Comatose Mom Delivers Baby — Vaginally.

A really great friend of mine (who will actually be doing a review or two for me down the road!) shared this amazing story with me today. Having very recently given birth, I was so touched. Our bodies really do have it under control! Of course, I know that there are situations where medical intervention is necessary, and that’s totally cool. Hey, I had my first two kids with the help of an epidural. Not knockin’ mamas who’ve had c-sections! Birth is birth, and no matter what, it’s work!

I know that giving birth without any major medical interventions (they barely had time to get an IV in me before I delivered) was one of the most empowering moments of my life. I let go, trusted my body, and did it on my own.

Birth advocates like to talk about how you should trust your body, give in, let it do what it needs to do, and especially tell people who are trying to make you go against your instincts to kindly STFU. Medical science really does show that the less the process is interfered with (unless there are issues that need intervention), the better off both Mom and the baby are.

Becky Powers was 28 weeks along in her pregnancy when the H1N1 virus she contracted landed her in the hospital, in really, really bad condition. She was put on an ECHMO (heart and lung) machine and dialysis, and in a medically-induced coma with less than 25 percent of her lung capacity. She’d been given a 10 percent chance of surviving.

In this state, without being an active participant, she gave birth to her first child. Vaginally.

Due to her fragile condition and the blood thinners, a c-section was totally out of the question, but with Becky in natural, premature labor, the decision had to be made soon to increase the chance that she and her baby would both survive.

While still on the ventilator, Becky was brought slightly out of her coma, just enough to help aid her body in the natural processes of vaginal birth. Fortunately, her son Chase came out alert and healthy, though he needed some time in the NICU.

Could you imagine waking up from a coma to discover you’d already given birth to your baby?That your body had delivered without your help?

Becky was still really in danger of losing her own life, but after around four weeks, she finally was able to be conscious. There was also a scare that, as with some coma patients, she wouldn’t remember who her husband was or even that she’d been pregnant.

Her husband asked her one day if she remembered being pregnant. Looking at him like he was a little nuts, she answered a hesitant, “Yeah?” He replied, “Well, he’s doing great.”

The awesome hospital hooked up a webcam between her room and the NICU room where her son was so she could see him.

How surreal it must have been to be sick one day and a mother to a 1-month-old you gave birth to and can’t even remember having the next. And how awesome that Becky’s body was able to deliver her son, even without her mind being an active participant. After hearing many birth stories where women discuss just letting their body do its thing, and not worrying about the “Should I be doing something?” aspects, I think this story shows how beautifully our bodies work.

Do you have an amazing birth story? Have you experienced or heard of an instance where the human body really did some miraculous stuff? Let’s hear it!


  1. Christine says

    Hi. Can you tell me the source of this story? I find it inspirational for sure; especially since I wanted an “all natural” birth but was lured into a c-s because of a hurried ob and surgery happy hospital mentality.

    • ashley says

      Hi Christine!

      I first read the article here on The Stir, which is a Cafe Moms blog.

      I’m sorry to hear you didn’t have the birth you wanted :(. I know that can really be heartbreaking. It’s not something you can do-over next week. I’m glad you found the article inspiring—it’s amazing what our bodies can do!


  1. […] Did you know a comatose women can deliver a baby vaginally? It is basically the same concept we are going for, though in unmedicated childbirth a women often feels the unbearable urge to push in cooperation with her contractions… So I know I’ll be doing some pushing that is impossible to stop. This time the focus will be more on not pushing than on pushing so hard it forces baby out, if that makes sense. […]

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