Mum thought something was wrong when her newborn baby wasn’t crying, then learnt childbirth had made her DEAF!

Kate Llewellyn-Waters thought something was wrong when she couldn’t hear her newborn baby, Beatrix, crying.

Baby Beatrix was infact crying but mother-of-two Kate had been left 60 per cent deaf after giving birth, due to a rare genetic defect that attacked her hearing during pregnancy.

But doctors didn’t immediately notice the link and after having her second child, Albert, two years later, she lost a further 10 per cent of hearing.

Kate has since been diagnosed with otosclerosis – a rare condition where pregnancy hormones cause the bones in her ear to grow and block her hearing.

The mother could go completely deaf if she has a third child.

She said: ‘I had no idea I was going deaf, not at all.

‘I was pregnant so lots of changes were going on and I didn’t notice my hearing loss till my husband noticed I wasn’t hearing him as well.

‘I noticed the initial loss during my first pregnancy when I entered the third trimester, but I didn’t quite make the connection.’

‘But after giving birth to Beatrix, my hearing almost instantly declined,’ added Kate.

‘After having a C-section, I began to panic as I couldn’t hear Beatrix crying but she was crying, I was just deaf.

Now Kate uses hearing aids to get by but initially had to learn to lip read, while Beatrix, now six, and Alfie, five, help be their mother’s ears.

She added: ‘I’ve found the hearing loss caused increased anxiety, especially as my fear is that I may not hear the children when they need me…

For now Kate is still learning to live with her condition but said she wouldn’t change her children for the world.

She added: ‘I could go totally deaf if I had a third child, but I don’t regret for one moment having children!

Do you know anyone who has suffered similar to Kate?

Share your comments below

  • What a shock to learn this was happening. I never knew this could happen to anyone.


  • I had no idea about this condition, what a shock to lose so much hearing so quickly.


  • I am concerned that her children may also have hearing problems, perhaps much earlier than this Mum did. I know a young girl who is deaf which her parents noticed when she was a few months old. Their front door bell rang (it is a very loud one) and their dog barked (it was laying on the floor near her and the little girl showed no reaction at all. later they deliberately made a very loud noise near her and again she didn’t react at all. They had her hearing tested and she was severely deaf. She had surgery and later had hearing aids fitted. At this stage her speech is not clear at 7 y.o.


  • I like others never knew this condition existed.
    It must have been extremely confronting at first and then learning to live with the hearing loss too I can imagine has presented its own challenges.


  • I never knew such a condition existed. I’m so pleased that she doesn’t regret having children though.


  • I had no idea about this condition before


  • Very scary, I didn’t know this could happen and I definitely understand her anxiety.


  • I have never ever heard of this condition. I can understand the anxiety this would have caused.


  • I’ve never heard of this – how horrible for her! At least there was nothing wrong with the baby though.


  • I was diagnosed with pregnancy otosclerosis as well in both ears. My ENT specialist said it was quite common an inherited disorder. I thought I was going mad when I couldn’t hear my husband talk, and people just laught it off saying it was selective hearing, so I went and tested my ears. Just like if your eye sight goes you get glasses, if your hearing goes you get a hearing aid.


  • I had never heard of this condition before


  • Such a shock for this poor mum!


  • Oh my! I’ve never heard of this before … what a worry for the poor mum!


  • My eyesight declined when I got pregnant. The optometrist said its quite common for pregnancy hormones to do that.


  • Must be so hard !
    My youngest has a hearing loss but she has it from birth and knows well how to cope with it.


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