It turns out the state-run hospital was overflowing with patients, literally.
The shocking incident, which occurred on Wednesday evening in Biaora, a town 150 km from the state capital Bhopal, has sparked outrage and forced the authorities to probe the circumstances under which this happened.
"We have seen the photographs that have emerged. I have issued notice to the nurse who was in-charge yesterday," Dr SS Gupta, who heads the 30-bed health facility, told NDTV.
He added that a pregnant woman who needed a saline drip should not have treated in the open "under any circumstances".
But Dr Gupta hinted that the nurse may not have had much of a choice.
According to local health workers, incidents such as this serve as a stark reminder of the state's failure to expand public healthcare infrastructure in Madhya Pradesh as well as other parts of the country. According to official statistics, a hospital bed in a government health facilities serves 2661 people in Madhya Pradesh, which contrasts poorly with the national average of 2046 people.
Just a few months ago, a district hospital in neighbouring Chhattisgarh hit the headlines because it turned away a pregnant woman because it had run out of beds. The woman was forced to deliver her baby under a tree in May.
In July, a woman ended up delivering a baby right outside a government-run multi-specialty hospital in Jaipur as the doctors failed to attend to her on time.