Woman gives birth in Stevenage’s Lister Hospital car park

Ashley Broadbent with her newborn baby Pennie and the car she gave birth in

Ashley Broadbent with her newborn baby Pennie and the car she gave birth in - Credit: Archant

A “petrified” woman gave birth to her daughter in a car park last week.

Ashley Broadbent gave birth to Pennie Tyme Baynham in the car park outside the maternity unit at Lister Hospital in Stevenage last Wednesday.

Ms Broadbent, who has a four-year-old son called Bowie, said her waters had partially broken at 1.30am that morning but she didn’t think she needed to rush to the hospital.

“I was fine all morning,” she said.

“I told my boyfriend we didn’t need to go to the hospital because I wasn’t in that much pain.”


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Her boyfriend, 26-year-old Jack Baynham, is a self-employed plumber and took her at her word and went out on a job.

“I had to call him back,” said Ms Broadbent.

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“The contractions got really bad really quickly – a thousand times worse.”

The couple, who live in Cheshunt, headed to Lister Hospital in Coreys Mill Lane by car, but events overtook them.

Ms Broadbent, 24, said: “I needed to push on the A1(M) and we still had six miles to go. I couldn’t stop pushing.

“We got to the car park and I told Jack to get a midwife.

“I was absolutely petrified, but as soon as I saw Lister and the midwives I was fine. They did a really good job of keeping me calm.

“I took my leggings off and they said they could see the head.

“I was in the front passenger seat and they laid it back. I had two midwives dealing with me in the car directly and two people passing them things.”

Pennie was born in the couple’s Nissan Juke at 11.07am, weighing 7lb 7ounces. She was five days early.

Ms Broadbent and Pennie were eventually admitted to the maternity unit, where they were fully checked over before heading home at about 6pm.

“The midwives said it was a completely textbook delivery – apart from the car park bit,” Ms Broadbent said.

Christine Bell, head of midwifery, said: “As soon as Ashley got in touch, we advised her to come in, but clearly Mother Nature took over.

“Sometimes our midwives just have to deal with what’s happening in front of them. It was clear Ashley was going to have her baby in the car and we just needed to make sure this happened safely.

“What happened with Ashley is rare, but it’s a great reminder that, no matter how good we all get at supporting mothers through their pregnancy, Mother Nature can always catch us unawares.”

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