Heavily pregnant woman told by midwives to ‘take a walk’ loses baby in delivery

A distraught mother who lost her baby during her delivery due to complications has told how she was turned away from the hospital hours before giving birth.

Adele Thomas, 25, was heavily pregnant when she was turned away from Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr Birth Centre in Wales, by nurses who told her she wasn’t experiencing enough pain to be admitted to the maternity unit.

She was then told to “take a walk to Tesco”, according to Wales Online.

Her husband Stephen, 29, drove her home where she waited for her symptoms to develop, despite feeling she should already be in hospital.

It wasn’t until a few hours later, when she was finally admitted to hospital, that midwives realised her son, Zak-Ezra, had been trapped in the birth canal for 35 minutes and was completely deprived of oxygen.

Furious about the apparent lack of "urgency" and "interest" from the midwives, Adele said: “Initially being turned away by staff was really scary for me because I knew how far gone I was and how quick things were progressing.

“And when they told me to walk to Tesco, which is a fair way, to help things progress, well, I just thought that was stupid.

“I could barely move as it was but what choice did I have. I could hardly find another hospital by that point.”

Adele complained that the initial response she received from the first midwife at the time of the delivery was “very laid-back”.

When the second midwife arrived, the situation became increasingly “chaotic”, with both midwives starting to argue.

The expectant mother was reportedly told to “shut up” by one of the midwives, who said her voice was the "only one that needed to be heard”.

Adele added: “When Zak had been crowning for 35 minutes, they said they wanted to cut me to help get him out. I remember them arguing between themselves and there didn’t seem to be any rush.

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“My contractions ended, but they were too late to make the cut by then so I had to use all my strength to push him out.

“When Zak arrived he was red in the face and completely pale from the neck down. He looked like he was made out of porcelain.”

Adele and Stephen started to panic when their son was brought to another room by the midwives.

He was returned to the pair moments later, and died in their arms.

The couple, who are preparing for an inquest, found out later from the Concern Report, that doctors arrived at the resuscitation room, to find Zak lying on the table alone, and the midwives hugging at the far end of the room.

They took out civil action against the birthing centre in 2019, who admitted to providing inadequate care and settled with them under the NHS Welsh Redress Scheme, a specialist process exclusive to Wales which helps compensate those who have lost a loved one through negligence.

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One of the midwives involved in the delivery took an early retirement, while the other underwent further training.

In a statement, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said: "This matter has been fully investigated by the Health Board and failings in care were identified.

"The investigation findings have been shared openly with Zak's parents and the health board has sincerely apologised for the failings in care.

"Our condolences and deepest sympathy are with Zak's parents and family."

Alexander Freye, a legal representative from Slater and Gordon defending the couple, said: “Adele and Stephen’s successful civil action provides recognition that Zak’s birth was mismanaged.

“We hope the trust lean from the mistakes that happened during his birth and do everything possible to prevent this from happening to anyone else.”

Adele and Stephen are now parents to 10-month-old daughter Halle.

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