Twenty-nine-year-old expectant mother Ny Chamroeun was rushing to the hospital yesterday morning when congestion on the Monivong Bridge slowed her down, forcing her to deliver her baby in the middle of Phnom Penh traffic.
Chamroeun, a resident of Meanchey district’s Chak Angre Leu commune, said yesterday she felt contractions at about 7am and hopped onto a motodop to take her to the Stung Meanchey Referral Hospital.
However, bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Monivong Bridge led to Chamroeun getting off the moto and giving birth to a healthy 3-kilogram baby on the bridge.
“On the bridge it hurt so much, and I could not endure it,” she said from her hospital bed. “I asked the motodop to drive fast but he could not.”
Chamroeun and the baby were then whisked away in an ambulance to the Stung Meanchey medical facility.
Hospital director Om Sokha said yesterday that both mother and baby were fine, although Chamroeun was still a little weak.
“She is so poor and does not get enough food,” Sokha said. “She wants to leave the hospital, but we want her to stay a few days until she gets healthy.”
Chamroeun said she was relieved that her baby girl was safe, as she had been understandably concerned about delivering in the middle of heavy traffic.
Chan Tha, who was also stuck in the traffic, said bystanders were surprised to see Chamroeun giving birth on the bridge but were relieved at the outcome.
“It is dangerous for that to happen in a traffic jam, but she is lucky that they are fine,” she said.
The incident comes, coincidentally enough, a day before National Day for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, with first lady Bun Rany commending in a statement yesterday the Kingdom’s improvements in reducing maternal mortality.