giving a friend a piggyback).
  • Windsor Castle grounds (during an outing with tourists, she played it down (not sure how, but credit to anyone who can play down labour! Her husband was “over the moon”.
  • An Oxfordshire golf course (in one of the clubhouse’s toilets while watching golf)

But giving birth on public transport does happen more than you think.

There were 82 cases of giving birth on the London Tube between 2000 and 2013.

And it’s not unheard of for mums to give birth elsewhere, either.

There were two cases in Scotland (one on a bus and one on an Edinburgh tram).

Happy young woman on a yacht

Other public giving births include:

  • On a German train: “I’m going to give birth right here,” she reportedly told them before sitting down in the carriage’s aisle, opening her legs and giving birth. The baby slid onto the floor just as the train pulled into the station, where paramedics helped her with the final steps of giving birth.
  • In Italy: The woman gave birth just metres from passengers waiting on platform five at Florence station without making any noise, so no one noticed what was happening.
  • On an aircraft: A woman giving birth on a flight from Iceland to the UK had her baby delivered by cabin crew mid-flight. The mum, travelling alone, gave birth over the central seats.
  • Onboard a yacht in the Caribbean: giving birth while sailing off of Tenerife with her partner. “Our jaws dropped when we saw how seamlessly she sailed through giving birth,” their friend said

If giving birth on public transport doesn’t appeal, you could always go underwater instead – although we wouldn’t!

Woman giving live on Brazilian daytime TV while giving birth in an aquarium tank full of water (not at the London Zoo, thankfully). She’s wearing scuba ‘diving’ goggles and is tethered to oxygen tanks.

Woman underwater
  • A woman gave birth underwater in a Rubbermaid storage bin at home during the night giving birth underwater at home. She was trained for water births but didn’t own a pool or tub, so she improvised with some household objects.
  • Another mum gave birth in a storage container in the woods.
  • A woman gave birth in a Rubbermaid storage bin at home during the night.10. You can give birth on the Tube – it has happened before

The most famous case of giving birth on London Tube (not listed above) was Louise Doughty, who gave birth on the Central Line after changing her mind about giving up her job as a journalist due to fears that working full-time might affect her child. She wanted to work for the FT, but giving birth on the Tube paid to that idea.