Midwife Sheena Byrom proverbially shits all over a loss parent

sheena byrom silence copy

UK midwives have no shame.

First their negligence kills a man’s son. Then they proverbially shit all over him when he seeks to hold them accountable.

[pullquote align=”right” color=”#dc4c2a”]What’s compassionate about insinuating that a loss father is a liar, Sheena?[/pullquote]

What is wrong with the NHS that they allow patients to be publicly treated with the utmost contempt?

What is wrong with Sheila Byrom, a midwifery “leader” no less, that she is now publicly questioning the truth of James Titcombe’s book about his late son Joshua?

In a remarkable testament to the veracity of James’ new book Joshua’s Story, detailing the preventable death of his newborn son and the subsequent cover up, Jeremy Hunt, the UK Secretary of Health, publicly promoted it on Twitter.

Byrom retweet

In response, one woman accused James of making it up:

no doubt sensationalized out of all recognition of the truth to suit

That’s not surprising. Twitter is full of heartless trolls whose idea of a good time is calling other people liars.

What’s surprising is that midwifery leader Sheila Byrom retweeted the hateful words and “liked” it to boot. She was joined by her daughter Anna Byrom, also a midwife.

Ironically, Byrom is the author of the book The Roar Behind the Silence: Why kindness, compassion and respect matter in maternity care.

What’s compassionate about insinuating that a loss father is a liar, Sheena?

This is not the first time that Sheena Byrom has publicly treated Titcombe with contempt as he tries to prevent others from enduring the searing loss that he and his wife were forced to endure.

Sheena Byrom 1

Highlights include:

oh James-don’t let’s get on that roll again …


getting out of bed in the morning has risks

Yes, James, how could you be so tiresome, always going on about the risks of childbirth and the babies who die as a result? Sheena is so over that.

Byrom ought to be ashamed of herself for the chilling way that she dismissed the father of a baby who died as a result of midwifery incompetence. But that would involve insight, compassion and a sense of responsibility, something in woefully short supply among UK midwives in general and Byrom in particular.

In the book, James writes movingly about the hours after Joshua’s death at 9 days old:

We take it in turns to hold him, kiss him, tell him how much we love him and how sorry we are. And then we have to say goodbye. In the nicest possible way, the nurses tell us that Joshua has to be moved out of the room and we understand. Other babies need to be cared for and staff need to do their best and carry on with their jobs. We talk about the practicalities – where Joshua’s body would be sent. We are given the option of taking Joshua’s body away with us back to Cumbria by car. This we simply can’t face; Joshua is taken to the mortuary…

We get to the hotel later that evening. The night is spent in tears, desolate and empty. The next day my parents take Emily in their car. It takes some time to get Hoa into our car. She doesn’t want to move. On the way back home Hoa tries to jump out of the moving car twice. Each time I have to swerve and stop violently.

My wife simply doesn’t want to live…

How can Byrom read something like that and treat that father so viciously?

Byrom has proverbially publicly shit all over a loss parent, more than once, and has been allowed to get away with it.


Sheena Byrom should publicly apologize to James Titcombe and acknowledge that her contemptuous treatment has no place in contemporary midwifery.

102 Responses to “Midwife Sheena Byrom proverbially shits all over a loss parent”

  1. nata
    December 3, 2015 at 10:10 am #

    After reading the story I really could not understand why the baby with this history and warning signs has not been referred for a pediatric review. And why the heads did not fall :(. I don’t even imagine anything like this happening at my unit – all the midwives are so thorough, attentive and very strict to themselves and us students. Also, the obs of both the baby and the mother would be recorded in the main notes as well as in the chart. And what happened to the statement “if you have not documented it you have not done it” it seems that we live in different worlds.

    • mabelcruet
      December 5, 2015 at 11:17 am #

      The Kirkup report discussed dysfunctional teams in great detail-the midwives and medical staff didn’t work together as a unit and the midwives didn’t refer cases to the medics, so its possible that the medical staff had no idea the baby was unwell. I’ve worked with a unit where the medical staff were only allowed onto the ward if they were invited on by the midwife, so the doctors maybe were not doing a regular ward round, or were not called routinely. Alternatively, the midwives concerned may not have recognised that the baby was unwell initially-they seemed to just try and get his temperature up using heat lamps (they all gave the same evidence in court that they weren’t aware that a low temperature was a sign of sepsis-although that wasn’t accepted by Kirkup-he accused them of agreeing a story amongst themselves to stick to).

      Basically, what the report described was a dysfunctional team with poor inter and intra-disciplinary relationships, a lack of focus or leadership, lack of accountability, dominant personalities over riding and bullying weaker ones, who ended up staying quiet so they didn’t get into trouble, a team where a group of loud and forceful people took ‘possession’ of mothers and their pregnancy and if anything went wrong it was brushed off with ‘well, some babies aren’t meant to live’. The impression I got from Kirkup was that there had been attempts made to improve the unit, but the gang of musketeer midwives had the place in a stranglehold and no one dared say anything too loud or it would have made life difficult for them. Bullying by exclusion is very much an issue in the NHS-there is often a group of individuals who hold a lot of power over their unit and no one dare say anything against them because the opprobrium from the favoured group will turn on them, so there may be workers who have misgivings about certain practices, but who daren’t speak up because they don’t want to be blamed, or picked on, or got at. It’s recognised as an issue that stops whistleblowers from whistleblowing, because work is already a difficult place but complaining will make it even more difficult.

  2. PInky
    December 2, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

    It would be the Daily Mail that would be sensationalising the book, not the book per se, I think you’ll find. The DM is renowned for jumping on bandwagons & sensationalisation. This is not belittling Emily & James’ dreadful loss in anyway, just putting that quote into context. Something Amy tends to forget to do.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      December 2, 2015 at 6:35 pm #

      If that were the case, why didn’t Sheena Byrom clarify that? Why did she whine that SHE was being victimized?

      Nice effort at making excuses for her, but her actions speak for themselves.

    • Amazed
      December 2, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

      Really? Why did you choose to forget Sheena Byrom’s distasteful, heartless comments to James that were copied here, in this post? They weren’t about the book. They were indicative of the Sheena creature’s attitude to James and they make a logical context for the derision she’s currently displaying. A context aimed at James Titcombe and yes, belittling his loss.

      How hard is it to forget something that was displayed, let’s see, in bright blue letters to make it visible immediately?

    • moto_librarian
      December 2, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

      Except that’s exactly what Sheena has done and continues to do. She then pretends that she is the real victim. It is disgusting.

    • mabelcruet
      December 3, 2015 at 5:45 am #

      Who is Emily? Mr Titcombe’s wife is called Hoa.

      Sheena Byrom knows full well that the book is not sensationalised-Mr Titcombe has stated that he saw the excerpts before publication to make sure they were accurate. If this was just a one off episode then perhaps yes, I could see that it could be explained by thinking of it as the Daily Mail going over the top, but this is the latest in a series of disrespectful, dismissive, and insensitive comments and behaviour from Byrom-its part of a pattern that we’ve come to expect from her. Her twitter feed is full of narcissistic comments about how awesome she is, and as soon as she’s criticised, she complains of being victimised. This is absolutely typical of her.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
        December 3, 2015 at 9:53 am #

        Emily is Hoa and James eldest child. She was three when her baby brother died. Her saying goodbye at the hospital is mentioned in the Daily Mail article I believe.

        • mabelcruet
          December 3, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

          Thanks, I’d missed that. Probably something to do with the tears in my eyes at how utterly awful this has been from start to finish.

  3. Amy Tuteur, MD
    December 2, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    Predictably she feels sorry for HERSELF!

    • Ash
      December 2, 2015 at 10:36 am #

      What did @MidwivesRCM say? I don’t know Twitter very well. I’m surprised that @MidwivesRCM would say anything critical of Byrom.

      • moto_librarian
        December 2, 2015 at 10:05 pm #

        I tweeted that very question to RCM today. Still no answer.

        • Sue
          December 2, 2015 at 10:36 pm #

          RCM is the UK midwives’ professional association / union. Not the regulator.

    • Roadstergal
      December 2, 2015 at 11:16 am #

      At least she’s familiar with the word ‘unacceptable.’ Maybe she can learn how to apply it properly. What an asshole.

    • PrimaryCareDoc
      December 2, 2015 at 11:27 am #

      She needs to get herself off of Twitter. Immediately.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD
        December 2, 2015 at 11:54 am #

        The appalling thing is not merely that she says it, but that she feels free to say it without any worry of being reprimanded.

    • demodocus
      December 2, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

      reminds me of my newly-ex-neighbor. She probably called 20-30 times in September alone to tell me that I need to stop my 22 month old from running and banging all day. Like I wasn’t trying? She doesn’t realize that her phone calls could count as harassment.

  4. mabelcruet
    December 2, 2015 at 9:31 am #

    This is like car-crash TV-she’s now tweeted Mr Titcombe and told him that it is unacceptable to victimise and intimidate her like this. Has she NO insight at all? No understanding of human behaviour? No empathy? She is coming across like a narcissist of the highest order.

    And meanwhile, someone else has posted on her time line with a quote: ‘she is pure in heart and organised chaos in her soul. Love is her native tongue but it is not spoken from her lips, it screams from within. She is a beacon of hope in a cascading world of despair’ And now they are all agreeing that they all are beacons of light and love. Why are they so up themselves???

  5. Chione
    December 2, 2015 at 4:10 am #

    Well, to be fair, Jeremy Hunt is a disgraceful excuse of a human being and tweeted about the book undoubtedly not out of any kind of concern but as a part of his ongoing effort to run the NHS to the ground, and anything coming out of him deserves to be treated with extreme scepticism. That being said, broken clocks & so forth. Promoting this book is probably one of the few at least coincidentally good things the man has managed to do.

  6. LizzieSt
    December 1, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    Adding to my comment from yesterday: Not only should she not be trusted with a litter of kittens, she should not be trusted with the care of any cats at all. Or any people. Because both deserve better than someone who airily dismisses the preventable death of a baby with “getting out of bed in the morning has risks.” Anyone who does that really should keep her distance from all living creatures, period. I have spoken.

    • Mishimoo
      December 1, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

      I approve of this statement and wholeheartedly endorse it’s immediate implementation.

    • Azuran
      December 1, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

      And I should add: Getting out of bed has risks, but it’s not a reason to put your bed next to a cliff.

      • Roadstergal
        December 1, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

        And it for damn sure doesn’t excuse your professional tour guide from not warning you of the cliff and shrugging as your baby tumbles down it.

        • Sarah
          December 2, 2015 at 3:20 am #

          Tumbling is a variation of normal.

          • momofone
            December 2, 2015 at 7:27 am #

            Exactly. And tumbling down a cliff only hurts if one has been conditioned to expect it to hurt.

          • Roadstergal
            December 2, 2015 at 11:17 am #

            That’s Spinning Babies, right?

      • Sarah
        December 2, 2015 at 3:15 am #

        Putting your bed next to a cliff is fine if you’re in the right position and eschew ultrasounds.

        • MaineJen
          December 3, 2015 at 10:09 am #

          Is that the equivalent of “Don’t look down, and you won’t see how far you have to fall?”

  7. Barbara Delaney
    December 1, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    I had never heard of Milli Hill’s Positive Birth Stories effort. You would almost have thought the dearth of positive accounts would have given Milli pause for thought, why were there so few? Instead she made every effort to persuade women their home births were “positive” events and to give them a platform on which to share their fairy tales.

    “Positive Birth Stories connects pregnant women with women who’ve had positive birth experiences by email; the now countless Positive Birth Groups around the country are a place where pregnant women can hear stories and share wisdom first hand. And from our kitchen tables, we keep the fire burning beneath it all with a busy and very buzzy presence on facebook and twitter.”

    ‘I think about my birth every day of my life.’

    ‘At home, I understood what I had to do and the part I had to play – which was to let my body get on with it. It was much easier doing that at home, where I didn’t have to make any decisions to make or to think about anything else at all.’

    Who on earth thinks about their child’s birth every day of their life?! And notice her language, “my” birth, not her infant’s birth, no…it’s all about her.

    The immense egos possessed by the Sheena, Anna, and Milli’s of the midwifery world blind them to how they’re perceived by those outside of their weird world view. People who come to this story for the first time through the Daily Mail coverage won’t be sympathetic to these vile women. Their sympathies will lie with the Titcombe family.

    • Madtowngirl
      December 1, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

      I’m equally disturbed by her comments that she “didn’t have to make any decisions ” or “think about anything else.” Maybe I’m just being sensitive, but the idea of having all my choices taken away so I didn’t have to think is really icky.

      • Roadstergal
        December 1, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

        It skeeves me out, too. She didn’t have to make any decisions because there was no monitoring to warn her of anything that might happen, and almost no interventions even if they had known something was up.

    • Dr Kitty
      December 1, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

      I take it Milli wouldn’t be interested in my positive birth experiences of two planned prelabour sections that I opted for rather than attempting labour?
      I found them deeply rewarding, empowering, beautiful spiritual experiences through which I got to meet my babies.
      And I didn’t have to make any decisions or think about anything other than meeting my babie either.

      Not the right kind of birth?

      • mythsayer
        December 3, 2015 at 12:29 am #

        I am SO with you on that. I am literally at a loss to understand why anyone would even want to TRY labor. It sounds atrocious to me. And I even ended up with a dural tear and had to get a blood patch. Even with that, the CS was the best thing ever. Don’t get me wrong…I’m all for having he birth you’d like, so if labor is someone’s thing, fine by me. I just can’t understand it at all.

        I went in as planned, baby was removed, I got to rest. Pain was typical surgery pain, I got some pain killers even though they tried to talk me out of it since I was giving breast feeding a try. After about a week, pain was mostly gone and my nether regions are still perfect. The thought of going to the bathroom with a tear of any kind horrifies me.

        I later had a tummy tuck and my tummy is still wonderfully flat. And since I’m having ONE kid and one ONLY, why wouldn’t I want a CS? My mom tried to talk me out of it and even she agreed in the end that it was the right decision. You and I are kindred spirits.

      • SisterMorphine
        December 10, 2015 at 10:30 am #

        Dr. Kitty–that’s exactly what I did. It was pretty much worry-free. Usually when women talk about how awful their c-secs were, it’s b/c they had an exhausting 2-3 day labour on top of it or it was an emergency & everyone was terrified. I think women should be given as much “education” about the elective c-section & its risks & benefits as they are about other birth choices, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

        • Roadstergal
          December 10, 2015 at 11:49 am #

          Not when NICE is telling women that C-sections are automatically a ‘negative outcome.’

  8. Amazed
    December 1, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    I can totally see Sheena and Anna a few years ahead in the road: that would be Margo and Janey fron Mew Zealand. The same pair of arrogant whiners who think their “suffering” with unrelieved pain is far worse than the mere discomfort of women who don’t receive an epidural in childbirth.

    ETA: I find this pattern of daughters following their mothers into midwifery very disturbing. It’s like a family tradition or something. When mothers offer such dubious morals in their profession, nothing good is bound to happen. With the leadership and educational institutions sending a disturbing vibe like the one we see so often, having a mother who is part of them isn’t going to help. It’ll just exacerbate the problem.

    • Sue
      December 1, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

      And also the fact that they both start their twitter profiles with “midwife” and “mother”. I’m a mother too, and a doctor, but those two roles don’t define me.

    • Medwife
      December 1, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

      To your edit, it’s disturbing when a child follows their bad midwife mother into midwifery. A CNM friend of mine is a midwife like her mother, who in no way resembles the ones involved in the fiasco in the UK. Bad family professions exist for docs, too. Look at the Sears’s. It’s handing down a lucrative scam of a family business. My husband followed his dad into medicine and in my totally biased opinion, they are good doctors. It can influence things that way, too.

      • Amazed
        December 2, 2015 at 4:49 am #

        Edit accepted. That’s why I wrote “with the leadership and educational institutions sending a disturbing vibe like the one we see so often”. Notice that I didn’t write “bad education” or something like that. I don’t think midwife education, the way it’s in the UK, is bad at all. It’s what leadership and educational institution advise doing with it that yields the bad results we read about. In this sense, they take over the role of the “bad mother”. When there’s a real “bad mother” involved as well, the result can be predicted. I’d bet Anna Byrom wasn’t as compassionate as her mother Sheena was 38 years ago (Jayne’s post below). My guess is that Sheena didn’t have a “bad midwife mother”. She worked on her despicable attitude all on herself.

      • mythsayer
        December 3, 2015 at 12:35 am #

        I got slammed once for admitting this, but I’m kind of torn on the Sears’. They spew a lot of BS, but the actual practice is a LOT different. They don’t just offer vaccines…they RECOMMEND them. They are more than happy to give out antibiotics when necessary. Even less reticent to do so than many other doctors I’ve seen. Honestly, their actual practice is, like, totally normal.

        They will let you be into the woo if you want. They’ll let you not vaccinate. But I can tell you from first hand experience that when it was time for some vaccinations, they were in that room saying “so here’s what she needs…you’re getting them, right? Because we recommend getting them all.”

        I think they’ve made a lot of money on the woo crowd but deep down, they seem to act like good, responsible doctors. This doesn’t mean that what they do is right. I agree it’s wrong to make money off the misinformation. But in private, they aren’t all that wacky (unless you want them to be).

        • Roadstergal
          December 3, 2015 at 11:04 am #

          “I think they’ve made a lot of money on the woo crowd ”

          The thing I can’t accept or forgive is that “Dr Bob” is basically selling “medical exemptions” for SB277.

    • Chi
      December 2, 2015 at 1:33 am #

      I don’t think I’ve heard of Margo and Janey. Are they regular parachuters?

      • Amazed
        December 2, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

        No but Jane Townsend parachuted here to explain how wonderful midwives are (she and her mom are midwives in New Zealand and mom Margo has her own problems with bad homebirth outcomes), how epidurals were not needed, support and encouragement from midwives were and native women (in Haiti, I think) didn’t experience labour as hard as white women. Then she complained that HER IV infusion of something was unbearable and compared it to a manual extraction of a retained placenta. Not quite sure of the medical detail, since she, predictably, deleted all her signed in comments. Then Mommy Margo flied in to defend her. Oh, and Jane thought doctors were totally wrong to be hostile to midwives dropping their “pathological” troubles in doctors’ laps because it was perfectly reasonable for women to stay home until things became “pathological”.

        That’s the post.


        • Chi
          December 2, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

          Ugh, just shows that ‘holier than thou’ midwives exist all over the world.

  9. Amazed
    December 1, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

    Of course she’ll author a book about compassionate care. OF COURSE. Why should her attitude to James Titcombe stop her? Didn’t one of the midwives directly involved in Joshua’s death make a risk manager in the same freaking hospital they killed him in? What is there for Sheena to fear?

  10. Barbara Delaney
    December 1, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

    From Sheena’s blog;

    “Over the past 4 years I have missed Christmas days. New Years days. Family’s birthdays. Countless nights out. I had a good education and did very well at school. I am 22. I have held the hands of women through the most emotional times of their lives. I have dressed angels we have had to say goodbye too. I have supported women to make decisions that empower them. I have been scared myself. Tired, stressed, emotional every day. Yet I am not and will not be paid well like my friends who have chosen business careers. I am not offered pay rises for my efforts or successes.”

    It’s from some ridiculous tripe called something like ” a young midwife’s first roar”, I notice this young midwife has learned the lessons taught by the elder midwives very well. First, there’s the resentment about not being paid as well as women who have chosen business careers, secondly, the complaints about working holidays. We all know doctors, nurses, and all other medical professionals get every single holiday off, right? And, third, the cloying comment about dressing “angels”. Let’s talk about why we’ve had to say goodbye to them, shall we?

    • demodocus
      December 1, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

      Sheesh. Firefighters, policemen, farmers, and the janitors in hospitals all work holidays too. Heck, many grocery store clerks, restaurant staff, and baristas work holidays too.

      • Roadstergal
        December 1, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

        I worked evenings, weekends, and holidays as a Starbuck’s barista at minimum wage to get through grad school (and I was older than 22). I supported women to make decisions that empowered them (if you haven’t seen empowerment after a quad Americano, you haven’t seen empowerment).

      • fiftyfifty1
        December 1, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

        …hotel staff, pilots, flight attendants, snow plow drivers, gas station attendants, heads of state, au pairs, sex workers, clergy, movie theater projectionists… sheesh, half the world works, has worked or will work on holidays.

        • Sue
          December 1, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

          (Stray thought: I want to be a snow plough driver – looks likes heaps of fun. Only, no snow where I live. Sigh.)

          • demodocus
            December 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

            Maybe you could be a ferry captain; an uncle did that during the summer and plowed during the winter after he retired from being a sailor

          • Sue
            December 2, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

            Great suggestion! I do live near a harbour 🙂

          • Sue
            December 2, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

            (I’ve never been a sailor but – hey – I can row a dinghy – sort of – so that should be enough, right?)

      • mabelcruet
        December 2, 2015 at 3:36 am #

        I love working bank holidays and public holidays-it means I can have a day off in lieu during normal working days and I love having a day off midweek when everyone else is at work.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          December 2, 2015 at 3:55 am #

          You get extra days off for the holidays you work? In the US, at least at places where I’ve worked, we just get told “that’s too bad, suck it up or get a new job.” This might have something to do with why I’m no longer in practice in the US.

          • mabelcruet
            December 2, 2015 at 5:06 am #

            Yes-we have statutory days (bank holidays, like Christmas, boxing day, Easter Monday). I’m on call from home on those days for any emergencies. If I get called in then I get time off in lieu. I have to say though that it doesn’t make my workload less-the work that would have been done on the day I take off is still waiting for me the day I come back, all it does is delay it being done, so I don’t really take any of my stat days in lieu.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            December 2, 2015 at 7:42 am #

            Sigh. If I weren’t creeped out by this scandal I’d apply to the NHS. Actually, I might anyway because, well, watch the US Republican party debates and you’ll know why. Do they recognize US medical degrees?

          • mabelcruet
            December 2, 2015 at 8:50 am #

            It depends on the medical school I think: GMC looks after applications from outside the EU-I’d imagine there’s an awful lot of paperwork to do.


          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            December 2, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

            My school’s on the list of accepted medical schools, but it’s a 4 year school, not a 5 year. Hard to say what that would do to things…there’s always New Zealand, I suppose. Or I can try to get to a C1 level in German. Or maybe I’m just freaking out too much about the primaries and should chill for now.

          • mabelcruet
            December 3, 2015 at 7:18 am #

            You’ll have to hurry up if you’re thinking of New Zealand-with the mess Jeremy Hunt is making of the NHS, large numbers of doctors from the UK are heading there, there won’t be many jobs left soon!

    • Sarah
      December 1, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

      TBH I’m with her on the money point, our NHS nurses and midwives aren’t paid nearly enough considering how hard they work. I don’t think the presence of some extremely worrying attitudes in UK midwifery negates that point.

      • Sue
        December 1, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

        True – but no NHS professionals earn the money they could earn in private practice.

        • Christina Maxwell
          December 1, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

          And there is bugger all in the way of private maternity in the UK so they didn’t exactly go into it with their eyes shut. Which doesn’t mean that the good ones shouldn’t be paid better when possible.

          • mabelcruet
            December 2, 2015 at 3:34 am #

            And even if the mother went private for her obstetric care, if the baby is miscarried or stillborn then the autopsy is carried out as an NHS case-I’ve never done a private autopsy case.

        • Sarah
          December 2, 2015 at 3:18 am #

          Yes, but at least some of them are earning more than most other professionals would. I say this as a fellow professional who’s on the nurse rather than consultant end of the spectrum, because legal aid.

      • fiftyfifty1
        December 1, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

        “Clearly Sheena is a genital wart of a woman ”

        Let’s not malign genital warts. Sure they are a pain, but the vast majority of cases are totally benign and go away on their own within 3 years.

        • Sarah
          December 2, 2015 at 3:18 am #

          I can’t really argue with that.

    • swbarnes2
      December 1, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

      Two deaths in 4 years, if not more? Does you think she’s seeing more than one client a week?

  11. AllieFoyle
    December 1, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    Kindness, compassion, respect? I don’t think she knows what those words mean.

    • JayneS
      December 1, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

      Sheena showed a tremendous amount of kindness, compassion and support when she cared for my mother through her pregnancy and birth of me. My mum had my sister, who has Downs Syndrome, at the age of 21. She then had my brother at 34 weeks who died a day later (this was 38 years ago). To say she was scared throughout her 3rd pregnancy is an understatement. She credits Sheena with getting her through this incredibly tough time. I am not a personal friend of Sheena’s. I just know what she did for my mother and our family will never be forgotten.

      • AllieFoyle
        December 1, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

        Thanks for your comment. It’s hard to reconcile your mother’s experience with her heartless treatment of Mr. Titcombe.

        • Sue
          December 2, 2015 at 6:59 pm #

          Nearly everyone can be nice to people when they choose to be, and the person is on their side. It’s a much greater test to be gracious – or, at least, silent, in response to a grieving, devastated, angry family.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD
        December 1, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

        How does that excuse the way that she has treated James Titcombe?

        • JayneS
          December 2, 2015 at 4:27 am #

          I’m not in any way trying to excuse anything, just offering a different perspective.

      • Amazed
        December 1, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

        While I believe you and your mother, 38 years is a long period of time. Does your mother think Sheena’s publicly known treatment of Mr Titcombe fits the compassion she received from Sheena? Do you think kindness, compassion and respect are what Sheena shows now, not 38 years ago?

  12. mostlyclueless
    December 1, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

    OT….have you all seen this?


    Results The estimated number of cesarean deliveries in 2012 was 22.9 million (95% CI, 22.5 million to 23.2 million). At a country-level, cesarean delivery rate estimates up to 19.1 per 100 live births (95% CI, 16.3 to 21.9) and 19.4 per 100 live births (95% CI, 18.6 to 20.3) were inversely correlated with maternal mortality ratio (adjusted slope coefficient, −10.1; 95% CI, −16.8 to −3.4; P = .003) and neonatal mortality rate (adjusted slope coefficient, −0.8; 95% CI, −1.1 to −0.5; P < .001), respectively (adjusted for total health expenditure per capita, population, percent of urban population, fertility rate, and region). Higher cesarean delivery rates were not correlated with maternal or neonatal mortality at a country level. A sensitivity analysis including only 76 countries with the highest-quality cesarean delivery rate information had a similar result: cesarean delivery rates greater than 6.9 to 20.1 per 100 live births were inversely correlated with the maternal mortality ratio (slope coefficient, −21.3; 95% CI, −32.2 to −10.5, P < .001). Cesarean delivery rates of 12.6 to 24.0 per 100 live births were inversely correlated with neonatal mortality (slope coefficient, −1.4; 95% CI, −2.3 to −0.4; P = .004).

    Conclusions and Relevance National cesarean delivery rates of up to approximately 19 per 100 live births were associated with lower maternal or neonatal mortality among WHO member states. Previously recommended national target rates for cesarean deliveries may be too low.

    • mostlyclueless
      December 1, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

      I should add I find this super validating because I did a shitty version of this same analysis in the comments here a few months ago:


    • Roadstergal
      December 1, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

      I just hate seeing all of this about _rates_. It should be down to a decision-making process that gives optimal outcomes, and then have rates fall where the population makes them fall.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      December 2, 2015 at 2:55 am #

      I’m surprised that maternal mortality was lower with c-section. I’d always thought it would be higher due to the surgical risks, but maybe they’re balanced by the lack of labor risks.

      Unfortunately, this may lead the WHO to move their “goal” to 19% of births rather than 15%. Which is better, but the lack of improvement in maternal and fetal mortality at higher rates of c-section could reflect the fact that some populations have higher risks at baseline, i.e. the US’s high obesity rate will lead to higher pregnancy risks, regardless of c-section rate.

  13. Cartman36
    December 1, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

    What an awful person!

  14. mabelcruet
    December 1, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    Milli Hill is now putting the boot in-apparently she finds it disgraceful and disgusting that the Daily Mail newspaper is publishing excerpts from Joshua’s story. Maybe its just me but personally I find the entirely avoidable death of a baby and the subsequent attempts at a cover-up disgusting and disgraceful.

    • Sarah
      December 1, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

      Well, the Daily Mail and Jeremy Hunt are both disgusting and disgraceful 99% of the time. But even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

      • mabelcruet
        December 1, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

        The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday has the virtually the widest circulation of any online paper-whilst it might be a rag that I wouldn’t use to line my cats litter tray, its got the benefit of reaching a lot of people who were maybe unaware of what has been happening in maternity care in the UK over the last few years. That’s got to be good.

        • Sarah
          December 1, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

          Yes, exactly. They have also been a force for good on a couple of occasions as well. Stephen Lawrence, for example.

          • mabelcruet
            December 2, 2015 at 3:25 am #

            I’ll give you that one-I remember them publishing the photos of the men that were accused with the headline ‘Sue us if you dare’. But that’s got to be offset against the number of Kardashian stories they throw out day after day!

      • Joy
        December 1, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

        I wind up checking out the Daily Mail quite a bit. It makes me feel vaguely dirty, but they have some interesting stuff that tends to get buried on other news sites.

  15. Megan
    December 1, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

    She acts more like a middle school kid than a medical “professional.” Disgusting…

    • Amazed
      December 1, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

      She belongs to the USA from before the exhausting requirement of a high school diploma was added. That she’s on the top of leadership in the UK, where the system is supposed to be what everyone should strive for is beyond disturbing.

  16. Madtowngirl
    December 1, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

    Holy crap. I can’t even begin to understand the twisted mind of someone who could be so cold to a parent who lost a child.

    • Amazed
      December 1, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

      You don’t want to. You’ll feel foul.

  17. rosewater7
    December 1, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

    I just tweeted Sheena Byrom and told her she shamed the very title of midwife. I’ve never had a baby, but I work with midwives in a hospital setting who truly ARE with women. She is vile. I believe in karma-truly I do. May it be just what she deserves.

  18. Roadstergal
    December 1, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

    I hear this whenever she comes up, because FCOL it’s too apt.


    “This is supposed to be a happy occasion! Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who…”

  19. AirPlant
    December 1, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    For all the world it reminds me of those girls in high school who somehow managed to keep a reputation as being a “nice girl” despite being relentlessly horrible to anyone not in a position of power.

  20. moto_librarian
    December 1, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    I would like to know why Sheena Byrom has not been censured for her behavior. Her revolting attitude towards the Titcombes is at best unprofessional, and I question the ethics of any midwife who would treat a family in this way. Why hasn’t the RCM taken her to task? Is it perhaps because their own leadership is more concerned about the ideology of “physiological birth” than practicing evidence-based care? All we have heard from the public face of midwifery in the UK is an attempt to deflect blame while holding a pity-party for midwives being subjected to “witch hunts.” Here’s a little newsflash: Holding midwives responsible for malpractice is NOT a witch hunt. The fact that the midwives involved in Joshua’s death will not face any official inquiry until nearly eight years since his death is proof that the RCM isn’t really interested in improving the care that it provides to women and their infants. Their response to Moorecambe Bay is further proof of that. The only reason that there has been any backpedaling by the RCM is because of the media attention being given to Mr. Titcombe’s book about Joshua’s preventable death.

    Since you blocked me for “harassing” you on Twitter (simply for taking you to task for pointing out your odious remarks to James Titcombe that I did not take out of context), I’ll post what I think of you right here. If you cannot take a hard look at current midwifery practices and admit that real changes are needed, you need to find a different profession. Anyone who would refuse to acknowledge that the indifference of the midwives involved in Josh’s care led to his preventable death is not fit to be a healthcare provider. You are everything that is wrong with contemporary midwifery. You and your fellow ideologues need to be cut from the profession like the cancer that you are.

    • mabelcruet
      December 1, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

      Why would the RCM censure her? The impression I’m getting is that all the ‘leadership’ are basically clones of each other and all spout the same ‘rightthink’. Its probably a thoughtcrime to even consider dead babies when midwife ‘normality’ is being discussed.

      I vaguely hoped that she’d been offered a chair on the board where they could keep an eye on her and rein her in a bit, but that’s never going to happen.

      • Melissaxxxx
        December 2, 2015 at 1:42 am #

        Yeah no need to pull out the dead baby card when midwives are really only trying to make money

    • Sue
      December 1, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

      I seem to be blocked by Sheena too. Must be due to some previous home-truths about her comments.

      I am a medical professional with a wide presence on social media. I generally post in my own name, as does Sheena. That should impose a certain discipline for a registered clinician – I am very cautious about what I post publicly. Engaging in this sort of public discourse with a grieving father is highly unprofessional. As we’ve seen, every “like” is traceable.

      • araikwao
        December 1, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

        Let me explain things to you: home birth = good, home truth = bad. Does that help? (snark, of course)

  21. Sarah
    December 1, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    Oh James, let’s not go on about your dead kid again. That was years ago, you should be over it by now. I’m bored.

  22. PrimaryCareDoc
    December 1, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

    She’s a disgusting excuse for a human being.

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