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Mother fights for maternity rights

Kirsty Houston says the birth was so bad that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Photo:

A mother from Cambridgeshire claims that a hospital is breaching her human rights by not letting her give birth where she chooses.

Kirsty Houston, from Bar Hill, says Addenbrooke's Hospital will not let her use its new birth centre, because she is high risk. The hospital says it is working in the best interests of mother and baby.

Kirsty is expecting her second child. When she had her son Rylan, three years ago, she planned a home birth. In the end though she needed an emergency caesarian section, and was taken to the Rosie Hospital at Addenbrooke's in Cambridge.

She says that the birth was so bad that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. She wants to make it clear that the staff were great and could not have helped what happened, but she says the experience caused flash backs and nightmares for a year.

This time she wants to go to the Rosie Hospital's new birth centre, which opened last year. Addenbrooke's though says it is not appropriate, as the unit is for women with low risk pregnancies and because of what happened last time Kirsty is considered high risk. The hospital wants her to go to the delivery unit where she had her first baby.

Kirsty believes this will make her feel stressed, and that she will feel safer in the birth centre. The Rosie Hospital says safety is also its main concern.

"In some situations, where there is a higher chance of problems arising, mothers need to be closer to expert help from obstetricians and paediatricians and therefore are best cared for on the Delivery Unit.

"We would very much like to discuss Ms Houston's situation with her, so we can help her to make the choice which is best for her and her baby."

– Spokesperson, The Rosie Hospital

Kirsty says her feelings are being ignored. With her baby due in six weeks, both sides hope they can resolve the issue in time.