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Advice for friend treated very badly during loss of baby at 21 weeks

(2 Posts)
Rachel52 Tue 01-Dec-15 22:13:01

This is the first time I have put a post on this site but I am very much hoping I can get some advice in relation to the terrible time my friend has recently had. 2 weeks ago she gave birth to a live baby at 21 weeks of pregnancy who died after 3 hours. As if this wasn’t terrible enough for her and her husband the catalogue of disasters surrounding their loss has amplified the tragedy to an unbearable point. I won’t mention at this stage which hospital and local Doctor’s surgery were responsible for these failings but will do so if the advice I receive suggests that this would be a good idea.

A few days prior to going into labour my friend, let’s call her Jane, who is Polish, as experiencing bad stomach pains so she contacted her midwife by phone and email to ask her opinion. She didn’t hear anything back and a few days later she started bleeding quite heavily so her husband took her to A and E where she sat for one and half hours before being seen by a Doctor at 2pm. All the time she was bleeding heavily and experiencing bad pains. When the very junior Doctor examined her he said that he couldn’t see anything wrong and left her in pain and bleeding (which turned out to be full on labour) until 5 hours later (the heartbeat was checked but nothing else) when another Doctor examined her and send she was 9cms dilated and the baby’s head was engaged. He said that it was now too late to do anything and that the baby would be born but if it hadn’t died already would do so soon after being born. They were then asked by a good midwife whether they wanted to see the baby after it was born and after a heartbreaking discussion decided that they wouldn’t. After telling the good midwife this they were then attended to by a ‘Bereavement Midwife’ who told them she thought they should see the baby. They repeated their decision not to her but when the baby was born she said “oh he’s beautiful – you have to see him, he’s you baby!” Once again my friend’s husband firmly but fairly told her that this is not what they wanted. She then ignored this wish and put the baby in a cot in the room with them and left him there until he died 3 hours later. All the time my friend and her husband did not look at the baby. My friend hid under a blanket. When the baby finally died the bereavement midwife asked them to look at him and said “but he’s so lovely!” Then she became cross with them saying “how can you not look at him – he’s your baby!” She then went on to tell them that the birth did not need registering but they should have a funeral. They asserted the fact that they did not want this. Since returning home this midwife has rung them several time leaving messages about funeral arrangements. This is causing them great distress. Since leaving the hospital my friend went to see a GP at her surgery and spoke to him about the situation. However, after 10 minutes this Doctor said that the appointment was over and refused to give her an internal examination saying she needed to make an appointment with a female Doctor for that! My friend left very distressed again. Now they have received a letter inviting them to an appointment with an Obstetrician at the hospital to review the events around the loss and to get the results of tests done. The letter was written and sent by the bereavement midwife. This is an appointment that they really want to go to but it is taking place at the ante natal clinic where understandably my friend does not want to go as it reminds her of when she was happily pregnant.

Please could someone help me with the advice I should give her. I am English and am ashamed of the way my country’s Doctors and Midwives have treated her. I have already recommended she take a polish translator with her. Any other suggestions would be very welcome please. Many thanks!

LineyReborn Tue 01-Dec-15 22:17:42

I see you are new and you might not realise you've started six separate threads about this, so I've let MNHQ know. If you just have the one thread you'll get a more helpful discussion.
So sorry for your friend flowers

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