A mother has revealed that she gave birth in just 40 seconds after forgoing an epidural, saying the baby ‘shot out’ without her pushing.
Cianna Gonzalez, 24, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was in labor for three hours, but had a rapid delivery when she welcomed her second child, a baby boy, on August 8, 2022.
‘I felt him descending. I was screaming, “He’s coming!”‘ she recalled.
‘My baby shot out completely voluntarily. I did not have to push him out. He came out on his own.’
Gonzalez’s easy birth was due to a medical rarity known as the Ferguson reflex, or the fetal ejection reflex.
How natural phenomenon occurs
The natural phenomenon occurs when the body expels a baby involuntarily thanks to an increase of oxytocin that leads to powerful contractions.
The experience is more likely to happen when the mother feels ‘safe and supported,’ according to Healthline.
It is also more common in home births, where there are lower rates of interventions.
Some mothers who have experienced it have likened it to a sneeze — once it starts, it can’t be stopped.
Gonzalez did not have such a quick delivery when she welcomed her first son on February 10, 2021, but it was a positive experience overall.
She said it gave her ‘confidence’ and made her ‘excited to do it again.’
Gonzalez was 38 weeks pregnant with her second son when she started having what she thought were Braxton-Hicks contractions, or false labor pains.
When she called her birthing center, she was told to come in and discovered she was actually in labor. Gonzalez was laboring in a birthing pool when she suddenly felt the baby coming.
She tried to get out of the tub to give birth but realized there wasn’t any time.
‘I was anxiety-ridden in the moment,’ she recalled. ‘I thought, “Who is going to catch this baby?” It was very natural and very fast.’
Her midwife was able to grab her son as he slipped out at 10:35 a.m. that morning.
The baby is healthy
The healthy baby boy weighed 7 pounds, five ounces, slightly less than his older brother, who was 7 pounds, 12 ounces at birth.
The stay-at-home mom believes that ‘being able to relax’ triggered the Ferguson reflex.
‘It was very intuitive on the baby’s end. It was incredible,’ she said.
‘I didn’t know I could do that or the baby could. He was on his own timing.’