Enable Law supports Mother of stillborn son who calls for action following BBC Panorama investigation

Holding hands
2 minute read

A mother, whose child was stillborn, has added her voice to support the serious concerns raised in BBC Panorama about maternity services at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust.

During her pregnancy, Emma Ziff, who was 45 at the time, was refused an elective caesarean section by staff at Gloucestershire Royal hospital on multiple occasions despite raising concerns about her age, that the conception was via IVF and that this would be the first time she gives birth.

After her initial request was refused, the midwife advised that if Emma had not given birth by 40 weeks, she would have a Consultant review to arrange a c-section. Sadly, this appointment was never booked and the Consultant review therefore never happened.

Emma attended the birth unit at 40+1 weeks with contractions. As the contractions were irregular, she was sent home on two separate occasions and re-admitted the next day when she was in pain and finding it difficult to cope.  Sadly, the midwife was unable to find the baby’s heartbeat and advised Emma that her baby had died. Emma gave birth to her stillborn baby son, Otis, at 40+3 weeks.

The post-mortem confirmed that his death was caused by a lack of oxygen reaching Emma’s son in the womb.

Emma, who lived in Gloucester at the time of her pregnancy but has since moved to Spain, said: “I’m choosing to share my story to raise awareness of the issues around midwives and Consultants listening to mums. I want to raise awareness and make sure lessons are learnt so it does not happen to others. Had my wishes been listened to, heard and actioned by a doctor reviewing my care then the outcome would have been very different.”

Claire Stoneman, the Medical Negligence Expert from Enable Law who represented Emma, said “This was a tragically sad case as mum was already 45 years old when she first conceived.  Pregnancy as you get older has higher risks in relation to stillbirth and mum realised this which is why she asked to have a C section.  All too often I find that mums aren’t listened to in relation to their care and treatment plans.  If she had been listened to in this case her baby would be with her now.  No amount of money can ever compensate our client for the loss of her son.    Hopefully, lessons have also been learnt to ensure this does not happen again so that the litigation process has enabled this positive change.”

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