Pregnant woman turns to YouTube videos to deliver her own baby in a Turkish hotel room

Tia Freeman and her son Xavier in a photo from her Twitter account.
Tia Freeman and her son Xavier in a photo from her Twitter account.PHOTO: TWITTER

LONDON - A pregnant woman from the US who thought her labour pains were food poisoning ended up delivering her own baby in a Turkish hotel room with a kettle, shoelaces and a series of YouTube videos.

Tia Freeman, from Nashville, later related the whole experience in a string of tweets.

Both Tia and her baby boy Xavier are both now doing well, she told the BBC.

Tia, 22, says she didn't realise she was expecting until towards the end of pregnancy.

"I found out mid-January," she told the BBC's Newsbeat. "I gained just under 20 pounds (5kg) the entire pregnancy, so weight gain was little indication."

In fact, Tia thought the weight gain was normal "seeing as though I hadn't been to the gym in a while".

But eventually, "it started to round out in the typical pregnancy fashion", prompting her to take a test.

Despite learning the news, Tia claims she was "in denial" and decided not to tell anyone, the BBC said.

Instead, she went on a trip to Germany, believing she would be "all good in the hood" if the baby came on time. But things got tricky when she began experiencing cramps during her 14-hour flight.

Tia thought it might be food poisoning - but by the time she had landed in Turkey, her layover destination, she was sweating and felt like she was about to vomit.

It was then that she realised - via a Google search - that she was in labour.

Arriving at her hotel with "no clue what to do", Tia didn't go down the obvious route of calling for medical help.

"In true millennial form, I decided to YouTube it," she tweeted.

Tia says she filled up the tub with warm water, grabbed some towels, and found some comfortable birthing positions from the Internet.

By the time she started pushing, Tia claims her contractions were already a minute apart. While she tweeted that she'd "never felt any pain like this in my life", she also said the birth of her son "happened pretty quickly".

Despite the shock, Tia told the BBC she "wasn't scared" - she even used the Internet to deliver the placenta.

And then she improvised, using shoelaces to help cut the umbilical cord.

"Every hotel room has an electric kettle," she tweeted. "So I just boiled some water to sterilise the laces so that I could use them as clamps."

When she returned to the airport for her flight the next day with her "fresh" baby, she says the airport workers were "freaking out".

"They thought I was a human trafficker trying to smuggle out a baby," she told the British broadcaster.

After persuading them she wasn't, Tia says Turkish Airlines paid for a two week stay at a hotel in Istanbul - and she got checked out by a medical team there.

"The staff there were absolutely amazing. They helped me with my bags, and would deliver food to my room if he started crying while I was in the dining area eating."

While Tia seems to have taken the whole thing in her stride, those following the story on Twitter haven't been quite so calm.

Xavier's now a month old and both he and Tia are doing well.

"I think my adrenaline and instincts carried me through it. It was all kind of a blur. I was in autopilot."