OB's Water Breaks While Delivering Patient's Baby

She didn't notice.
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
Sep 2017
Mom, new baby and dad after delivery
Photo: Iowa City Press Citizen

By 4 a.m. one late July morning, Emily Jacobs, MD, was delivering her second or third baby of the day. Jacobs is a resident in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. But she quickly became a patient; her water broke as she delivered the woman’s baby.

At first, Jacobs didn’t even notice. She assumed the amniotic fluid on her scrubs was from her patient.

And then she figured it out.

“It’s funny how fast you go from being a doctor to a patient—and you’re freaking out,” she tells the Iowa City Press-Citizen. “One minute you are in control, and then the next, you’re not.”

Still, Jacobs couldn’t turn off all of her doctor instincts, and says she was hyperfocused on the fetal heart rate monitor.

“I’ve seen the good and the bad,” she says. “And I was worried because I was about a month early. Ideal is 39 to 40 weeks, but my baby was 36 weeks and one day.”

With the help of her own OB—who happens to be her teacher—Jacobs welcomed a healthy Jett Eric Jacobs at 6 pounds, 2 ounces. The only postbirth complication has been a nasty bout of mastitis.

“I think all of this will make me a better doctor,” Jacobs says. “Now I can empathize with my patients 100 percent. When they tell me mastitis is worse than labor, I can tell them I totally agree!"

The craziest part of this story? It happened to another OB in July too.

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