Prof Kypros Nicolaides studies the overhead monitor. “The head of the baby is down, and it is much easier to do when the head is up. So, there are two things we can do.” He pauses and an expectant silence falls.
“We can all concentrate and chant. Do you want to chant? Like Hare Krishna?”
Tension in the room immediately dissipates, replaced with slightly bewildered, muted laughter. “Or,” he continues, “I will press the baby to bring the head up.” He firmly kneads the pregnant belly, slowly encouraging the foetus until: “Bingo. OK.”
This is room one in the Harris Birthright research centre at King’s College hospital, London, where patients are among the tiniest and most vulnerable of all treated by the NHS.
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