Sergeant Itumeleng Motalane based at Bethal SAPS in Mpumalanga holding a baby she a Constable Tilane Lebitsa helped deliver outside the police station. Picture: SAPS
Sergeant Itumeleng Motalane based at Bethal SAPS in Mpumalanga holding a baby she a Constable Tilane Lebitsa helped deliver outside the police station. Picture: SAPS

How Google and an old shoelace helped cops deliver baby safely at police station gate

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Apr 22, 2021

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Pretoria - Two Mpumalanga police officers have been being lauded for helping a woman give birth at the entrance of their station in Bethal.

Sergeant Itumeleng Motalane and Constable Tilane Lebitsa were on duty on Monday when a community member alerted them to a woman in labour crying out for help outside the police station. They rushed to the scene and found the 35-year-old Congolese woman in the company of her husband and her sister.

“The woman was screaming due to excruciating labour pains. Noticing that she was about to give birth, Motalane who at that time was joined by Constable Lebitsa, acted as midwives and assisted the woman deliver her fourth healthy baby boy,” Mpumalanga police spokesman Colonel Donald Mdhluli said in a statement.

“After the baby was born, the officers took the mother and her baby to Bethal Hospital for medical assessment. They were then admitted at the hospital and the child was declared healthy and strong.”

Motalane, who is also a mother of four, said although she could not find hand gloves that did not deter her from helping the woman in labour.

“There was no time to search for them as someone was in pain. I had to risk my life for the sake of the woman and the baby she was carrying. My only fear was that I had never been confronted with this type of challenge before as all my four children were born at the hospital,” she narrated, as per Mdhluli’s statement.

“I told myself that I have to confront my fears and remedy the situation. After I helped the woman give birth, she was (severely) cold and was shivering. I then requested my colleague Constable Lebitsa to get a blanket from her room as she stays at the police barracks.”

After the delivery, Motalane was unsure if the child was alive.

“I was so confused that I could not even hear the baby crying. My male colleagues, who stood at a distance, were very happy and (shouted) that the child was alive. That is when I started hearing the cries of the baby,” she said.

The police officer said she had to use Google to find information on how to cut the umbilical cord.

“After sourcing information, I then succeed but had to rush ... to search for something to tie it. Luckily I got a shoelace which I sanitized, tied the umbilical cord and at that time, we were waiting for an ambulance to arrive,” she said.

“However seeing that it was taking time, I asked Constable Lebitsa to volunteer her bakkie so that we could take the woman as well as the baby to hospital.”

The hospital had to treat the new mother as she had bled profusely during the birth.

IOL

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