"I begged them not to cut me open" Caesarean Mum finally has her say.

“I want her back.

I am suffering like an animal.”

“I begged them not to cut me open”

She was nearly at full term in her pregnancy.

She says she was held down.

She was sedated.

When she woke up her baby was no longer with her.

But things got worse. She held her newborn only briefly and was told she was not allowed to breastfeed her.

The Italian mother who has made international headlines after she was detained in a British psychiatric unit and then forced against her will to have a caesarean has spoken to the UK’s Daily Mail and the Italian Newspaper La Repubblica.

We reported on this earlier  in the week in this post here – and today more details have come to light.

After a court hearing in the UK yesterday a Judge has ruled that she can be identified and her image can be released.

Alessandra Pacchieri is 35 years old and from Chainciano in Tuscany, she works in  a small village as a care worker for the elderly.  She has not seen her now 15-month old daughter since May when the adoption proceedings began. Since the baby was born she has seen her just ten times.

She suffers from bipolar disorder and was sectioned by Essex County Council under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act last year after she went off her medication and had a panic attack while in the UK training with an airline.

She claims she is now fully recovered after resuming her treatment.

In her newspaper interview with La Repubblica she sobbed  “I was sedated and deceived, that’s how they took my daughter.”

“I want her back – I am suffering like an animal.”

She claims she was “deceived” into having the caesarean. She said: “I thought they were just moving me from one room to another.”

She told the Daily Mail that on Friday 22nd August 2012 she was in the Mother and Baby Unit of a hospital in Essex where she had been placed as she was in the late stages of her pregnancy.

She woke up.  It was a normal day. It was only when she went to make breakfast that she thought things were a little strange.

The kitchen was locked. When she asked them why they told her they were going to perform a caesarean and her baby was to be taken.

From The Daily Mail:

I was crying. I could feel my baby kicking inside me.

I begged them not to do the caesarean. The due date was four days later and there was no reason for me to have such an invasive operation with anaesthetic. I wanted a natural birth.

But her pleadings were ignored. In the mother and baby unit, a team of five nurses held her down and injected her right thigh with a sedative.

Then they stood Alessandra up. They told her: Now we have to go. The ambulance is here.

The next thing that she knew she was being walked into a different wing of the large hospital site, which had operating theatres.

Once in there, I was pushed down onto a bed and a mask was put over my face. I felt as though I were suffocating. It was the last thing that I remember.

When she woke up, Alessandra was in a hospital gown.

The jeans she had been wearing before the caesarean were on a chair by the bed. Her T-shirt had been cut off her body to avoid pulling it over her head and was in two pieces.

I tried to get up. I had wanted to see my baby arriving. I wanted to see her first minutes in the world. But I was so ill and they pushed me back on the bed.

Heartbreakingly she talks of how she was allowed to breastfeed her newborn daughter once, before she was again taken away.

Someone handed me Amelia and I began breast-feeding her. She was with me for 20 minutes or even half an hour. I was so happy to cuddle her. I thought I was going back to the mother and baby unit with her. But Amelia was then taken away from her.

Two hours later, Amelia was brought back to Alessandra, who held her for a second time.

‘Someone in the room then said: “You can’t breast-feed her.” I was upset because she was nuzzling me for milk.’

Once again Amelia was removed from her mother. Then a doctor told Alessandra that she had to leave the operating theatre ‘right away’ because the bed was needed for another patient.

She was taken in an ambulance to the Christopher psychiatric unit on the Broomfield hospital site.

‘I kept begging the nurses to let me hold Amelia and asking how she was. Finally, after three days, they told me she had been taken into foster care. They had stolen my baby from me.’

Alessandra was detained in the psychiatric unit for a further few months and her daughter was brought to her once a week – for only half an hour.


In February this year the baby – then nine months old was put up for adoption. She had her final goodbye in May.

One of the Italian solicitors acting for the mother described her ordeal as “brutal”.

The UK Mirror reports that the lawyer, Stefano Oliva said: “I’ve been a lawyer for 20 years. I’ve never seen anything like this. Such an invasive treatment, forcing birth from her – I can’t think that any Italian judge would have done that.”

“To snatch children like this makes you think of the Hitler Youth or something that might happen in North Korea – not a civilised Western European country.”

The woman’s father, who runs a restaurant in the Tuscany  told the newspaper “I don’t understand why she was forced to go through what she did. She is not mad – she is receiving treatment for her bipolar disorder.”

Alessandra has two older daughters aged 11 and four both fathered by different men. She is open about her chequered history with men but calls on people not to judge her for it.

She told the Daily Mail “I may have had three children by three different fathers, but it does not mean I am not a good and caring mother. I have never done anything to hurt my other two daughters and I never would.”

Her other two daughters are cared for by their grandmother.

Late last night the international blog Red Light Politics published the adoption court ruling which showed the baby’s father was unable to take her as he was undocumented, living illegally in Italy.

“Her mother is A. She is an Italian national. Her father is B who is a Senegalese national, he is currently living in Italy. His situation is unclear, as I understand it he travelled there under a student visa, at least on one version, and is an over-stayer. He certainly has no status in Italy and he is unable, as I understand it, as a result of his status, either to leave Italy at all , and is certainly not able to come to the United Kingdom. “

The Judge who ruled the baby could be placed up for adoption released parts of his ruling from February this year. The Mirror reports that in placing the baby up for adoption he wanted to send the baby a message that her mother loved her, wanted her and didn’t abandon her.

The judge said: “If in later life she reads this judgment, as she may well do, I hope that she will appreciate that her mother in particular loved her and wished for her to return to live with her and to bring her up.

“It is not the mother’s fault, nor the child’s, that this was not possible and that a predictable home could only be secured by way of adoption.

“The child should know that the mother very much wished to parent her and bring her up and I hope that that is some small comfort both to the mother and also to the child.”

She says she will continue to fight for her baby. She told the Daily Mail ‘Something very unfair has been done to me. I am fighting to get my daughter back and I never want another innocent mother in your country to suffer as I have.’

We will keep you updated.