Speaking to the news outlet SWNS, Amber Woollard, 23, said she required a C-section after 72 hours of labor. Once her daughter, Valenci, was born, she said she was told the young girl had “facial deformities,” which included a 2-inch laceration under her nose. Doctors allegedly told Woollard the laceration occurred in the womb, claiming it was a result of her daughter’s positioning.
Woollard delivered her daughter at Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital in April of last year, according to SWNS.
The first-time mom claims, however, that both a midwife at the hospital and a plastic surgeon told her that the laceration could not have been caused in the womb, and that it's most likely a result of an accident during the C-section.
Woollard added her daughter's case is a result of “serious neglect” by the National Health Service (NHS) England, the country’s national health care system.
"To see your newborn with injuries to her face is really upsetting," she said. "I love her no matter what but I do worry about what the future may hold for her."
In a statement to Fox News, Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital apologized for “not meeting [Woollard’s] expectations” but said her daughter’s facial injury was “very unlikely to have been caused by the scalpel used during the cesarean section.”
“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 hospital statement said. "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 [learned] 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 cesarean section. We’d be happy to talk to Ms. Woollard further if she has any further questions or concerns.”
Fetal lacerations are not unheard of. Out of roughly 3,000 births by C-section studied, accidental fetal lacerations occurred about 97 times, according to one 2004 study, which noted the “overall rate of accidental fetal laceration per cesarean delivery was 3.12 percent.”
“Fetal lacerations are birth injuries that occur during a caesarian section (C-section) delivery, usually as a result of improper procedures performed by medical personnel during childbirth," the Birth Injury Guide stated. "The lacerations are caused by nicks and cuts from scalpels, forceps, and other instruments used by physicians while performing a surgically-assisted delivery. These lacerations are mostly minor and easily treated in the delivery room, but in some cases, they can be deep and require stitches or reconstructive surgery.”
Woollard told SWNS she worries that her daughter may one day be mocked for her facial scar.
"I worry that she might have problems when she starts school with other children," she said. "People might ask what's wrong with her face and that's really sad."