Showing posts tagged with: 'mother'


A clean sweep

Sat 10th Nov 2007 by Ben Palmer.

We had a good day today. Good as in productive, or mostly so. We trailed around the supermarket and successfully filled our trolley. Even though a mother told me how glad she was that she wasn't the only one with children who climbed up the shelves and rattled the wine display, we weren't the loudest and most disruptive in the checkout queue. The Dad in the line next to us tried to ask the packer for a refund for his two.

I've swept the front path of leaves once, the kitchen floor twice, cleaned the filter and unblocked the soap tray in the washing machine, filled it and the tumble dryer twice and the dish washer has been on for most of the day. Harry has had me helping with his homework and printing certificates from the CBeebies website, and we have coloured in countless Father Christmases and other line drawings together.

Emily has had her hair brushed and arranged countless times, her hair bands, ties, scrunchies and slides fitted, removed, rearranged and refitted, and both of them have demanded apple, raisins and juice all day. Lunch was a breeze, and Emily managed to wear her tomato soup in a mud splattered design for the whole afternoon without wanting to change.

We only had a sense of humour failure at bath time, and I can't even remember why. Both Harry and Emily went to sleep easily and quickly after a story and I almost feel like a proficient Mum.

But I never will be.

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Hard labour: The maternity service in crisis

Tue 11th Sep 2007 by Ben Palmer.

Hard labour: The maternity service in crisis in the Daily Mail

This is a shocking tale of maternity services in the NHS. It's a story of another mother given a rough ride. It's a miracle she's alive - this was a catalogue of disasters.

Why is a temperature in a mother always excused as something minor instead of being read as the sign of an infection as it once was?

That's not to mention her detached placenta, her baby's distress and increased heart rate, the delayed pain relief and emergency caesarian.

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Mum gives birth in car park

Wed 29th Aug 2007 by Ben Palmer.

Mum gives birth in car park because 'hospital didn't have midwife' from the Daily Mail

Unless the NHS can ensure adequate midwifery staff numbers and stop its ludicrous plans to close maternity units I fear this is going to happen more and more.

What the bureaucrats seem to forget is that childbirth is a traumatic experience for a mother and her child to go through and it is only safe when you have adequate levels of care in place.

There is going to be a tragedy if things don't change soon enough.

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Why Mothers Die when nobody's Saving Mothers' Lives

Mon 13th Aug 2007 by Ben Palmer.

The Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH) publishes triennial reports reviewing all cases of maternal death. The most recently published report, 'Why Mothers Die' is for the period 2000-2002, and I have often quoted (both in these pages and to the press) the statistics it found and also its recommendations, few of which seem to be taken up, as they are repeated report after report in alarmingly consistent language.

The next report, for 2003-2005, is now to be called "Saving Mothers' Lives", as I have just learned from CEMACH's updated website, and it will be published this December.

This sounds to me like spin. The report, by it's very nature, highlights the cases of mothers who have died, not the ones who have had trouble free experiences, or even 'near misses'. If they do plan to discuss cases where the NHS has saved an ill mother, I could let them know of many horrendous near miss stories that have filtered through to me, but I suspect that - whatever the name - it will be the same report on the same causes of the deaths of the mothers that weren't saved.

If this Department of Health sponsored report wants to pat its master on the back, it should do so elsewhere. Jessica's case will (confidentially of course) be included in the statistics, reviews and summaries, and I don't for a moment believe that she will be alone in its 'Genital tract sepsis' pages.

In fact, I highly suspect that there won't be much of an improvement on previous triennia, but I'd love to be wrong. The bottom line, though is that what we and the NHS need to know is Why Mothers Die and how to stop them dying.

Whatever the findings, please let them be acted on this time.

Reminder: the petition closes in mid-October, so there's still time to help it make a difference in advance of December's report.

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What is childbed fever?

Childbed fever is an infection of the womb in new mothers which can lead to septicaemia. If left untreated infection will cause organ failure and death - even in young, fit mothers.
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What are the symptoms? »
Childbed fever: the facts »

What's the aim?

We would like every parent and every midwife and doctor to know that childbed fever is still a very real threat to a mother's life.
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Can I help? »

Who is Jessica?

Jessica Palmer was a Mum. She died in June 2004, at 34 years old, of childbed fever caused by Group A streptococcus.
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This website contains general information about childbed fever. The information is not complete or comprehensive. You should not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about childbed fever (or any other medical condition) you should consult your doctor or other healthcare provider; and if you think you may be suffering from childbed fever (or any other medical condition) you should seek immediately medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.
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