A mum said her c-section baby was scarred for life after she claims her daughter was slashed in the face with a scalpel during the procedure.
Mum Amber Woollard, 23, had the emergency surgery last year after going through 72 hours of labour.
She says newborn Valenci was immediately taken away by midwives, who then told her the news her baby had been born with facial deformities.
Amber from Norwich, Norfolk, claims doctors said it was due to her baby’s position in her stomach.
But she claims a midwife and a plastic surgeon later said the alleged injury – a cut under the baby’s nose – could not have happened in the womb.
Valenci is expected to undergo three surgeries in the coming years to minimise the scarring on her face, although even then the scars will still be visible, her mum said.
Amber, who worked as a carer before falling pregnant, hopes her story can help prevent the same thing happening to other newborn babies.
She said: “I see this as a case of serious case of neglect from the NHS.
“My darling daughter has been left with scars for the rest of her life because of this.
“The incident has shattered my faith in the NHS, I don’t trust them anymore.
“When she was born the doctors told me something had happened to her in the womb.
“Having spoken to other people I now no longer believe that’s what happened.”
She added: “To see your newborn with injuries to her face is really upsetting.
“I love her no matter what but I do worry about what the future may hold for her.
“I worry that she might have problems when she starts school with other children.
“People might ask what’s wrong with her face and that’s really sad.”
Mum and daughter both picked up an infection and had to stay in hospital for for five days after the birth, on April 15 last year.
Amber says doctors told her the two-inch laceration directly beneath Valenci’s nose was suffered while she was still in the womb due to her positioning.
However, two days into their stay at Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital a midwife apparently told the first-time mum that injuries like Valenci’s could not have been suffered in the womb.
Since returning home Amber claims to have been told by a plastic surgeon the same thing – that nothing in the womb is sharp enough to lacerate an infant so severely.
Valenci has been seeing an NHS plastic surgeon, who believes she will need three surgeries in the coming years.
In a statement from statement from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital said it is “very unlikely” it happened during the c-section.
A spokesperson said: “We’d like to repeat our apologies to Ms Woollard for not meeting her expectations and the distress caused following the birth of her daughter.
“The Maternity Department at NNUH aims to deliver a high standard of care at all times and we take any complaints seriously to see what lessons can be learnt to improve future patient care.
“We are sorry that her daughter was born with signs of facial trauma and we have explained to Ms Woollard why we believe the facial marks were very unlikely to have been caused by the scalpel used during the caesarean section.
“We’d be happy to talk to Ms Woollard further if she has any further questions or concerns.”
Amber is using crowdfunding website GoFundMe to raise money to pay for a second opinion, as she no longer trusts the NHS.
Donate to the family here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-valenci-have-a-bright-confident-future