WARNING – DISTURBING CONTENT: A mum has claimed hospital midwives covered her baby’s face with a blanket after he died – because it was “offensive”.
Michelle Robinson, 32, of Yorkshire in England, was distraught when she went into labour in 2016 at 24 weeks and her premature baby, Alexander, died in her arms just hours later.
She spent the next six days with her baby at her side thanks to a cuddle cot – a specialist cot which cools babies to prolong the amount of time parents can spend with their children after they’ve died.
But Ms Robinson claims she then had to challenge midwives who “covered up” her baby when he was in his cot as it would “cause offence to those who saw him”.
“After Alexander had passed they were going to put me on the post-natal ward in hospital on my own alongside all the other mums with their newborn babies, which would have been absolutely awful,” she said.
“My parents were furious that it was even being considered and complained.”
The 32-year-old said her and Alexander were put in a private room but could still hear newborn babies crying.
Despite that, the days with Alexander were important to her but Ms Robinson feels the medical staff didn’t understand.
“It was almost like it was something shameful, something which should not be seen, not a life which was so precious,” she said.
“After he died I was later moved to the bereavement room, but on the way a midwife tried to put a blanket over Alexander’s cot as we went down the corridor. She said that other mums would not want to see a dead baby, which was obviously very insensitive.
“Even when I was in the bereavement suite they would try and cover him up, and at one point someone said to me that it was not nice for the cleaners to see him. When I look back now I feel really angry and upset about that.
“I can say now that if I’d not had that time with Alexander I probably wouldn’t be here today, but I do feel that the hospital just wanted me to go home.”
Ms Williams claims she was admitted to hospital but told she wasn’t in labour. She also said due to a lack of specialist neonatal beds in a hospital near her home she faced travelling to Edinburgh, Scotland about 300km away for precautionary care.
She made the decision to stay in Yorkshire, and Alexander was delivered by emergency caesarean section. He wasn’t breathing.
Despite being given a glucose injection to get his heart beating again, his breathing kept dropping and the decision was taken to switch off his life support.
Legal investigations have now been launched to examine whether Alexander should have survived.
Ms Williams has chosen to tell her story to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week, two years since Alexander’s death in 2016.
She doctors gave her “conflicting messages” as she went into labour.
“It has obviously left me feeling really angry. I felt dismissed because it was my first pregnancy,” she said.
“I feel that doctors and midwifes don’t listen at times. Nobody knows their body better than themselves.”
Earlier this week, a Melbourne couple revealed their heartbreak over losing all nine babies either stillborn or miscarried.
Samantha Rowe and her partner Paul Lyons have detailed their devastation after their latest baby Noah was stillborn on October 6.
It follows a long path of grief for the couple – who first tried for a baby in 2014, Ms Rowe said on her GoFundMe page.