Filmed across a year in one of the UK’s leading Fetal Medicine Units at St George’s Hospital, South London this new three-part documentary series is told through the eyes of the women and the medical teams who treat them.
Following expectant parents as they navigate medically and emotionally complex pregnancies, each episode reveals how, or even if, the parents and staff should intervene with the pregnancies. Using cutting-edge and pioneering new medicine, the fetal medicine clinicians face the most complex and challenging cases that exist in pregnancy. But for some of the parents, the option to intervene comes too late.
This episode follows three women and their partners who all face hugely uncertain pregnancies that require rapid medical intervention to give their babies a fighting chance of survival. Faced with rare and complex medical conditions, these parents must decide whether to interfere with nature and put their trust in pioneering new surgery in order to save their babies’ lives.
Already a mother of one, Susie has been on a long, emotional journey to become pregnant for a second time, spending thousands of pounds on IVF in order to conceive. She has finally fallen pregnant with triplets and is now sixteen weeks pregnant. However, there’s a problem and Susie has to be closely monitored as two of her babies may have a life-threatening blood sharing condition called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. If this develops and the team do not treat it, then there is a 90% chance Susie will miscarry the whole pregnancy, losing all three babies fairly rapidly.
Noreen is originally from the Philippines and after marrying her British husband there, they settled back in the UK and wanted to start a family. This is Noreen’s second pregnancy – she lost her first to a miscarriage- and is now is extremely frightened as they have discovered a problem with this baby too. At sixteen weeks pregnant, doctors found that the baby has a rare condition called Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS) and it is getting tangled up in the lining of the womb. The ABS has already cut off circulation to several tips of the baby’s fingers, and now a foot risks being amputated too. Noreen and her husband must decide whether to intervene and save the foot – to give their baby a better chance at a normal life – or do nothing and risk it losing its foot altogether. However, the procedure required to cut the band free from the foot is complex and has only been performed once at the hospital before. It’s a nail-biting in utero procedure and one wrong cut could have devastating consequences.
Thirty-six weeks into her pregnancy, Zoe has found out that her baby has fluid building up in parts of its brain. Too late for further investigations, doctors have decided it is best for Zoe to deliver the baby and carry out further tests once the baby is born in order ascertain the cause of the fluid. However, doctors are concerned that the baby may have difficulties breathing straight after birth so a large, specialised medical team is assembled for its birth as the parents face the realisation that control over their baby’s life is very much out of their hands.
Tune into Channel 4 tonight at 9pm to watch Baby Surgeons: Delivering Miracles live, or catch up via All 4.
Join us on Twitter as we live tweet throughout the episode and get involved using #BabySurgeons.