A PREGNANT Redditch mum sent home from hospital had to call on her family to help deliver her baby which was born on the sofa.
Ann-Marie Simpson from Church Hill, arrived at Birmingham Women’s Hospital – 14 miles away – last Wednesday ready to give birth, only to be sent home until her labour had progressed further.
The 34-year-old, whose first two children, Amelia and Josh, were born at the Alex, said: “I knew it was time. My second baby was a very quick labour and I had a feeling this would be the same.
“But I was sent back home, and I knew it was unlikely we would get back to the hospital in time.”
When she and husband Matthew arrived back at their Knowle Close home after the 35 minute journey, it became clear things were moving very fast indeed – and luckily the family were on hand to help.
“My sister Sadie, Matthew and my sister-in-law Laura helped deliver the baby. My two brothers were on hand too,” said Ann-Marie.
However, everything did not go smoothly.
“Matthew noticed something wasn’t right and realised the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck several times,” she said.
“He and Sadie acted amazingly quickly to untangle it before he was born. We didn’t really know what to do, but instincts kicked in and somehow we did everything right.”
The paramedics then arrived and mum and baby Daniel were rushed back to the Women’s Hospital.
“We are all quite traumatised by what happened – but we were lucky. We had the family here to help us.
“If a young, first-time couple had been in our situation, things could have been very different.”
“If the maternity facilities were still at the Alex, we would have undoubtedly made it there in time,” added Matthew, aged 39.
Neal Stote, of the National Health Action Party, who is standing in the General Election, said: “Redditch is growing and the people here need facilities closer to home.
“Many people do not have family on hand, they do not have their own transport, and they may not know what to do in an emergency like this. The family were very lucky – but it could have turned out very differently.”
A spokesman from Birmingham Women’s Hospital, said: “When women arrive at our hospital a midwife will carry out an assessment, and if they are not in established labour, we encourage them to return home.
“This is because home is where they will be most comfortable until their labour progresses to a point when they would need to come into hospital. This is good practice across the NHS.”