New Mum Seperated from Premature Baby

New mum Ashleigh Wiseman, 18 was seperated from her baby daughter for eight hours because she was told there was no room for her on the helicopter.

A week earlier, Ashleigh was taken by ambulance to the Dr Gray’s Hospital in Glasgow because it was the closest special baby care unit available to her home town Elgin and consisted of a five hour journey.

After spending a week in an incubator McKanna who was born weighing just 3lb 10oz  was strong enough to be moved. The staff at the hospital told Ashleigh that baby would be going by helicopter to the hospital at Aberdeen but there would be no room for mum to go with baby.

Ashleigh, from Buckie, Banffshire, said: "I was treated like a piece of dirt. "A mum and her baby should never be apart, especially when the baby is so small and helpless.

"The whole time I was away from her I panicked. I kept worrying that something was going to go wrong and I would never see her again."

Get the Bus Home Mum Was Told

To make matters worse Ashleigh was handed £50 by the hospital staff and told to take the bus home.  This would have involved travelling some 150 miles on her own.  Angry, upset and missing her baby, Ashleigh said "I couldn't believe it. They gave me £50 for the bus but that was going to take far too long so I paid an extra £30 and got a train."

She was reunited with her baby daugther eight hours later after being given a seat in an ambulance but again had to travel alone as there was no room for her partner David Milner, 27 or her mum Katy.

"I was terrified and cried the whole way down," said Ashleigh.

"I didn't want to be on my own. I needed my family around me."

Happier news is that baby McKenna is now at home with mum and dad and growing stronger and bigger daily.   Ashleigh has said that the experience has ‘put her right off ever having anymore kids’. (A sentence used by many if not all first time mums!)

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said space on air ambulances was limited and it was not normal for mums to travel with babies on flights. She added that Ashleigh had been given travel expenses.

Not Enough Intensive Cots to Care for Premature Babies

Mothers separated from their new born babies is becoming quite common in some parts of the Country due the fact that there are not enough baby specialist units, maternal units or shortage of nursing staff.

After giving birth to twins early this year, Keeley Rayner, 21 did not see or hold her baby girls for over forty-either hours’ due to a shortage of intensive cots in the Leeds hospital.

Keeley was suffering from pre-eclampsia* and was not able to be transferred until two and a half days later where she was finally rejoined with her girls Evie and Isla.

The babies had been born eight weeks premature and weighed 4lbs 6oz and 3lbs 4oz.  Only one intensive care cot was available at the time so there was taken twenty-five miles away to Barnsley hospital for treatment and care.

On the first day of separation new mum was not well enough to travel and on the second day when she could have gone there was no ambulance available.

Ms Rayner's partner Chris Lockwood, 23, added: "I don't think the staff at Leeds was to blame for it – it's the NHS. It's just a nightmare."

*To find out more about pre-eclampsia visit the NHS website >>