Coroner issues warning to breastfeeding mums after death of baby boy

A coroner has issued a warning to breastfeeding mums after the death of baby boy.

Louie Bradley died after his mum followed advice that went against national advice, an inquest has found.

The mum, Ann Bradley, a teacher from Lancashire, had given birth to Louie just a day earlier, and after struggling to breastfeed, she followed a technique that her midwife told her about, which was to feed him lying side-by-side in bed with him.

The mum said: ‘They said we could lay on our sides.’

Feeling very tired, Ann feel asleep and when she woke up, her baby had already passed away. It was later found that he died as result of different factors, including an accidental obstruction of the airways.

Following the inquest, coroner John Pollard criticise the midwives for their advice and wrote to Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, to raise concerns about the techniques being taught to new mums by health professionals.

Head of Midwifery at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust Val Clare said: ‘It is such a tragedy when the unexpected death of a baby takes place. This was a very rare event and we feel for Louie’s family.

‘We are a Level Three UNICEF baby friendly initiative accredited unit which is the highest standard for breastfeeding and is a prestigious award, however we always strive for improvement and so, taking into account the coroner’s comments, will review guidance.’

Mums are advised against co-sleeping in any circumstances, including breastfeeding, as it could potentially be fatal for babies. Official advice from The Lullaby Trust says: ‘Breastfeeding reduces the chance of SIDS, so we would always try and help you work out a way to continue breastfeeding in the safest way possible.

‘If you feel you might fall asleep because you are lying down, it might be worth trying to feed in a sitting position or step outside of bed to breastfeed.

‘Make sure you know the advice on when never to bed share so you know when to take particular care. However, it is really important that you do not accidentally fall asleep with your baby on a sofa. If you think you might fall asleep, put the baby down in a safe place to sleep.

‘If you are breastfeeding, have your partner stay up with you, breastfeed in a different position where you are confident you might not fall asleep, or feed the baby somewhere else.’