Jodi - posted on 02/15/2011 ( 76 moms have responded )
February 15, 2011, 5:30 pm
An exhausted young mum who accidentally smothered her newborn daughter after being left unattended to breastfeed is suing the state government for $600,000.
Bela Maddison Lee Heidrich died at Rockhampton Hospital on February 28, 2008, just hours after her birth.
Her mum, Zelia Blomfield, accidentally smothered her after falling asleep while breastfeeding.
According to documents lodged in the Supreme Court in Brisbane on Monday, Ms Blomfield had undergone a difficult and painful labour, and had been awake for more than 24 hours when she gave birth to Bela.
Ms Blomfield claims a midwife positioned her to breastfeed on her side in bed and told her it was okay to fall asleep.
She woke an hour later to find Bela was blue and cold.
An inquest held in the Rockhampton Coroners Court last year heard and an autopsy revealed the tiny girl could have been dead for up to 20 minutes.
No findings have yet been handed down from the inquest but Ms Blomfield has now taken civil action against the state government, which runs the public hospital where Bela died.
According to court documents, Ms Blomfield is claiming $600,000 in damages, costs and interest.
She alleges hospital staff were negligent by failing to advise her of the risks of falling asleep.
She also claims they should have supervised her while she was feeding her new daughter.
Court documents reveal Ms Blomfield has suffered chronic adjustment disorder and post-traumatic stress since Bela's death.
No date has been set for hearing.
Thoughts? I am still actually not sure on my opinion - I am just posting because of the topical issue. I mean, most of us would have had our baby positioned to breastfeed after labour and birth, some of them long labours, so I was interested in opinions.