Hospital stopped parents knowing sex of unborn babies
Published 08/08/2011 | 10:36
A British hospital which banned staff from telling parents the sex of their unborn baby has backed down after a mother's campaign.
Colchester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust left expectant mums frustrated because it did not allow them to know whether they were carrying a boy or a girl.
Pregnant Natalie Mann, 30, from Clacton, Essex was so angry with the rule that she successfully campaigned for a change against the 23-year-old policy.
The mum-of-two claimed parents faced a postcode lottery with those using nearby Ipswich Hospital, operated by a different health trust, allowed to find out if they were having a boy or a girl.
From September, 20-week scans will be 30 minutes instead of the current 20 minutes, allowing staff to find out the unborn baby's sex.
But the rule change has come too late for university lecturer Natalie who is having to pay for a private scan so she can tell children Maisie, four, and Eliza, two if they will have a baby brother or sister.
She said: "I am just really pleased for the women and parents who come after us because it gives them choice.
"It is fantastic news and I am really chuffed.
"I have a letter from the chief executive saying they have found the funding so they can offer to let parents know the sex of their unborn child."
A hospital spokesman said: "We accept that we are currently not fulfilling the expectations of parents who wish to know the gender of their unborn baby.
"We sympathise and fully understand the frustration."