Skip to main content

German Town Grounds Cats To Save Rare Birds

Woman Gives Birth In Hospital With A Bedside Dog

A woman who suffers from non-epileptic seizures has become the first in the UK to give birth in a hospital with a bedside dog as “medical aid.”

Woman Gives Birth In Hospital With A Bedside Dog

Charlotte Beard, 24, from Dorset, who also has a heart condition and post-traumatic stress disorder, has had three miscarriages over the last few years.

She got Flump, a Maltese multipurpose assistance dog, two years ago, and the pooch has been trained to detect her seizures as they are about to happen. 

Charlotte was in labour for 50 hours at Poole Hospital, and Flump was by her side throughout, before she welcomed her son Alfie, weighing 6lb 10oz on December 4.

She told The Times Flump and Alfie are “brothers”, adding: “We say Flump is like my partner or an extension of myself. The idea of doing such a momentous moment in my life, also such a vulnerable point, without Flump by my side just didn’t seem right.”

It was a doctor who suggested Charlotte, who worked as a wildlife rehabilitator before she had to stop because of her health, try to find an assistance dog to help build her confidence.

She adopted Flump when he was just ten-weeks-old, and the two have been inseparable ever since.

Charlotte and her boyfriend Ash Pheonix, 29, suffered three miscarriages in their attempts to start a family, with Flump offering support throughout.

As she grew closer to the due date for her son Alfie, she became concerned about how her PSTD might affect the birth.

On one occasion, Charlotte needed help in a bathroom and Flump was able to find a nurse to help her.

As she was taken into hospital to give birth in early-December, Flump was by her side once-again, occasionally sitting closer to her.

Meanwhile her partner Ash ensured he was taken on regular breaks to be fed and given walks.

She said: “He was there for the labour as intended and was only away from me for his scheduled breaks and during the C-section. He is absolutely besotted with his little brother already.”

After she gave birth, she, Alfie and Flump remained in hospital for five days for tests.

Now Charlotte wants to see the policy of medical assistance dogs being permitted into more hospitals, saying: “You wouldn’t ask someone to go to hospital without their wheelchair so, as long as it’s reasonable, an assistance dog has the right to attend and assist their handler.”

The skills of medical assistance dogs have developed exponentially since the introduction of guide dogs for the blind and deaf in the 1930s.