Furious Parents Claim Midwife 'Gouged' Their Baby's Head During Birth


WKRN

Giving birth may not necessarily always be a "fun" experience, but it should certainly be a safe one. Parents should be able to trust that the medical staff in charge of their care are knowledgeable and careful. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. After their baby's head was allegedly gouged multiple times during her birth, two parents are still searching for answers. 

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Cecily Dantam says the day she gave birth to her daughter, Lorelei, was awful. "It was a nightmare. That birth was traumatizing," she told WKRN. On November 26, 2017, she and her husband, Paul, went to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Dantam says that the trouble began when a midwife on staff decided to use an amniotic hook to break her water. "She went in and she was like, 'This is a tough water bag. Oh my god, this is so tough,'" Dantam recalled. "And she was just jamming it in there."

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Paul Dantam says the midwife attempted to break his wife's water with the hook for a while. "She spent 5 to 10 minutes digging with the hook and telling us it was the hardest water bag that she had ever felt."

Unfortunately, what the midwife thought was a particularly "tough" amniotic sack, was actually their baby's head. The Dantams claim that after Cecily gave birth, caretakers rushed Lorelei away for a bath. Shortly after that, the little girl got hypothermia and was admitted to the NICU. 


WKRN

Cecily Dantam says that when she saw her daughter for the first time, she was devastated. "When I saw her head, my heart just dropped."

"After the delivery, they mentioned to us she was having trouble breathing, and she had aspirated some of the amino fluid .... The NICU said they didn't know what happened; it was probably just the trauma of the birth," said Paul Dantam. 

The Dantams firmly believe that the "trauma of the birth" their daughter suffered was caused, almost solely, by the gouges in her head. "I asked several times if you are going to tell me that it was trauma of the labor that caused her to aspirate fluid, how many gouges on a baby's head signifies trauma?" Paul Dantam said. 


WKRN

The parents claim that after they shared their concerns with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, they received a patient letter saying the hospital admitted Lorelei into the NICU because of her low blood oxygen level. It did not, however, mention the gouges on the baby's head anywhere in its explanation.

Understandably, the Dantams are unsatisfied with this response. "I just want an apology. I don't want to have to pay for an injury that was done to my daughter by the hospital staff. That's not right to me," said Cecily Dantam. 

The mother chose to air her grievances in a Facebook post, warning mothers about the hospital and sharing her devastating experience. After it went viral, officials from the hospital contacted the Dantams to set up a meeting. The parents are hoping to reopen their daughter's case. 

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WKRN spoke with midwife Melissa Davis, director of the Vanderbilt Nurse Midwifery Practice, who clarified that incidents like this one are not necessarily common but are always possible. "When we are rupturing the membranes or breaking the water, if the membranes are very tightly pressed around the baby's head, it can be more difficult than if they were looser and more like a balloon, so it is possible to cause a superficial abrasion to a baby's head during that process," she said. "It can happen. It's not considered malpractice, it's not considered poor care; it is just something that can occur during rupturing of membranes."

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