The Freeths clinical negligence team in Oxford are fundraising today in support of Baby Lifeline, the mother and baby charity. 

Baby Lifeline’s overarching aim is to ensure all women and babies have the best possible outcome from pregnancy and birth. Over threequarters of investigated stillbirths and perinatal deaths are found to be preventable. Baby Lifeline works to reduce the numbers of stillbirths and neonatal deaths and to support maternal health, by providing specialist training to medical staff. They also work closely with Trusts and medical professionals to raise funds to purchase equipment for maternity units across the country.  

Baby Lifeline is currently working on a project to standardise the equipment which is taken by midwives to homebirths. Surprisingly there is no standard kit in place for community midwives to take when they go out to deliver babies in the community. 

As a result of a survey conducted with midwives, Baby Lifeline found that 30% of midwives felt that the container they used was not safe for use. 35% of midwives had sourced and purchased the bag they used to carry equipment to homebirths using their own funds.  

Baby Lifeline have developed a standardised equipment bag, designed by an expert working group, to contain all the equipment required for a standard home birth as well as that needed to deal with emergencies. The group also developed processes to ensure that the contents of the bag are replenished and remain up to date. In April 2019 Baby Lifeline began a trial of the bags in six UK Hospital Trusts and it is hoped that following the trial other Trusts will also begin using the bags. 

Funds raised today will go towards supporting the Community Midwife Bags project and enabling more midwives to have the necessary equipment to provide safe care to mothers and babies.

For more information about Baby Lifeline's amazing work please see their website: http://babylifeline.org.uk/home/about-us/