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Mum would have chosen hospital had she known home-birth risks, court told

A woman who died hours after giving birth at home would have put her beliefs aside and chosen a hospital over a home birth if properly warned of the potential health complications, her mother has told a court.

Caroline Lovell, 36, died on January 24, 2012, hours after experiencing major blood loss from a haemorrhage after she gave birth to a healthy baby girl at her Watsonia home.

Caroline Lovell died following a home birth in 2012.

Caroline Lovell died following a home birth in 2012.Credit:Penny Stephens

Midwives Gaye Demanuele, 59, and Melody Bourne, 44, who oversaw the home birth, are charged with manslaughter and police allege they failed to provide adequate care. The women both deny they were criminally negligent and are before Melbourne Magistrates Court for a hearing that will determine whether they face trial.

Ms Lovell had a long and traumatic experience giving birth to her first child in hospital in 2008, including a postpartum haemorrhage. But as she prepared to give birth in 2012 she also wanted to be comfortable and in control, her mother, Jade Markiewicz, told the court on Monday.

Gaye Demanuele is charged with manslaughter.

Gaye Demanuele is charged with manslaughter.

Ms Markiewicz said she would have preferred that her daughter chose a hospital birth in 2012 but didn’t push the point to avoid creating a “wedge” between them. But she insisted Ms Lovell would have chosen a hospital birth had the potential for problems been explained to her.

“She was afraid of going through that again,” Ms Markiewicz said of her daughter’s 2008 experience.

“But Caroline would not have put herself in danger. [Another] midwife said, ‘Caroline, you have a thyroid, you need to be in the hospital, it’s too risky.’ She listened to that midwife.

“If Gaye Demanuele had said ‘Caroline, this and this happened to you with [the first baby], you have high risks, we can’t agree to a home birth’, she would have listened.

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