Berkshire

Woman bled to death after placenta 'ripped out' in home birth

A woman who was so anxious about giving birth she hired an independent midwife bled to death after her placenta was "ripped out", an inquest has heard.

Claire Teague, 29, hired Rosie Kacary when she fell pregnant for the second time in 2009 after losing one of her twins in an emergency Caesarean.

Mrs Teague, from Berkshire, opted for a home birth on the advice of Ms Kacary, Windsor Coroner's Court heard.

The baby survived the birth on 1 August 2010, but Mrs Teague died in hospital.

Mrs Teague, of Woodley, near Reading, began to feel unwell after the birth, complained of being in pain and started bleeding heavily, the inquest heard.

Her husband, Simon Teague, told the hearing his wife had been "brainwashed" into having a home birth by the midwife.

Massive bleed

The father-of-two said he felt anxious as he watched his wife's placenta being "ripped out" in an "aggressive manner" when the midwife found she could not remove it normally.

He recalled how Ms Kacary examined his wife by torchlight as the room was dark.

Mr Teague said she told him his wife had suffered a minor tear.

After Ms Kacary left, Mrs Teague felt weak and complained she was in pain.

The midwife reassured Mr Teague it was normal following birth but after repeated contact she returned to the house to find the mother had stopped breathing.

Mrs Teague suffered a massive bleed in the ambulance as she was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, where doctors found 30% of her placenta had not been removed.

Mr Teague said: "When we were in the hospital [Ms Kacary] came up to me and she said, 'I should have stayed longer shouldn't I'?"

Surgeons attempted to stop the bleeding but Mrs Teague died later that day.

Dr Helen Allott, a consultant gynaecologist, who said a placenta should never be "tugged", expressed disbelief that the mother had not been taken to hospital earlier.

"In my opinion had the placenta been examined in good light in a conventional manner it would have been apparent that a large piece was missing," she said.

She said the decision for Mrs Teague to have her baby at home was a high risk considering her history of blood loss during her previous labour,

The inquest continues.

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