- Helen Brotherton, full-term with her first child, tells medics son was not moving
- But the health workers did not induce labor until a few days later, and her son was born dead.
- Isle of Wight NHS Trust said it was ‘really sorry’ for the failures that led to the child’s death
A mom told TODAY about her heartbreak after the stillbirth of her baby, with mom telling medics she couldn’t feel him for two days after she moved.
Helen Brotherton, from the Isle of Wight, was full-term with her first child when she was taken to hospital last June, after days of warnings worried her son was not moving.
After two earlier appointments, where employees missed the warning signs, she was induced and her son, Troy, was born dead.
Baby room manager Mrs Brotherton said NHS staff were not concerned at any point despite their concerns.
She said: ‘Leaving Troy knowing we won’t be able to bring him home to start our new life together is something I don’t think we’ll ever end.’
Her husband Ed said: ‘It’s hard not to feel upset and angry at what happened and not to think about how Troy would have been growing and developing if he hadn’t been let down.’
The Isle of Wight NHS Trust said they were ‘really sorry for the failures that led to Troy’s death’ and have since changed their practices.
Stillbirth – when a baby is born dead after six months in the womb – is about one per 200 births in England.
Helen Brotherton, photographed with her husband Ed, said: ‘Knowing after leaving Troy that we won’t be able to bring him home to start our new lives together, I don’t think we’ll ever end’
The Isle of Wight NHS Trust said they were ‘really sorry for the failures that led to Troy’s death’
Mrs Brotherton was 38 weeks pregnant with her son when they attended a routine appointment on 3 June last year.
She told a midwife that she couldn’t feel her son moving that much. But despite her concerns, she was not asked to go to the hospital.
Expectant mothers should begin to feel their baby move between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy, but first-time moms may not feel movement until after 20 weeks.
They should then feel that their babies move properly before and during labor, but the number of movements they feel each day is not fixed.
If an unborn baby is unwell, they will be less active than usual, so feeling less movement can be a sign of a problem.
What is stillbirth?
Stillbirth is when the baby is born dead after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
It occurs in about one in every 200 births in England.
If the baby dies before the completion of 24 weeks, it is known as miscarriage or late fetal loss.
The NHS advises mothers to contact their midwife or doctor directly if they are concerned about their baby, such as whether it is moving less than usual.
The health service said expectant mothers should not wait until the next day, as reduced movement can be a sign that something is wrong and should be investigated.
Some stillbirths are caused by the placenta, birth defects or complications of the mother’s heart.
But in some cases no cause can be identified.
If the baby has died in the womb, mothers may be able to give birth naturally or may have to be induced.
Not all stillbirths are preventable, but not smoking, abstaining from alcohol and drugs during pregnancy, and not sleeping on your back after 28 weeks can reduce the risk.
Mrs Brotherton called the maternity ward of St Mary’s Hospital two days later to find that her son was walking less.
After checking her baby’s heart rate, doctors told Mrs Brotherton to go home.
But her legal team said that because she was overdue and complained of less movement twice, she should have been referred to more senior doctors and induced.
On 7 June, Mrs Brotherton returned to the hospital concerned about her son’s lack of movement, but health workers did not know his heartbeat.
She was induced and Troy was given a dead birth the next day.
The Trust acknowledged that Mrs Brotherton had not been correctly assessed for risk during the days of her regular appointment and should have been asked to go to hospital immediately.
Mrs Brotherton said: ‘We were overjoyed at the prospect of being parents.
‘It was something we’ve always wanted, and due to some personal health issues, felt incredibly lucky to be expecting Troy.
‘I was really worried that Troy’s actions were starting to subside. However, at no stage did it seem that the employees were worried.
‘I tried not to fear the worst and stay positive but it was heartbreaking when we were told we had lost Troy.
‘Ed and I had to spend some time with him in the hospital but that wasn’t enough.’
Mr Brotherton, an operations manager, said: ‘Knowing that things might have been different if Helen and Troy had received the care they deserved is the hardest thing to accept.
‘We would give anything to turn back the clock and do things differently but we know that is not possible.
‘Now we can only share what happened with us to make other parents aware and urge hospitals to review their procedures and improve care where necessary.
‘We want to let others go through the same feelings as we do after the loss of a child that it’s not their fault. They do not have to suffer alone. Infant Loss Awareness Week is an important reminder that there is help and support available.’
Justin Spencer, a partner at the law firm Irwin Mitchell, who counseled the couple, said the couple had “understood” and that their experience could be “left to face the devastation families face as a result of avoidable failures in maternity care.” ‘ is a clear reminder of .
She added: ‘While nothing can make up for their loss, we are delighted that we have been able to give the family the answers they deserve.
‘We thank the Trust for its swift acceptance, which has saved Helen and Ed the hardships of prolonging their case.
‘We are now working with the Trust to fully resolve the issues identified in the case so that Helen and Ed…