A couple whose baby daughter suffocated during her first breast feed have lost their case against the NHS.

Julia Geis-Clements, 39, and her financier husband, Lee Clements, 41, from Denham, said a midwife gave inadequate advice on how to breastfeed their daughter, Cerys.

She would have escaped a lifetime of disability had the midwife warned them to keep her airway clear as she was held against her mother’s breast, the couple’s lawyers claimed.

Photos of Julia Geis-Clements suckling her daughter, Cerys, minutes after her birth were “almost unbearably poignant”, said top judge Mrs Justice May.

She had been placed in her mother’s arms for the first time after her birthing pool delivery, so they could have “skin to skin contact”.

But disaster struck when Cerys suddenly stopped breathing less than an hour after her July 2012 birth.

Speaking today, the judge said no-one was to blame for the “unexplained” tragedy.

The profound oxygen starvation she suffered means Cerys cannot walk or talk and will need 24-hour care for the rest of her life.

Senior midwife Clare Nicholls faced claims that she negligently failed to warn the couple to keep one of Cerys’s nostrils free during her first feed.

She was also accused of giving the couple “false reassurance” by telling them that Cerys would wriggle if she was having trouble breathing.

But the judge said midwives “cannot say nothing” when anxious new parents ask about breast feeding their babies, adding the advice she gave the couple was “logical with a proper basis in fact”.

The family’s lawyers also claimed Ms Nicholls should have returned to monitor the “exhausted” mum 10 minutes into the feed.

But the judge said the midwife had correctly positioned Cerys on her mother’s breast and seen her start to feed normally.

She said: “It was not wrong to leave them alone together for that length of time.

“Especially as she was only some 10 metres away, within call and able to respond immediately.”

Mrs Geis-Clements, a marketing manager, sued Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust on Cerys’ behalf.

But NHS lawyers argued it was a case of “random post-natal sudden collapse” which could not have been foreseen and in which negligence played no part.

The judge added: “It is impossible not to have the very greatest sympathy for Cerys and her parents.

“On my findings...no one is to blame for Cerys’s collapse…or for her disabilities.”