The woman who unexpectedly gave birth on a Carnival cruise ship last month says she didn’t know she was pregnant until just before the vessel set sail.
Amber Badua told ABS/CBN News she has had a history of irregular menstrual cycles and only felt symptoms of the pregnancy a week before the cruise. She says she planned to go to a doctor after the voyage was over. But it was too late then, as her baby girl was born in the toilet of her cabin aboard the 2,056-passenger Carnival Paradise after 10 hours of labour.
"I was really scared because I thought she was going to be stillborn. I’m just glad she’s doing good considering everything, no prenatal care, the fact she was born in the toilet. She’s good. She’s healthy," Badua was quoted as saying.
The Carnival Paradise was returning to Los Angeles from a four-night cruise to Mexico when the birth occurred. The ship diverted to San Diego, where mother and baby were evacuated to a hospital by the U.S. Coast Guard.
It’s extremely rare for babies to be born at sea as cruise lines have policies that restrict women more than 24 weeks pregnant from sailing. Carnival also requires pregnant women to show a doctor’s letter stating that mother and baby are in good health and fit to travel before they can board a ship. The letter also must include an estimated due date. Doctors say Badua was 30 weeks pregnant when she gave birth.
The baby girl is reportedly doing well and will always have a souvenir of her unusual birth – her middle name is Paradise.
Carnival Cruises has kept in touch with the family and have invited Badua and her daughter to set sail with them when they’re ready to cruise again.