A couple whose baby died after he was starved of oxygen during a home birth are campaigning for risky breech deliveries to be spotted earlier.
Arthur Trott was an undiagnosed breech baby, born after a planned home birth in Burgess Hill on 24 May 2021.
An inquest into his death found a delay in transfer to hospital “materially contributed” to his brain injury.
The South East Coast Ambulance Service Trust said it welcomed “any changes to national breech birth guidance”.
A breech delivery is when a baby’s bottom or feet will emerge first.
Mrs Trott, 33, went into labour at home at 03:00 on 24 May 2021 when she was 37 weeks pregnant.
About two hours later, it was recognised Arthur was “an unanticipated footling breech”, the Record of Inquest states.
A 999 call was made and the first paramedics attended at about 05:50.
‘Panic and confusion’
Mrs Trott arrived at the hospital at about 06:30 and Arthur was delivered minutes later.
He was born in a very poor condition and died four days later.
Mrs Trott said: “Life without Arthur is very painful. There is a real gap in our family where he should be and it will forever feel like a part of us is missing.”
Arthur’s parents believe a breakdown in communication between the paramedics who attended and their control room meant Mrs Trott was kept at home too long.
Arthur’s father, Matt Trott, said: “You could hear the panic and confusion in everyone’s voices. One minute they were told to go to hospital, the next minute to stay.”
As a result of Arthur’s death, all planned home births in Sussex are being offered a presentation scan at 38 weeks.
Mrs Trott said: “I’ve since found out I had all the tell-tale signs of a footling breech, such as feeling kicks in my lower stomach and a hard swelling below my ribs, but I didn’t know what they were.”
A spokesman for Secamb: “We offer our sincere condolences to Mr and Mrs Trott and we welcome any changes to national breech birth guidance aimed at improving maternity care.”
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- Burgess Hill