A mum who suffers from non-epileptic seizures has become the first in the UK to give birth in hospital with her dog.
A mum who suffers from non-epileptic seizures has become the first in the UK to give birth in hospital with her dog as a “medical aid.”
24-year-old Charlotte Beard from Dorset also suffers from a heart condition and post-traumatic stress disorder. Reports say she has also suffered three miscarriages.
Charlotte’s beloved dog Flump, a Maltese multipurpose assistance dog, became her companion two years ago and is trained to detect when she is about to have a seizure.
She was in labour for 50 hours at Poole Hospital, with her faithful companion by her side.
Charlotte gave birth to her son, who she named Alfie, on December 4, who reportedly weighed 6lb 10oz.
Speaking to The Times, she said Flump and Alfie were ‘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.”
Flump supported Charlotte and her boyfriend Ash when they went through three miscarriages. Flump stayed by her side when she was taken to hospital for the birth of Alfie, sometimes sitting closer to her.
Ash looked after Flump by making sure he had regular food breaks and walks.
Charlotte 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.”
Following the birth, Charlotte, Alfie and Flump spent five days in the hospital undergoing tests.
She now wants to see the policy for medical assistance dogs being allowed into hospitals, she said: “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.”
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