A MOTHER who went into hospital for a termination ended up giving birth to the baby who died in her arms.

Despite making the tough decision to terminate her pregnancy late on, because of congenital birth defects, Sofia Khan gave birth to a live, crying, baby boy.

An inquest in Bolton heard how Mrs Khan, a sales assistant from The Haulgh, Bolton, was told at around 21 weeks that her baby had spina bifida.

After talking to her husband, Shakeel Ahmed, and discussing options with clinicians, a decision was made to terminate the pregnancy.

Mrs Khan went to St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester for a procedure to end the baby’s life.

This involved a chemical being injected into the umbilical cord and was done on February 16 by Dr Philip Bullen.

He told assistant coroner Simon Nelson: “I was extremely shocked to hear what had happened ... I was stunned as the procedure had gone exactly how we like the procedure to go, very smoothly.”

Dr Bullen said he had listened for a heartbeat, but could not hear one before he sent Mrs Khan to Royal Bolton Hospital where labour was induced.

He added that new guidance has now been drawn up following Mohammed’s death which includes listening for a heartbeat for longer.

At Royal Bolton Hospital Mrs Khan was seen by midwives Aameena Hajee and then Carol Grundy.

In a statement Mrs Khan described how, at around 7.30pm she was sure she had felt the baby move.

She said she told Mrs Hajee who was in the room with her at the time, and asked if she could use a monitor to ascertain whether the baby had a heartbeat.

Mrs Khan stated: “I felt I was made to feel I had imagined it and I was just being silly and I began to doubt myself.”

But, giving evidence to the inquest, Mrs Hajee insisted:“I don’t recall Mrs Khan saying to me she had felt the baby move.”

“I was really shocked to hear what happened.”

After labour was induced Mrs Khan’s began to have contractions late on the Friday night, and baby Mohammed Rehman Ahmed was born early on February 17.

Mrs Khan told how she how she heard him cry. “I couldn’t believe it,” she said.

Miss Grundy, who delivered Mohammed, said he had come quickly and described how she was trying to prepare the room, not expecting the baby to be born alive.

She added that after Mohammed was born crying and moving she quickly prepared the area for a live birth and called for assistance.

Mrs Khan then held Mohammed until he died.

Mr Nelson recorded a conclusion of death by natural causes. He stated that Mohammed’s death was due to extreme prematurity brought about by compassionate termination of pregnancy, with a secondary cause of congenital malformations.

Mr Nelson praised Mrs Khan’s strength and dignity throughout the proceedings and said: “This has been one of the most sensitive of inquests I have ever had to preside over in 20 years.”

Neonatal consultant Dr Dinakar Seshadri, who had been called in after Mohammed was born said, in view of the serious difficulties the baby had, his parents had been correct to opt for termination.

“At the time it was a brave decision and I believe it was the right decision they took,” he told the coroner.

Mr Nelson has also decided to write to the Department for Health and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in order to share the new guidance drawn up at St Mary’s Hospital.

After the inquest Mrs Khan said: “I can’t blame anybody, it’s something I had to go through.

“It was heartbreaking to have gone through.”