Lalene Malik, pictured with her two-week-old baby Mohammed Ibrahim, was rushed to A&E at Northwick Park Hospital by her family after suffering an excruciating stomach ache

A student who had no idea she was even pregnant until she gave birth in a hospital toilet after being admitted with stomach pains has welcomed her ‘miracle’ baby.

Lalene Malik was rushed to A&E at Northwick Park Hospital by her family after suffering an excruciating stomach ache at home in Greenford, west London, on March 26.

The 23-year-old, who said she had been prescribed the contraceptive pill five months earlier and took two negative pregnancy tests in February, believed she must be constipated.

But her mother, Sumra, had an ‘intuition’ that something was wrong when her daughter began crying in pain after going to the hospital bathroom while waiting to be seen, and sounded the alarm with nearby doctors.

Ms Malik was about to flush when baby Mohammed Ibrahim’s tiny arm was spotted in the bowl, leaving her terrified that her and her son’s lives were in danger. 

She believes the baby may have been stuck for up to seven minutes before he was rescued by medics.

The new mother said: ‘I was gone. My mind was blank. I was put in another room because obviously I was crying and my mum was crying. 

‘It was a complete shock and a trauma for both of us and I felt that my life was in danger.

‘(My mum) started crying and (said) to me: “Don’t you know you have a baby?” From then on I was pale.’

Ms Malik (right) was about to flush the A&E toilet when she saw her baby's tiny arm in the bowl, leaving her terrified that her and her son's lives were in danger. She believes the baby may have been stuck for up to seven minutes before he was rescued by medics. Dr Ewa Grocholski, an A&E registrar at the hospital, (left) who helped save Ibrahim by giving him chest compressions after getting him out of the bowl, said it was the 'most amazing experience' of her medical career

Ms Malik (right) was about to flush the A&E toilet when she saw her baby’s tiny arm in the bowl, leaving her terrified that her and her son’s lives were in danger. She believes the baby may have been stuck for up to seven minutes before he was rescued by medics. Dr Ewa Grocholski, an A&E registrar at the hospital, (left) who helped save Ibrahim by giving him chest compressions after getting him out of the bowl, said it was the ‘most amazing experience’ of her medical career

Ibrahim (pictured) was born full-term and is now healthy after he was given oxygen and monitored carefully by hospital staff

Ibrahim (pictured) was born full-term and is now healthy after he was given oxygen and monitored carefully by hospital staff

The new mother said: 'I was gone. My mind was blank. I was put in another room because obviously I was crying and my mum was crying. It was a complete shock and a trauma for both of us and I felt that my life was in danger. '(My mum) started crying and (said) to me: "Don't you know you have a baby?" From then on I was pale.' Pictured: Ms Malik (right) and her mother Sumra (left)

The new mother said: ‘I was gone. My mind was blank. I was put in another room because obviously I was crying and my mum was crying. It was a complete shock and a trauma for both of us and I felt that my life was in danger. ‘(My mum) started crying and (said) to me: “Don’t you know you have a baby?” From then on I was pale.’ Pictured: Ms Malik (right) and her mother Sumra (left)

Doctors who retrieved the baby said he ‘looked lifeless’ and was not breathing. But resuscitation efforts were successful.

Ibrahim was born full-term and is now healthy after he was given oxygen and monitored carefully by hospital staff. 

Dr Ewa Grocholski, an A&E registrar at the hospital, who helped save Ibrahim by giving him chest compressions after getting him out of the bowl, said it was the ‘most amazing experience’ of her medical career.

She said: ‘Luckily we caught it in time. I’ve never seen (a baby be born) in such circumstances.

How common are cryptic pregnancies? 

One in 2,500 women are oblivious to the fact they are pregnant until they go into labour.

It’s a phenomenon known as cryptic pregnancy — also referred to as ‘pregnancy denial’.

Cryptic pregnancies typically affect either young women, who have never experienced a pregnancy, or women who believe they’ve gone through the menopause and who choose not to use contraception.

Women with erratic menstrual cycles are also more likely to miss signs they are expecting. This is especially true among women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), where small cysts grow on the ovaries; the hormone imbalance often leads to irregular or non-existent periods.

Yet there are some women who will continue to have monthly bleeds throughout their pregnancy. In this case, a scan at the local GP may be the only method of confirmation.

Women may simply not expect to find they are pregnant if they are taking the contraceptive pill — but then those taking it religiously can still become pregnant.

Fewer than one in 100 women who take the pill get pregnant every year if they are ‘perfect’ users.

But nine in 100 ‘typical’ users — who miss a pill or take it irregularly — will fall pregnant annually. 

‘I’ve seen young ladies like Lalene before coming to A&E not knowing they’re pregnant and delivering in the A&E department, but it was always in a more safe place. 

‘It was on a bed or it was slower, so we would have noticed they were giving birth before it was happening.’

She described Ms Malik as a ‘hero’ and said it was ‘incredible’ she had gone through labour despite having no prior knowledge of the pregnancy.

Around one in 2,500 pregnant women in do not know they are pregnant until they give birth.

This equates to around 300 ‘cryptic pregnancies’, as they are called, in the UK every year.

Ms Malik said her son is a ‘miracle’ baby but accused her family doctor, at Elm Trees surgery in Greenford, of failing to carry out tests properly which could have revealed she was pregnant.

‘If I had known I was pregnant, I would have cherished those moments going shopping, getting stuff ready for the baby,’ she said. 

Her husband was abroad at the time and in ‘complete shock’ when he learned of the birth, Ms Malik added.

The student, who is taking a masters in international relations at Roehampton University, said she had not been planning on having a child and had taken the pill from October to January after it was prescribed by a doctor.

Fewer than one in 100 women who take the pill get pregnant every year if they are ‘perfect’ users. 

But nine in 100 ‘typical’ users — who miss a pill or take it irregularly — will fall pregnant annually. 

She said she returned to her GP a number of times after experiencing symptoms including weight gain and a shortness of breath, and had stopped taking the contraception.

Ms Malik said she was given a blood test at the surgery in March but later told it had been botched and the results were unavailable.

She said: ‘I called back three days later and they said “oh, we can’t detect anything because the one who took the blood test didn’t shake (it) properly, so come back three to six months later”.’ 

Ibrahim was born just two weeks later.

Ms Malik praised doctors and nurses at Northwick Park Hospital for their efforts in getting him healthy.

The mother said: ‘It’s a blessing and I’m happy for the baby, but honestly the surgery should have said something because I told them I was married and I wanted to progress with my masters.’

She said she is determined to complete her university course but has had to defer her course until July to look after her newborn son.

The Elm Trees surgery said Ms Malik’s experience falls below its expected standards of care and the matter will be investigated.

The practice said in a statement: ‘We are very sorry to learn of Ms Malik’s experience, this falls below the standards of care we expect from our services. Please be assured that this matter will be fully investigated.’



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