A mum who had to travel to several hospitals following complications with her third pregnancy has slammed the plans to downgrade maternity at the DGH, saying it will result in deaths.
Charlotte Cogger’s waters broke at 28 weeks and as a result she ended up in several hospitals before giving birth five weeks later. The ordeal for the 28-year-old, who had to spend time apart from her family, began in May last year when her waters broke and she was taken to a hospital in Portsmouth after she was told Eastbourne was unable to deal with a baby at that gestation.
She was there for five days and said it was difficult for her family to travel and see her, adding, “My husband came to see me every other day. We have two other children so he couldn’t come all the time, plus there’s the cost of petrol. That was difficult enough, not being able to see my children.”
Charlotte took medication to ensure the labour didn’t progress. After her time at Portsmouth she visited the DGH for blood tests and scans. But after suffering an infection at 33 weeks, Charlotte, who has two other children Bethany, six, and Amelia, three, went to Hastings because the Special Care Baby Unit at Eastbourne was full.
She was induced but this didn’t work and she ended up having an emergency Caesarean. After 10 days the Thornwood Close resident said she was expected to go home and travel every day to the Conquest to breastfeed baby Aidan. Luckily a space then became available at the Special Care Baby Unit in Eastbourne which meant she was closer to home and able to travel in and see her newborn.
Her son Aidan, now eight months old, was born with respiratory distress syndrome but is now a healthy baby.
She said, “It was a really difficult time. If they make these changes at the DGH then hundreds of women could be in the same situation as me and have complications. There are going to be fatalities. The worst thing would be for women that are low risk to have complications during labour, it’s hard to travel and spend time away from your family. They could end up in Surrey or Essex.”
• The Herald is looking to speak to a series of pregnant women in Eastbourne who would be willing to discuss their views on the changes to maternity at the DGH and also keep a video diary of their journey through the pregnancy.
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