Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tragic Death of Baby

Something happened on Friday that definitely deserves a lot of attention: A baby died a preventable death because the midwife did not understand the risks involved in the particular situation.

This was broadcast for everyone to see on Facebook. It started with this initial question, sent via private message to Jan Trittan, the editor of Midwifery Today, who then posted it on her page:

As you can clearly see, the midwife did not fully understand the risks of the situation ("what do we truly feel are the risks"). You can also clearly see that she has not transferred care to a physician ("we're in a state with full autonomy for midwives and no transfer of care regulations past 42 weeks").

If a pregnant woman's hired professional care giver is unaware of the risks, how does the pregnant woman know the risks? This midwife clearly doesn't want to acknowledge that this mother is in any danger at all, even saying "technology isn't perfect" as if a BPP done on two separate occasions, both indicating ZERO amniotic fluid, would be incorrect (again... this is not a matter of a BPP indicating LOW amniotic fluid, it indicated ZERO amniotic fluid BOTH times). Can we honestly believe this mother has any idea of the risks involved in her situation?

At 42 weeks 3 days, the baby died:

The baby died from meconium aspiration. How does that happen? There are factors that each individually increase the chances of meconium aspiration and sadly this mother had several factors:

Low amniotic fluid (and in this case, even worse, she had NO amniotic fluid)
Placental insufficiency

Based on current research, an induction at 41 weeks (or shortly after) not only would have greatly increased the chances that this baby would have survived, but it also would have decreased the chances that this mother would end up with a c-section.

An immediate transfer of care at 42 weeks 1 day when it was initially known that there was no amniotic fluid would have also yielded a live baby. Or at 42 weeks 2 days. Clearly, going in at 42 weeks 3 days proved to be one day too long.

I have had a pit in my stomach since I watched this all unfold on Friday on Facebook. It almost seemed a like an awful prank. What midwife would do such a thing? What professional wouldn't understand the risks? What professional would seek advice on Facebook and ask others to share "opinions/stories" to help them make their decisions?

A petition has been started and I have already signed it, and I hope you will as well. Sign for this mother, because she was not given true informed consent and is now left with the loss of her child. Sign for this baby, because he or she was not given the best chance at life. Sign for the family of the mother/baby, who will also forever grieve this loss. Sign for this midwife, because her actions were beyond negligent and she should be held accountable. Sign for the current and future clients of this midwife, who deserve to know who they are hiring.

Please Sign This Petition

Update your Facebook and/or Twitter status with this hashtag: #notburiedtwice to raise awareness for the loss of this baby.... another preventable loss at the hands of a negligent midwife.

The thread was, of course, deleted. I took over 65 screen shots (including the two posted here) as I was participating in the discussion but did not get all of the comments. However, they were all captured. To view the full Facebook thread, it is available here: The Internet Never Forgets


  1. What amazed me were all of the comments from other mid-wives in response to the query. Most of them advised things like:

    "If baby is happy, get [the mother] to take precautions against infection and wait."

    "Try a very good acupuncturist and midwife-friendly massage therapist and refer in a day or 2."

    "Leave her be ... She'll go into labor when it's time."

    "There has to be some water or her [body] would get baby out."

    I Google'd the people who left those comments and they were all from practicing CPMs, one CNM, a midwifery professor at a college (not sure if it was an accredited college or not), and other homebirth midwives (not sure of credentials, but practicing). That is just amazing to me.

    I agree that a low-interventions / "natural" (whatever that means) model is usually best, but there are times when it should be code red, medicalize-the-crap out of this birth. This was one of those times. And very few of the practicing homebirth midwives advised transfer of care / induction / cesarean, and the ones that did sounded a bit cautious and hesitant. Just wow.

    1. I wrote a reply yesterday but when I hit publish, it just disappeared!! So annoying.

      Yes, the comments were awful. Have you seen that someone came forward and named the midwife?

    2. I did. I also caught that the midwife had previously tried to comment publicly on the case, then deny she was the attending midwife. I saw her pathetic attempt to tell Amy Tuteur that she was not the primary midwife on the case, "Coming to the defense of others is something I will do if I feel that their actions were defensible..."

      Wouldn't her public commentary on the case have constituted a HIPAA violation for most medical providers? Good thing CPMs aren't medical providers and don't have standards!


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