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blessed birth

Brian Blessed 'delivered a baby in a park and bit through its umbilical cord'

Very impressive.

IF YOU EVER find yourself about to give birth in a park, you could do worse than bump into actor Brian Blessed.

The 78-year-old recounted an incredible incident while being interviewed on BBC Radio 4′s Midweek programme yesterday, where he described how he helped a woman give birth in a park – and even bit through the umbilical cord. He assured the stunned interviewer Libby Purves that the story was indeed true.

While Blessed and fellow guests – midwife Mark Harris, campaigner Satish Kumar and artist Alinah Azadeh – were discussing midwifery and women giving birth, the actor said:

“Years ago when I was in [the TV show] Z Cars, about 1963, I was running all over Richmond Park and a woman was having a baby under a tree and there was no one around.”

He said that he had “been brought up with babies; a working class background, and helping babies”, so he “rushed across to her” and saw that she was giving birth.

BRITAIN CLASSICAL BRIT AWARDS 2008 Associated Press Associated Press

“She knew me from Z Cars – ‘please, I’m having a baby’… ‘it’s alright dear, breathe deeply’,” recounted Blessed.

“And gradually I got the baby out slowly,” said Blessed, who also helped deliver the afterbirth (the placenta) and clots. He then bit through the umbilical cord, which attaches the newborn to the afterbirth, and “tied it into a knot”.

The unexpected arrival was a girl.

Then I just called for help and eventually an ambulance came. I was covered in blood, my shirt was covered in blood, I was wrapping and wiping – ‘it’s alright darling’ – and I was licking the baby’s face.

He said the incredible story was “absolutely true” but he hadn’t talked about it before.

“It was natural, wasn’t it,” he said. “You will tell her to breathe deeply, push, push, push. I’d seen my mother do this, I was always kept in the background… because all the neighbours were almost our midwives.”

Hats off to you, Brian.

Read: A pregnant woman got lost in a forest, gave birth, then fought off placenta-hungry bees>

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