Student gives birth in classroom

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. (CUP) -- In a rare moment two weeks ago, Douglas College was visited by local and national news media, after a nursing student gave birth inside a classroom at the New Westminster campus.

On Feb. 27, Haddy Saal-Keita gave birth to a baby girl on the floor of her English composition classroom during the class' midterm exam -- only minutes after beginning to have labour pains, her fellow students said.

Two students stayed inside the room to give her support until security and paramedics arrived.

When her baby was born, one student reportedly tied off the umbilical cord with a shoelace while another gave his coat to wrap the newborn.

Instructor Jill MacLachlan responded to the situation quickly by alerting security, which then contacted paramedics. Students in the classroom also individually began calling 911.

“Jill [MacLachlan] was by my side helping me and offering reassurance to me because I was overwhelmed,” Saal-Keita told reporters on March 1. “She was encouraging me and talking to me until everything was completed. It was very fast.”

MacLachlan said that by the time she called security, “the baby had basically already arrived."

“We did our best given the situation, and I think that it went quite well considering the situation -- especially due to the help of the brave students who stayed with Haddy [Saal-Keita].”