A BASINGSTOKE mum who felt under suspicion of abusing her baby when he was born is now trying to raise awareness of birthmarks found on children of mixed race.

Faye Wheeler and Joel Wright’s son Micah Wright, now seven, was born with a Mongolian blue spot covering his back.

These flat blue or blue/grey spots with an irregular shape look much like a bruise, and appear at birth or soon after.

They are extremely common among Asian children as well as children with dark skin, including people of Indian and African descent, but usually disappear by the time a child reaches puberty.

However, doctors initially failed to recognise that the spot on Micah was a Mongolian blue spot, leaving Faye feeling under suspicion while they investigated.

The mother-of-two has recently discovered that many other women whose children have these birthmarks feel the same way, with some even being accused of abusing their baby.

The 35-year-old is now on a mission to raise awareness, with the hope of making it mandatory for those who work with children to have Mongolian blue spots included in safeguarding training, so they can recognise the difference between these and a bruise.

Faye was contacted by other mums after posting a moving poem (read below) to Micah on social media, titled To My Mixed Race Child, in which she referred to his Mongolian blue spot.

The counsellor and psychotherapist, who also lecturers at Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT), was inspired to write the poem, which is part of a collection due to be published, after realising the struggles her son might face growing up in a world where racism is still prevalent.

Speaking to the Gazette, she said: “My partner Joel is black and we had Micah, and I’ve found it heartbreaking seeing everything on social media in response to the BAME movement. We have had people shouting racist abuse outside our home, not directed at us, but Micah heard it. It weighed heavily on my heart. I thought, my kids know these racist words, I wonder if a white child does.”

Faye said she couldn’t believe the response she received after posting one of her poems on social media, and realised that action needed to be taken.

She has since written to Basingstoke MP Maria Miller asking for her support, and received a response to say the matter would be referred to the secretary of state for health to enquire why there is no formal training on Mongolian blue spots.

Faye said: “For me I was lucky, I knew what it was. Some of the other mums who have got in touch didn’t even know what it was, social services were called. One mum was so scared to tell a professional she tried to hide it.

“This is not about bashing the NHS, it’s about raising awareness. We live in such a diverse country we should know what Mongolian blue spots are.

“When I told the midwife what I thought it was, she said she had never heard of them and said she wasn’t happy with it and went to get someone else to have a look. The whole time she hung around my bed, as if she suspected me. Having just had a baby you already feel vulnerable, and so for new mums not knowing what this is and feeling under suspicion must be very scary. I feel that anyone working with children needs to be able to spot the difference between a Mongolian blue spot and a bruise. I don’t understand why it’s not included in training.”

Faye, who also has a 15-year-old son, Jayden, said once doctors realised what the mark on Micah was they apologised, but she believes it shouldn’t have to come to this, explaining: “It’s really common. I don’t think we should be at the point of having to apologise afterwards, it shouldn’t be mistaken in the first place.”

The mum, who said her eyes were opened to racism after Micah was born, hope she can now help make a difference in the fight against it, saying: “I’m petrified. I have seen things on Facebook where someone shared a status saying ‘there’s no black in the Union Jack’.

“I do worry what Micah will have to face. Please don’t give my child a label before he’s had a chance to prove to the world who he is.”

Faye's poem

To my mixed race child

You came into this world blue and pink

You were an emergency, no time to think

The NHS saved your life by pumping on your chest

I can never forget the moment I held you at my breast

What’s this they asked, pointing to the blue on your back

Mongolian blue spot I said, my baby, he’s black

Black. He’s black. But he is also half of me!

So why can’t the world see what I see?

Mixed race is what they call you if we are being PC

Another label, in a world where we are meant to be free.

I look at your eyes, so big and so dark

I fear, the world will never see your spark.

You are funny, kind and so full of wit

But my darling, I wonder...... where do you fit?

You are not black, you are not white

I am scared, you’ve got a fight.

To prove to the world you are more than what they see!

Just because you are a wonderful mixture of your dad and me.

Be brave, be kind and always have hope

Don’t let society, be your rope

Don’t let people define you by the colour of your skin

Try to remember, their hate will not win

Love is out there, you just have to look

Believe me baby, you are no crook

Be the change that you want to see

And never forget...... you’ve always got me.