Woman Gives Birth on Sidewalk, Abandons Baby in Freezing Weather

A woman in Omaha, Nebraska abandoned her baby after giving birth on a sidewalk in freezing conditions.

Local reports say that the woman, whose name has not been released, is 27 years old, and was tracked down by medics shortly after the incident. Both she and the newborn boy are receiving medical care.

The woman may face criminal charges when she is released from hospital.

There are records of more than 1,500 infants having been illegally abandoned in the U.S., resulting in almost 900 deaths, according to the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation (SABF).

However, there is help available to parents who feel that they are unable to raise their children. Safe haven laws, which allow parents to give up a child up to a certain age, are in place across all 50 states.

According to the SABF, 4,343 infants have been safely surrendered to Safe Havens nationally.

The woman gave birth on Sunday morning in 15-degree weather, KETV reports.

An eyewitness who claims to know the mother of the child has called the incident "traumatizing," and said that a group of people wrapped the woman up in blankets just before the baby arrived.

The woman then left the baby on the sidewalk, leaving the scene with a blanket wrapped around her waist.

"I come over and the baby is on the sidewalk. Just in the fetal position, not breathing," Latrell Crane said.

"Her umbilical cord still attached. And then... it's just my instinct because I have two kids [of] my own, right? I grabbed [the] umbilical cord and wrapped [it] around my hand."

The Omaha World Herald reports that the woman refused help from Omaha Fire Department medics before she gave birth. A group of police officers and medics who arrived after the incident then found her at the back of a house a block away from the scene of the birth.

Both the woman and the baby were taken to Nebraska Medical Center in a critical condition. At the time of writing the status of their health is unknown.

The woman may face child neglect or intentional abuse charges because she left the child outside in the cold, according to Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine.

Nebraska's safe haven law allows parents to leave children at a hospital within 30 days of their birth without fear of prosecution.

"It's not a safe haven case by any stretch," Kleine said. "Thankfully these witnesses were around and took care of the baby before medics arrived."

Kleine's office plans to file a request in juvenile court to declare the newborn a ward of the state.

On New Year's Eve a newborn baby was found alive inside a cardboard box by the side of a road in Fairbanks, Alaska, alongside a note.

"I was born 12 weeks premature," the note read. "My parents and grandparents don't have food or money to raise me. They NEVER wanted to do this to me."

A newborn baby's feet in a blanket
The baby was abandoned on a sidewalk in 15-degree temperatures, but passers by were on hand to help. Axiara/iStock