Conditions that threaten women’s lives in childbirth & pregnancy


Age at interview: 41
Age at diagnosis: 37

Brief outline: Mark and his wife (Jo - Interview21) were expecting their first child. Three weeks before her due date his wife started to bleed and they called an ambulance. Jo had a placental abruption. On arrival at hospital she had an emergency caesarian to deliver their son.

Background: Mark is a research scientist, married with two children. White British.

Audio & video

As this was his first child, Mark had no expectations of what labour and childbirth would be like. He and his wife (Jo - Interview21) had been to antenatal classes. When his wife started to bleed and told him to call the ambulance he followed her lead. She had started bleeding one Saturday morning three weeks before her due date. Once the ambulance arrived he followed on in the car. He remembered everything was relatively calm until they got his wife out of the ambulance and crash teams were called. He receded into the background as the emergency staff surrounded his wife to deliver the baby as soon as possible. They were later told his wife had had a placental abruption that they think was caused by rapid onset pre-eclampsia, although they were never definitively sure. 


Please use the form below to tell us what you think of the site. We’d love to hear about how we’ve helped you, how we could improve or if you have found something that’s broken on the site. We are a small team but will try to reply as quickly as possible.

Please note that we are unable to accept article submissions or offer medical advice. If you are affected by any of the issues covered on this website and need to talk to someone in confidence, please contact The Samaritans or your Doctor.

Make a Donation to

Find out more about how you can help us.

Send to a friend

Simply fill out this form and we'll send them an email