A couple whose baby daughter suffocated resulting in brain injury during her first breast feed are now suing the hospital for millions.

Julia Geis-Clements, 39, and her husband, Lee Clements, 41, from Buckinghamshire, say a midwife gave inadequate advice on how to breast feed their daughter, Cerys.

They claim she would have escaped a lifetime of disability had the midwife warned them to keep her airway clear as she was held against her mother’s breast, shares Daily Mail.

The ‘exhausted’ mother said she had no experience of feeding an infant.

The court heard Cerys now has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and visual impairment, as well as by ‘significant neuro-developmental problems’.

She requires 24-hour care due to the need for constant monitoring and regular suction of her airways.

Mrs Geis-Clements is now suing Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust on Cerys’ behalf, alleging the midwife gave negligent advice.

Due to the severity of her injuries Cerys’ claim is of ‘maximum value’ and she will win millions to pay for her care if Mrs Justice May rules against the NHS.

The couple claim the midwife should, as promised, have returned to check on Cerys 10 minutes into the feed.

The couple’s QC told the court that during the feed Mrs Geis-Clements felt Cerys ‘lose contact’ with the breast.

She ‘guided’ her baby back into position but soon afterwards, Cerys ‘seemed to doze off’, he added.

He said: ‘She did not want to disturb Cerys as she thought that she was sleeping,’ but became alarmed when she noticed her turning ‘pale and floppy’.

Twenty five minutes into the feed, her husband rushed off to find the midwife but when she returned she could feel no pulse on Cerys.

Mr Moon added: ‘In fact Cerys had suffered an episode of hypoxia which had caused her severe brain damage.’

Full story here.

Share your comments below

  • I struggled to breastfeed as our Punks were so tiny that their little mouths just couldn’t latch on. As first time parents we were so surprised at the time at how rough the midwife was with the three of us trying to get them to latch! We soon learned that babies are much tougher than they look, but while it was all happening my husband and I were mortified, which is why I didn’t try again until we got them home. How terrible for this family, you put your trust in the professionals but sometimes it all goes wrong.


  • Really scary. I needed help as I didn’t know the best way. You really do put trust in them to guide you. Sad article.


  • How sad for the family.


  • It really is such an awful tragedy. I think it is probably good practice for a midwife to sit in on the first feed, but I’m not sure if that constitutes being held accountable for such an awful accident.


  • It’s a sad situation but I don’t think anyone is to blame.


  • Terrible thing to happen.
    But how can a mother claim she was worried about the position of her baby and she couldn’t see her face. But still continued breastfeeding, surely the baby would of struggled if she couldn’t breathe. Seems like there is more to the story than what has been told.


  • How very sad for the family but I really don’t think the hospital is to blame. Common sense would tell you the baby needs to breathe. Also she must have been holding the babies head against her breast her to suffocate. And did they not take any antinatal classes?


  • This is a horrible situation which could have been avoided if both parties were paying attention


  • Strange situation but I don’t think anyone is to blame.


  • Mistakes on all parts here – such a tragedy!


  • This is somethingthat is very sad and horrible and has resulted from breastfeeding

    • You can’t blame breast feeding! As sad as this is, I think the parents have to accept some of the blame. How can they think a baby doesn’t need to breathe while feeding!!??


  • The midwife shouldn’t have gone anywhere during the whole first feed.

    • That’s a good valid point.


  • I feel every sympathy for the family.


  • Just heartbreaking. Poor bub I hope she’s able to live a happy life.


  • That’s terrible. Poor family. A real tragedy to happen whilst feeding.


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