Mum Turned Away From Maternity Unit Gives Birth In Bathroom 40 Minutes Later

A heavily pregnant woman was turned away by a hospital's maternity unit - only to give birth 40 minutes later in her mother's bathroom.

Zeenat Patel said she and her partner, Yaseen Lockhat, first went to the maternity unit at Royal Bolton Hospital at around 3.30pm on Thursday July 3.

She claims a triage nurse told her she was not in 'active' labour and advised her to go home until the contractions became more frequent.

But an hour after the couple left, Zeenat, 26, found herself in constant pain and called the maternity triage nurse at 5.50pm - and was told again to wait at home.

Concerned their baby was just minutes away from being born, the couple drove back to the hospital by car.

Zeenat said: "My labour pains were getting a lot stronger and I just knew the baby was going to come soon.

"By the time I had explained this over the phone, got cut off and got back through again, we were outside the hospital doors.

"I was told that because I was talking between contractions I couldn't be that close, but I was in pain all the time.

"They spoke to me like I was a child, like I didn't know my own body.

"I'd given birth before and I knew what was happening, but they wouldn't listen. We were left with no alternative but to go home."

But as soon as Yaseen dropped her off at her mother's house, Zeenat started to give birth.

Zeenat told the Bolton News: "I shut myself in the toilet and when I sat down I could feel the head.

"All I could do was push. I kept thinking if they had checked me, I wouldn't be giving birth in this situation.

"I stayed in the toilet because I didn't want my three-year-old daughter, Jasmine, to see what was happening.

"Giving birth is meant to be a special experience, but this was just traumatic."

When her mother, Hanifa, heard her daughter scream in the toilet and saw the baby's head, she dialled 999.

She managed to help her daughter to the living room where she delivered the baby herself at 6.30pm, with the aid of an ambulance call-handler.

Hanifa, 54, said: "It all happened so quickly. It was very scary. I grabbed some towels and managed to lie her down in the living room.

"It was very difficult because I had to hold the phone and catch the baby as she was born."

To make matters worse, baby Liyana came out with the cord around her neck.

Zeenat added: "My mother was a midwife so I remembered some of the things she had told me."

Paramedics arrived 25 minutes after baby Liyana was born - weighing 6lb 2oz - and took mother and daughter to hospital.

Zeenat said: "I was so grateful my mum was there - I don't know what I would have done without her.

"All I want to know is how and why this was allowed to happen. Imagine if it had been someone who didn't have her family around her."

Sue Anderton, head of midwifery at the hospital, said: "A senior matron met with Zeenat and her family as soon as we heard of these concerns and I followed this up and went to meet them myself.

"Clearly they are very upset and we will look into what happened thoroughly and get back to them."