Teen Lifeguard Helps Deliver Baby at YMCA Colorado Pool

Pool birth
Natalie Lucas, left, with mom Tessa Rider and her newly arrived son, Toby.YMCA of Northern Colorado

Lifeguard Natalie Lucas, 18, was watching over a peaceful Sunday group of swimmers, when a woman went into labor.

Well, delivering a baby in a pool of water is nothing new. But they are usually well-planned events with experienced birthing help.

Meet 18-year-old Natalie Lucas, a lifeguard at a YMCA pool in northern Colorado. The teen had no experience with birthing babies, but now she's a pro.

On a quiet Sunday morning in late July, as she watched over a peaceful group of swimmers, one of them went into labor.

And this baby wanted out

“I’ve always seen childbirth in movies and the TV shows, but never the real thing. It was definitely eye-opening,” Lucas told "Today,"

"It’s something new and amazing that’s happening to this family. That’s wonderful — but also crazy.”

Tessa Rider and Matthew Jones had come to the pool so Rider, nine-months pregnant, could get some relief from intense pain in her hip caused by the baby's position. Floating in water eased her discomfort, and she eased herself into the YMCA pool, holding onto a pool noodle and began bobbing along.

And then she experienced a completely different kind of intense pain and pulled herself out of the pool.

“She looks at me and says, ‘We need to go,’” Jones said. “Tessa has barely made it out of the pool, she’s like two, three steps from the rail. She’s on all fours and she’s visibly in pain and also in the middle of the contraction.”

The lifeguard went to see if the heavily pregnant woman was OK.

“I walk on over to them and they say, ‘We’re having the baby.’”

Lucas had no idea how to help, but she ran to get towels and told someone to call 911.

“Within seconds the baby’s heading is coming out,” Jones said. “The baby’s body comes out, along with a torrent of amniotic fluid."

Lucas said she just did what the mother told her, which was to support her back as she pushed.

“There’s a funny picture of me sitting back-to-back with her so she could put her weight on me to support her and give her some relaxation and calm,” Lucas said. “I was trying to help in any way I can.”

Toby arrived healthy and wailing. Paramedics arrived and cut the umbilical cord. Everyone was fine.

“There is nothing more personal and more heartwarming than someone supporting you while you bring a new person into the world,” Jones said.

Related Stories