A woman who had an operation to remove her unborn child after being told that it had died in the womb has given birth to a healthy baby boy.

Julie Brown, 29, was told after a scan at five and a half weeks that no heartbeat could be detected.

A day later she had an operation to remove the foetus, but three weeks after the dilation and curettage procedure, another doctor told her she was still carrying a live baby.

Her son Jake was born weighing a 7lb 11oz at St John's Hospital in Livingston, near Edinburgh, where the original mistake was made last year.

The hospital has apologised to Mrs Brown, who has two other children, and has put new procedures in place in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the mistake. At her Livingston home, she said her son was "a wee miracle".

Mrs Brown said the news that the baby had died was particularly hard to accept last summer because she had been told she was unlikely to conceive again due to a hormone deficiency.

"I had the scan and was told there was no heartbeat and the baby hadn't grown," she said. "They booked me in for an operation to remove the baby and we were all devastated.

"We then had to explain to my children Sarah and Leon that the baby had gone to heaven. My husband and the children were in floods of tears."

Her husband Daniel, 29, a sales consultant, said: "To be told we had lost the baby and for Julie to have an operation to remove it, and then to be told, actually, the baby's still there, it was a tough time."

Jake was born on Feb 24. Mrs Brown said yesterday that she had decided not to take legal action against the hospital.

"The hospital has explained to me what went wrong," she said.

"The baby's sac hadn't changed size but the baby had. The woman carrying out the scan didn't notice this and she thought I had miscarried."