Tragedy as parents wake up to find their three-day-old ‘perfect little girl’ dead from ‘unknown’ natural causes – after letting her sleep in bed between them
A three-day-old baby died in bed next to her parents after being breastfed by her mother, an inquest has heard.
Luna Atkins was home for only hours when she died in the tragedy in her parents’ bedroom in Roath, Cardiff, lying between her mother and father.
Pathologists said her cause of death in May 2020 could not be determined and a coroner said sleeping with her parents was not to blame.
An earlier hearing was told her parents Philippa Atkins, 34, and James Atkins, 35, had enjoyed a “celebratory glass of prosecco before going to bed.”
Recruitment agency staff member, Ms. Atkins, began breastfeeding Luna around 9:30 PM, but both exhausted parents fell asleep.
Luna Atkins (pictured) was home in Cardiff for just hours before she died in the tragedy
But her mother woke up four hours later to find Luna “unresponsive” and was pronounced dead by paramedics 50 minutes later.
Luna was born two weeks early at 37 weeks on May 9 by emergency C-section.
She was discharged from University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff two days later at around 5pm, after doctors decided she was strong enough to return home.
But Luna was pronounced dead in their home around 2:20 am. An autopsy was performed, but the cause of death was recorded as ‘not established’.
Her parents Philippa Atkins, 34, and James Atkins, 35, had enjoyed a ‘celebratory glass of prosecco before going to bed’ when the tragedy happened in May 2020
South Wales Central Coroner David Regan said police had “no worries” about Luna’s death and the couple’s home was “clean and tidy” with “plenty of fresh food in the fridge”.
He said: ‘Her parents made the choice that she could sleep with them – that is a choice that is clearly available to parents. It’s a choice they said was in Luna’s best interest.
‘Luna’s parents didn’t smoke and the blood samples they provided don’t contain any alcohol at all.
“Luna appeared healthy and cheerful and was discharged home on May 11, 2020. She went to sleep that night in her parents’ bedroom, between them.
The coroner said Mr and Mrs Atkins “made the choice to sleep with them – that is a choice clearly available to parents.” He added that they felt it was ‘in Luna’s best interest’
“I don’t think there’s any evidence that co-sleeping contributed to Luna’s death.”
Mr. Regan gave a conclusion of undetermined natural causes.
After Luna’s death, Ms. Atkins is now raising money to help other children – describing Luna as “our beautiful baby” and “our perfect little girl.”
She said, “Luna taught me that 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 to the moon, and my baby will show you that the world is good and you’re loved!
After Luna’s death, Philippa Atkins (pictured) is now raising money to help other children
‘I was allowed to carry Luna for 9 months and hold her for almost 3 days. I knew my daughter and she was good! She has given me the strength to believe in myself and strive for a better world.
“Whatever you’ve been through, I’ll always be there for you just like you’re there for me. Now that things are starting to get back to ‘normal’, let’s strive to make it better.
‘Let’s laugh more and sing more. Let’s never forget the tragedies of the past few months, and let’s remember those we lost in the best possible way.”
Enthusiastic runner Mrs Atkins is now planning a half marathon in honor of Luna and other children by raising money for the Martha’s Dancing Heart call to raise money for the Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust.