Three-day-old baby died hours after arriving home when parents fell asleep while breastfeeding

Ellen Manning
·2-min read
Luna Atkins (right) was just three days when she died when her parents fell asleep while breastfeeding. (Wales News)
Luna Atkins (right) was just three days when she died when her parents fell asleep while breastfeeding. (Wales News)

A newborn baby died after her parents fell asleep while she was being breastfed in bed, an inquest has heard.

Three-day-old Luna Atkins had been at home for only a few hours when she died in her parents’ bedroom.

An inquest heard that Philippa and James Atkins had a “celebratory glass of Prosecco before retiring to bed”.

Luna’s 34-year-old mum started breastfeeding her at around 9.30pm but both parents fell asleep and when recruitment company worker Philippa Atkins woke four hours later she found her daughter “unresponsive”.

Luna was declared dead by paramedics 50 minutes later.

Luna was born two weeks premature on May 9 by emergency Cesarean section but was discharged from the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff two days later after doctors decided she was strong enough to return home with her parents. (Wales News)
Luna was born two weeks premature on May 9 by emergency Cesarean section but was discharged from the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff two days later after doctors decided she was strong enough to return home with her parents. (Wales News)

An inquest heard that Luna had been born two weeks premature on May 9 by emergency Caesarean section but was discharged from the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff two days later after doctors decided she was strong enough to return home.

A statement from police given to the inquest in Pontypridd said: “Luna was breastfed at around 9.30pm. Both parents fell asleep while she was feeding.

“Mum woke at around 1.30am on May 12 to find Luna unresponsive. CPR was commenced by family and paramedics who attended.”

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Luna was declared dead at around 2.20am at their home in Roath, Cardiff. A post-mortem examination recorded the cause of death as “unascertained”.

A final hearing is scheduled to take place on July 27 next year.

Philippa Atkins, 34, and James Atkins, 35, had a "celebratory glass of prosecco before retiring to bed", the inquest heard. (Wales News)
Philippa Atkins, 34, and James Atkins, 35, had a "celebratory glass of prosecco before retiring to bed", the inquest heard. (Wales News)

Heartbroken mum Philippa, who described Luna as “our perfect little girl”, is now fundraising to help other children, including planning a half marathon to raise funds for the Martha's Dancing Heart appeal to raise money for the Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust.

She said: “Luna has taught me life is too short and too precious! We owe it to her to fill the world with more music and more joy.

“So if you ever think you can’t, look up at the moon, and my baby will show you that the world is good and you are loved!

“I got to carry Luna for nine months, and hold her for nearly three days. I knew my daughter and she was good! She has given me the strength to believe in myself and strive to make the world a better place.”