The woman, from the Chinese capital, Beijing, was brought to hospital by a friend complaining of stomach pains. However, whilst using one of the hospital bathrooms, she went into labour and gave birth in the toilet cubicle.
It appears that the woman either kept her pregnancy - thought to be the result of an extramarital affair - a total secret from family and friends or that she genuinuely did not realise she was pregnant.
Fortunately, the friend who had brought her to hospital was nearby. "She went into the bathroom and locked herself in and in a short time I heard a baby's cries from inside and knocked on the door asking whether she was OK," the unnamed friend recalled.
"Instead of answering me, she asked me for a knife or a nail clipper," she said. "I worried something had happened in there, and shouted for help."
Doctor Gao Yuwen, who was on duty when the drama occurred at around 1am, explained what happened next: "I dashed out, and found people gathered outside a bathroom. A woman was hectically knocking the door, asking the other woman inside to open the door."
The doctor joined those pleading with the distressed woman, who refused to open the door. A security guard was finally called to the scene to break the door down and staff were astounded by the sight that greeted them within the toilet cubicle.
"A baby was immersed in the toilet pan crying heavily and still connected to her mum with an umbilical cord," Dr Gao. Hospital staff quickly scooped the baby out of the toilet bowl and both mum and baby were taken away for examination. Remarkably, neither was injured by the incident.
The woman and her family are now involved in discussions regarding her daughter's future and she is apparently considering keeping the baby. At least four couples have already offered to adopt the child.