Newborn ‘Doing Well’ After Being Left Inside Tent in Freezing Woods

New Hampshire Fire Department

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This is why there are Safe Haven laws. A mother gave birth in the freezing woods of New Hampshire. Then she abandoned her premature newborn son alone, uncovered, and in a tent.

Mom Left Baby in Freezing Cold, Misdirected Officers to His Whereabouts

According to the Manchester, New Hampshire Fire Department, they received a call just after midnight on Monday, December 26. Someone made a report about a “pregnancy problem,” which led dispatchers to the mother. She said she’d given birth in the woods, where it was about 6 degrees with wind chill.

But the mom, identified as Alexandra Eckersley (26), allegedly misdirected police and fire crews when they went searching for her baby.

“Hampered by inconsistent information,” well-meaning officers failed to locate the premature newborn.

“After nearly an hour, the mother revealed the true location of the baby and led officers to the area,” the police reported.

Officers were finally led to the woman’s makeshift tent. Photos show a dilapidated shelter comprised of a thin tarp and no ground covering. Fire Department officers discovered the newborn baby boy uncovered and on the ground. He had neither blankets nor clothes.

Manchester police spokesperson Heather Hamel said the baby had been born earlier that night.

The Premature Newborn Baby Boy Could Have Easily Died

“Had we not collectively located that little boy when we did and rendered the first aid that was rendered, I’m quite confident the child probably would have died in that tent,” said Manchester Police Chief Allen Altenberg. 

Eckersley was charged with felony reckless conduct. Police said she already had an unrelated warrant for endangering the welfare of a child. However, details of the warrant and the child were not provided.

The baby is reportedly “doing well” after it was brought to the hospital, according to Hamel. But it’s a miracle that they survived while uncovered and in 6-degree weather.

Frostbite can occur when skin is uncovered and exposed to temperatures of 31 degrees or lower. Hypothermia can occur when a person (or animal) is exposed to cold weather or water below their basal body temperature. Both frostbite and hypothermia can lead to death, especially in a prematurely born newborn.

New Hampshire Mothers Who Can’t Care for Their Newborns Can Safely Drop Them off at Occupied Safe Haven Centers

Safe Haven laws in New Hampshire allow newborn infants younger than a week old to be anonymously dropped off without fear of repercussion for the parents. Newborns can be dropped off at a variety of locations, including churches, fire departments, and police departments, as long as they are occupied.

“If you choose to live in the woods, this city, this police department, many city departments, do outreach at these camps daily, seven days a week. So, if you choose to in the woods and you refuse our outreach, you refuse services, so be it, that’s your decision as an individual,” said Chief Aldenberg.

“But you don’t get to do this to a child,” he continued. “I don’t care what excuses I’m undoubtedly going to hear. I’m going to hear mental health, I’m going to hear substance abuse, I’m going to hear alcohol abuse, whatever it may be and I’m always sensitive to that. But when it comes to this, I lose my sensitivity, my compassion for those excuses.”

Read More: 4-Day-Old Newborn Baby Killed by Family’s Siberian Husky

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