BBC News – Co Down mum says stillbirth could have been preventedsouth easter

I now know that the midwife knew my baby was dead, but didnt know how to break the news. Thats unacceptable.

"I didn&039;t get the support from the unit I felt a first time mother needed.

"My own instincts told me something was wrong, but no-one listened," she said.

In 14 months only 63 babies have been born there, that averages at around one a week.

"I lost confidence in the unit, the continuity of care just wasn&039;t available to me," she said.

Staff never discussed inducing her, nor did they complete a birthing plan.

Dr Fogarty said he was not personally involved in Ms Smyth&039;s case but he had spoken to her consultants and had taken independent review of her medical notes and had "gone through them in a lot of detail".

A County Down woman believes her baby son may have survived if midwives at the Downe midwifery-led unit had listened to her concerns.

He said stillbirth was sometimes said to be "the equivalent of an inter-uterine cot death".

"We use scans to measure what size the baby is going to be, if the baby has any abnormalities and Ann-Marie&039;s baby was perfectly grown, had no abnormalities and is one of the 30% of babies that are born where we cannot find a cause."

"Nine days past my due date I called in twice to the unit on the same day," she said.

"It&039;s understandable that these feelings of loss and anger are very real, but unfortunately this story is all too representative."

However, she feels that when women go past their due date, they should be offered extra scans to ensure the baby is not in distress.

"Midwifery units are expensive," he said.

"It was assessed on a couple of occasions and so induction would not actually have been possible," he said.

A trust representative said: "We do adhere to the guidelines as much as possible and in this case they were adhered to strictly."

This compares to 73 in the Lagan Valley unit which opened three months ago.

This was an issue that Anne-Marie and her partner believe was badly handled.

The trust will carry out a review of procedures to ensure women are given information which reflects the full range of choice available.

There has been much debate as to whether Downpatrick can sustain a midwifery-led unit when so few mothers are choosing to use it.

According to Anne-Marie she will never know if scans she had requested in days before giving birth, could have picked up that her baby son Colin was ill.

"That&039;s unacceptable. I travelled to the Ulster thinking and hoping the baby was alive.

"I think it&039;s critical," she said.

"Considering I was often the only woman there, staff were hardly stretched."

"It might have helped to explain things when I went into labour. It just added to my distress that something so basic wasn&039;t undertaken by the midwives."

The letter apologises for midwives iling to discuss an induction date and for iling to complete a birthing plan.

"The rate of stillbirths in Northern Ireland is very low, so midwives don&039;t have to deal with the problem regularly.

"The budget is about 200m below what is needed to run the health service, so giving women different choices as to where they give birth may not be as viable in the future."

"For me not to complete something as basic as a birthing plan was wrong," she said.

Breedagh Hughes from the Royal College of Midwives acknowledges that staff require further training in this highly sensitive area.

"I believe when a woman goes past her due date, at some stage they should discuss induction, that conversation never took place.

"However, if there are to be local midwifery-led units, they have to be equipped to deliver such news."

When she was nine days overdue, she said her calls for extra monitoring were ignored by staff who instead sent her home on more than one occasion.

As a result of Anne-Marie&039;s experience, the head of Midwifery and Gynaecology at the trust has called for a review of procedures to ensure women are given information which reflects the full range of choices available.

"We have babies that are born, who die when they are a few weeks or a few months old, also a terrible tragedy, but sometimes this is what happens."

However, in context, Lagan Valley had already a maternity unit established compared to the Downe which is basically starting from scratch.

"It just didn&039;t happen.

Anne-Marie acknowledges that her case was not unique.

A number of small bombs and a petrol bomb are thrown at police officers in Craigavon, County Armagh.

The trust has now written to Anne-Marie and her partner apologising for what happened.

Dr Paul Fogarty, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist with the South Eastern Health Trust, said Ms Smysouth eastern health serviceth&039;s cervix, "wasn&039;t right for induction".

Anne-Marie Smyth, who lives in Downpatrick, attended the Downe midwifery-led unit throughout her pregnancy last year.

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While she accepts stillbirths are a sad reality, she believes her baby&039;s life could have been saved.

"So unfortunately there are 125 couples experiencing the pain the grief that you (Anne-Marie) reported."

BBC News – Co Down mum says stillbirth could have been prevented,south easter,The South Eastern Health Trust has apologised to Anne-Marie Smyth whose baby was stillborn last October.

According to Anne-Marie, that offer was never made. Nor were attempts to complete a birthing plan.

"The reassurance of scans, especially as I was overdue, wasn&039;t there.

"I can assure Anne-Marie that I&039;m very confident that the outcome would have been no different if she had filled in a birth plan, that her baby was normally-grown," he said.

"It was distressing, especially at such a critical time in my pregnancy."

While she admits to calling into the unit regularly and often being the only pregnant woman there, staff sent her home telling her to take things easy.

According to guidelines produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical excellence (NICE), a woman who has a straightforward pregnancy, should be offered the choice of being induceBBC News – Co Down mum says stillbirth could have been prevented,south easterd after 41-weeks.

Midwives are also to receive training in how to tell parents when their baby has died.

"She said it wasn&039;t working so instead she sent me to the Ulster Maternity Hospital by ambulance.

He said an average of 11 babies were stillborn every day in the UK which represented 2-3 stillbirths every week in Northern Ireland.

According to Anne-Marie Smyth, in the future, she will choose to attend the Ulster Maternity Hospital instead.

The trust, however, said a birthing plan would not have made a difference in her case.

"If midwives are to run such units, well then they need to be trained in how to tell parents their baby has died."

"I now know that the midwife knew my baby was dead, but didn&039;t know how to break the news.

The BMA&039;s Dr Tom Black said that with the current budget constraints, there was not the same money available to offer women choice.

"That night when I went in, the midwife was unable to hear the heartbeat so she tried to get a scanner to work.

Her son&039;s post mortem reads that he died from acute asphyxia, intra amniotic infection, which had been present for a number of days.

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