Milwaukee police help deliver breach baby to Hmong woman
MILWAUKEE- Communicating with hand gestures and facial expressions, two police detectives and a crime scene photographer helped deliver a baby to a woman who cannot speak English.
Detectives Vincent Lopez and Dolores Beaver said they were investigating an armed robbery early Thursday when a passer-by told them there was a woman who might be in labor three blocks away.
The partners found the woman, a Hmong, on the steps of a daycare center.
The baby was breach and the woman, 27, was in pain, Beaver said. So she, Lopez and their photographer, John Heim, called the medical unit and got to work. The passer-by who first noticed the woman also stayed to help, they said.
"We told her 'You need to push' and made facial expressions and before you knew it, the baby was coming out," Beaver said.
By the time the medical unit came, all but the baby's head had made it out.
The baby, a boy, was fully born in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, Beaver said.
When the trio visited the new mother and son at the hospital, she smiled at them, they said.
A Hmong interpreter at the hospital told them the woman lived on the street. She was trying to get to her sister-in-law's to call for help but she was in such pain she had to stop, Beaver said.
The police department would not comment on the condition of the mother or the baby. It also would not release her name.
All three said the mother and her baby's life may have been in jeopardy if the passer-by hadn't gotten their attention. The trio, who spoke at a news conference Thursday morning, also said it was nice to be able to help.
"We see so much out there that's bad," Beaver said. "This was our chance to help and bring a life into this world."
Many Hmong emigrated to the United States after helping the CIA in Laos during the Vietnam War.
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