Abandoned baby ‘healthy’ despite bench ordeal

A BABY found abandoned next to a block of flats is doing well and has been named Charlotte after the police officer who rushed her into hospital.

Midwives said the newborn, weighing a relatively small 5lb 7oz, was “feeding well, sleeping well” and appeared healthy.

Doctors gave her antibiotics as a precaution after her arrival at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Thursday. Staff are still trying to track down her mother.

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Residents in the Wester Hailes area of Edinburgh found Charlotte lying on a bench. She had been washed before being wrapped in blankets, but there was no sign of the mother.

The baby had been left on the metal bench directly beneath the flats and may have been there for only 30 minutes. Although the temperature was no higher than 8C, police said the blankets had kept her warm.

Maria Wilson, NHS Lothian’s chief midwife, said Charlotte seemed to have been unaffected by her ordeal. “She is doing really well and being looked after by the neonatal unit. She looks like a full-term baby. It’s hard to be too specific, but she looks like a healthy, newborn baby.

“Because of the situation she arrived in, she has been given an antibiotic as a precaution. She was in a good condition when she arrived – it doesn’t seem to have affected the baby and she was in a very comfortable position. She was admitted straight away to the A&E and all her newborn baby checks have been fine.

“She is doing all the things we expect a newborn baby to do.”

Miss Wilson added: “She had a very restful night, is feeding well, sleeping well, and she is warm and happy.”

But she said hospital staff were concerned for Charlotte’s mother. “Any new mother is at risk after having a new baby,” she said. “There can be bleeding and they are open to the risk of an infection. These are normal risks associated with any woman after she has had a baby.

“Complications happen and, if she does have them, then it’s very important she does contact us. There is a lot of support available for her baby, but it’s very important that the mum contacts us. We can offer her confidential support and help her access other services.”

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She added: “We just really want to reunite this beautiful baby with her mother.”

Lawrence Liddell, 59, who is unemployed, found the baby lying on the bench while with a friend.

He said: “We really couldn’t believe it when we found the baby. It was a really tiny newborn wrapped up in a blanket – she wasn’t wearing anything underneath.

“I had met my friend in the hallway of the flats and we started walking along together because we were both heading out to visit our mothers.

“As we were walking along, we saw the baby. She wasn’t crying and she didn’t appear to be in any kind of distress.”