Dial 1 for room service... and a midwife

Security officer Michelle Long with Giselle Mbaki, baby Katea and hotel manager Gloria Taiariol.

Security officer Michelle Long with Giselle Mbaki, baby Katea and hotel manager Gloria Taiariol. - Credit: Archant

When Giselle Mbaki dialled for room service at the Holiday Inn in Stratford it was a different kind of assistance she required.

The heavily pregnant 27-year-old suddenly went into labour last month and her baby was in no mood to wait around for an ambulance.

So hotel staff acted quickly - and luckily there were a lot of towels on hand - and baby Katea became the first baby to be born at the hotel.

Manager Gloria Taiariol, who had never witnessed a labour before, said: “My colleague at reception informed me that there was a lady in room 644 wanting to check out because she was in labour so my instinct was to immediately attend to her.”

Gloria rushed up to help Giselle, who was staying at the hotel temporarily with her three young children and husband while emergency repairs were made to a leaking pipe in their Canning Town house.

While Gloria dialled for an ambulance, security officer Michelle Long from Westfield Stratford - an experienced first-aider and a mother herself - joined in to help Giselle.

“I knew we had little time left before the baby came,” said Michelle. “When the paramedics finally arrived we got Giselle comfortably onto the bed and stayed with her throughout the delivery. Gloria was running back and forth to making sure the paramedics had everything they needed, this meant a lot of hotel towels.”

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And within two hours of that first call for room service, baby Katea was swiftly born at 10.39pm weighing 10.4lbs.

Giselle, now mother of four children under 11, said: “Having a baby in a hotel room is something you don’t anticipate and is definitely an experience I will never forget. Gloria and Michelle were amazing and acted very fast.”

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