'I had to confront my fears': Cop helps woman give birth at Mpumalanga police station

Sergeant Itumeleng Motalane with the mother and child she helped deliver.
Sergeant Itumeleng Motalane with the mother and child she helped deliver.
Image: Supplied

Two Mpumalanga police officers have been hailed as heroines after they helped a woman give birth — on the doorstep of a police station.

The incident happened earlier this week near the Bethal police station when a resident who was at the station noticed the heavily-pregnant woman in excruciating labour pains. 

Sgt Itumeleng Motalane was alerted to the situation and realising how close the woman was to giving birth, jumped in to help along with Const Tilane Lebitsa. She did so without having appropriate hygiene equipment. 

“At that time, I had no hand gloves and there was no time to search for some 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 have never been confronted with this type of challenge before as all four of my children were born at the hospital.

“I told myself that I have to confront my fears and remedy the situation. After I helped the woman giving birth, she was ... shivering. I then [asked] Lebitsa to get a blanket from her room as she is staying at the police barracks.”

“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 made screams ululating that the child was alive,” she said.

Having tackled the challenge of safely delivering the baby, Motalane faced the task of cutting the umbilical cord. The officer turned to Google for help — with great success.

“After sourcing information, I then succeeded but had to rush to the Community Service Centre to search for something to tie it [umbilical cord]. Luckily I got a shoelace which I sanitised, tied the umbilical cord and at that time, we were waiting for an ambulance to arrive as my male colleagues had already summoned it.

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

Both mother and baby were declared to be fine at the hospital but the mother had to be treated as she had bled profusely during the delivery.

Mpumalanga top cop Maj-Gen Thulani Phahla hailed the “brave soldiers” for going beyond the call of duty and helping the desperate woman.

“I really commend the members for going an extra mile in helping the woman to safely give birth to her baby. Police are often faced with strange and difficult situations but what we have realised is that they are always equal to the task.'' 

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