Mum wakes up to find baby dead in her arms after falling asleep breastfeeding

A mum who fell asleep while breastfeeding her weeks-old baby boy in bed woke up to find the newborn dead in her arms.

Laurie Woodruff, 30, spent years blaming herself for the tragic death of her son Arthur, but she has now come to terms with her grief and has a warning for parents who co-sleep with their babies.

Describing it as "the most horrific day", the tragedy happened in 2015 when the tired mum, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, fell asleep while feeding Arthur at night.

SEE ALSO :What is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?

When she woke up in the early morning hours, her baby was lifeless and nothing could be done to save the newborn, who died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death, DerbyshireLive reports.

In the following days, she would return to the hospital mortuary to cuddle his "cold body", and she has since gone on to have another son.

Woodruff is now appealing for parents not to co-sleep with their babies.

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She said: "It was the most horrific day and I felt as if I were living in some kind of cruel nightmare.”

"None of it made sense or seemed fair.

"The ambulance ride on the way to the hospital was the most awful experience ever - by the time we reached Sheffield Children's Hospital, he was pronounced dead."

It was later confirmed that Arthur had died of SIDS, the sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently healthy baby.

Arthur's death sent Ms Woodruff into a spiral with days that were "dark and desperate".

She said: "The grief did strange things to me, but a few magical things happened to me in the following days.

"I went to see Arthur every day in the mortuary at the children’s hospital before his funeral.

"My family members told me that I should probably stop going so much, and so I had a break for two days from visiting him and cuddling his cold body.

"I knew he was gone but I still needed to be near him."

The mum said she will never get over Arthur's death, but in the passage of time she has found it possible to move on and come to terms with her grief.

She said: "It gets easier over time. But you should never expect to be your normal self right away."

Woodruff told how she was overwhelmed with joy when Arthur was born and she saw his first smile.

She said: "I just couldn’t believe it. Most days I would just stare at him. It was love at first sight.”

After the baby's death, family and friends supported her through the worst time of her life.

She said: "Arthur's dad was really good. I know at times I could get upset and act badly to those around me.

Woodruff told how she was overwhelmed with joy when Arthur was born and she saw his first smile.

She said: "I just couldn’t believe it. Most days I would just stare at him. It was love at first sight.”

After the baby's death, family and friends supported her through the worst time of her life.

She said: "Arthur's dad was really good. I know at times I could get upset and act badly to those around me.

She has urged parents not to co-sleep with their children.

Woodruff said: "I agree with all the information that's out there. Be especially careful if your baby is tiny. Keep them in a cot. I know how hard it is not to keep them close."

She was helped through her grief by rekindling her passion for writing and publishing a book.

The mum also became fascinated with astrology, completed training in psychotherapy and now works as a healer, psychic and astrologer.

She runs her own business called Luna Attic, in Kelham Island, Sheffield, where she specialises in astrological birth charts and psychic and psychological services, courses and classes.

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SIDSsudden infant death syndrome