Mother Says Doctor Allowed Baby to Fall and Hit Its Head on the Floor during Delivery

by in pregnancy

Kalafong HospitalWhile home births do work for some mothers, there are still many moms that prefer the safety and predictability of hospital births. But what happens when the safety and predictability of that hospital is compromised? Unfortunately, one woman found out and the results were nothing short of tragic.

According to the Beeld newspaper, Janine Meiring went into labor on December 24th during her 27th week of pregnancy. The 33-year-old mother had been rushed to the Kalafong Hospital in Alberton, South Africa. She expected to be met with the urgency and safety that her premature birth situation required, but instead, she was met with what was apparently a short-staffed and negligent hospital.

After receiving an ultrasound, Janine says she asked about her baby. The doctor reportedly ignored her question. Janine then says that the hospital was so short staffed that no porter or wheelchair was available to take her back to the nurses so the doctor told her to walk.

“I said I could not and cried,” Janine told Beeld. “The contractions were out of control. He insisted I had to get off the bed and helped me off. I had hardly taken two steps when I felt the baby’s head with my hand. I told the doctor I could feel his head, but he said I should not touch there and pulled my hand away.”

Then, the unthinkable happened. Janine says that the baby fell from her body onto the floor, so hard that it bounced and landed on its head a second time. The baby’s umbilical cord then ruptured.

“Then the baby arrived and slipped through my fingers onto the floor,” Janine said. “I just looked at the doctor in disbelief. With a smile, he told me I had to pick up the baby. He did nothing to help me.”

Janine said she picked her baby up off the floor and ran to the nurses. She said that the baby was struggling to breathe. Sometime after the fall, her baby died.

A pediatrician told Beeld that there are many reasons the baby may have died: the traumatic head injury, the ruptured umbilical cord, underdeveloped lungs from prematurity, infection, or a combination of these issues.

Whatever the reason, Janine’s premature/high risk birth was met with a lack of concern and urgency. Because of this, Janine says the doctor’s license should be revoked.

“He should not work with women or children,” she said.

The Gauteng health department is currently investigating the death of Janine’s baby, and spokesman Simon Zwane says it is being attended to with “extreme urgency.” And while Zwane would not confirm whether or not the doctor being held responsible for the death was on duty, he did say that things will be handled in an appropriate manner.

“We are not happy that, on the face of it, it seems that somebody did not properly manage our patient and it resulted in this unfortunate incident,” Zwane told Beeld. “Once we are done with investigations, the matter will be reported to the Health Professions Council.”

This death follows a string of infant deaths at the George Masebe hospital in Limpopo during the festival period. According to sources, the babies ended up dying from diseases that could have been treated, had there been enough staff and management on duty to tend to the infants’ needs. Since those deaths, a senior manager of the hospital has been suspended.

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About the Author

Kate Givans is a wife and a mother of five—four sons (one with autism) and a daughter. She’s an advocate for breastfeeding, women’s rights, against domestic violence, and equality for all. When not writing—be it creating her next romance novel or here on Growing Your Baby—Kate can be found discussing humanitarian issues, animal rights, eco-awareness, food, parenting, and her favorite books and shows on Twitter or Facebook. Laundry is the bane of her existence, but armed with a cup of coffee, she sometimes she gets it done. Find out more about Kate’s books at

Comments (2)

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  1. Sylvia Glade says:

    My friend give birth to a baby girl @ South Rand Hospital Gauteng on the 7 January 2012. She was cut open like a animal, her bladder was even cut. Instead of treating her she was stitch up again. She had to be transfer where she was open again, and re stitch. How can this happen, the poor woman is in so much pain, she cannot do anything for herself.


    Sylvia Glade

  2. John Noades says:

    Hi Cathy
    The doctor was black but that is not the point.
    The hospital staff did not perform to the professional standards expected / required .
    They showed absolutely no respect for the patent or the child resulting in the death of the child.
    It is my understanding that this type of behaviour has resulted in other incidents of this nature occurring at this hospital with both black and white persons been affected

    What is worse is that they have tried to “COVER UP” their actions on several occasions
    These people don’t seem to give a shit as the tax payer will be paying for their mistakes

    The hospital refuse to give it and other info requested

    If you need more info please contact by E mail

    Kind regards

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