‘Rare’ allergy killed healthy Queensland mum in labour

The cause of death of a mother who died suddenly during childbirth has been revealed as an incredibly rare pregnancy complication.

A “healthy” Queensland yoga instructor died after suffering a rare allergic reaction to the amniotic fluid during her labour, it has been revealed.

Zenko Yoga founder Lauren Verona, 42, died after giving birth to a baby girl last month, a loss described as “unfathomable” by loved ones.

At the time, her cause of death was unknown, with a statement only stating Lauren’s passing was due to “complications associated with childbirth”.

Now her partner Ryan Gaylard has revealed that the Sunshine Coast woman had a very rare pregnancy complication known as amniotic fluid embolism.

The condition is thought to be the result of an allergic-type reaction to the amniotic fluid that enters the mother’s bloodstream as part of the birthing process, according to the rare diseases database.

It is estimated there are only between one and 12 cases of the condition per 100,000 births.

“Fluid made it’s way from the womb to Lauren’s bloodstream and a reaction followed that wouldn’t allow clotting,” Ryan revealed in a Facebook video.

He said hospital staff told him that regardless of where Lauren gave birth, the end result would probably have been the same.

“We have a retired obstetrician in the family,” Ryan said.

“Over his career he delivered 14000 babies and in that time, never came across this condition.”

The family member had only seen it once as a student, and described it as “rare and random”.

The couple’s older daughters, Allira and Evie, cried beside Ryan as he broke the news to the public.

Ryan said on June 8, he and Lauren welcomed baby Lucinda into the world in a “perfect natural birth”.

It was only once Lauren had skin-to-skin contact with Lucinda, and Ryan cut her umbilical cord, that the condition become apparent.

Ms Verona was rushed to Sunshine Coast University Hospital where medics battled to save her without success.

“Most importantly, I want everyone to know that Lauren was never alone,” Ryan said, as he started to break down.

“I was by her side to hold, talk to and look into her eyes.
“I spoke to her of our love, of Allira, Evie and Lucinda’s love, and her fight to stay with us.”

He said his wife knew Lucinda was fine.

Ryan also revealed Lauren’s heartbeat temporarily came back at the hospital but she tragically could not be saved

He said now, the three girls are his number one priority, followed by Lauren’s legacy and the yoga studio.

Ryan thanked everyone who tried to save Lauren’s life, and all those who had supported him since – including a donation of 100 litres of breast milk.

Lauren had chronicled her pregnancy on social media, sharing that she’d suffered complications including a low-lying placenta and was “couch-bound at 35 weeks with indescribable pelvic girdle pain”.

“These last few weeks and months if I’m to be honest have been very challenging with the countless pregnancy complications I’ve had,” she wrote in a post before her death.

“But I hear my own children say ‘divine timing’ when anyone asks when the baby is coming out. I love that they get it.

“So here we are 41 weeks pregnant trusting the higher plan.”

She’d also posted about “wild birth” and “free birth” (when a woman plans a birth unattended by a midwife or medical professional).

Dozens of people took to social media to pay tribute to the yoga teacher after her sudden death.

“I am heartbroken to have lost to this physical realm a most wonderful woman who taught me how to love and to be fearless,” one friend wrote.

“It has been my utmost honour and privilege to meet, train with, know and support her in her passion which is the physicality and energy of Zenko Yoga.

“So many memories that will be forever etched in the forefront of my mind … My heart aches for her divine two young daughters, her beloved husband and newborn baby girl.”

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