Cruise Ship Birth Surprise to Mother

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The woman who gave birth on the Carnival Paradise in international waters late last month, now says she only learned a week before the trip she was pregnant, and hadn't had time to see a doctor.

Amber Badua tells ABS-CBN News in the Philippines that she had irregular menstrual cycles, so had no idea how long she had been pregnant. On the Mexico cruise, she felt stomach pains and realized she was about to give birth.

Badua, age 30, who is from the Philippines and works as a caregiver, said the baby was born in the bathroom of her cabin on the 2,056-passenger ship, after 10 hours of labor.

After the birth was reported, the ship diverted so mother and newborn could receive care in San Diego. They were transferred from the ship by the U.S. Coast Guard. Both are doing well, and the baby now has Paradise as her middle name.

Badua told the TV station that she was really scared at the time of her daughter's birth, but grateful for the care she received.

"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," she said.

It is unusual for women to give birth on cruise ships. Cruise lines generally ban pregnant women from traveling after about 24 weeks, and even then require a doctor's note saying it is safe for them to travel, and estimating a due date. Badua was 30 weeks pregnant, it turns out.

At the time of the birth, the Paradise was returning to Los Angeles from a four-night cruise to Mexico.

Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines
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