Are you Aware of Group B Strep?

July is Group B Strep Awareness Month

For those of you who aren’t aware of Group B Strep this is an infection which can be carried in pregnant ladies and can cause serious illness to both the mother and baby if left untreated.

This photo was taken not long after I had given birth, after a very long heartbreaking labour I was told I had Group B Strep and from my infection not being picked up or treated I was seriously ill which left me recovering from Sepsis.

No one made me aware of GBS, spoke about it or provided me with any sort of leaflet/information.

The NHS desperately need to change this, a simple flyer/test could help prevent further babies from dieing. Violets heartbeat stopped mine didn’t.

Group B Strep is the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies in the UK, and the most common cause of meningitis in babies under the age of 3 months.

The number of these infections are rising.

Currently ~ 2 babies a day develop group B Strep infection, 1 baby a week dies from group B Strep infection, 1 baby a week recovers from group B Strep infection with a disability 319,000 babies are estimated to have developed GBS infection aged 0-90 days worldwide in 2015, with approximately 4.1 infections in every 1,000 live born babies in their first 6 days of life. Shockingly, in the UK, it’s 5.7 in every 1,000 – which is 40% higher than the worldwide rate, and 2.5 times higher than the US rate (2.2 cases in every 1,000 babies). Between 2000 and 2014 there has been an increase of more than 50% in babies developing group B Strep infection in the UK and Republic of Ireland. And, while fewer babies died from their group B Strep infection, more survivors had disability.

Testing can be completed within the NHS for anyone who has carried the infection before or have a ‘high risk’ pregnancy testing should be available for ALL pregnant ladies, the test can be completed in late pregnancy where antibiotics can be provided in labour. Tests which are suitable and easy to use can be found at Strepelle.

These numbers are rising and shockingly high already, a simple test could help prevent these numbers from rising, prevent babies becoming ill with the infection and prevent stillbirths. Please help raise awareness of this life threatening disease and save babies lives by spreading the word of GBS to pregnant ladies/parents.

To find out more information on Group B Strep you can head over to Group B Strep Support or their Facebook page.

My story on losing Violet can also be read on the Group B Strep Support Website.

My story on losing Violet Esme  



The World of Social Media

In the UK, 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth.

The emotional impact this has is devastating and leaves parents with so many unanswered questions.I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say I find social media really upsetting whilst going through loss. Now this isn’t a ‘thing’ this is real life, real emotions and real feelings. For someone going through loss like myself its draining, its really difficult to see other pregnant women, baby announcements, scan photos, ‘congratulations’ on new born baby photos, people moaning about there swollen feet, people moaning that they have children, the words ‘when is this baby coming out’ – which I do think is pretty rude. Its heartbreaking, its not a sign of ‘we are unhappy for you’ because that’s not the reason we are so proud of all the mum’s out there giving birth and becoming new parents. You may have something some one else wants.

If you put yourself in our shoes and had lost a baby then saw all over your social media the above how would you feel? how would you react? would you be upset? If you have answered yes to all then you know what its like for us.

We want what you have.

Because we never got a chance, we never got to take our baby’s home, or have the ‘congratulations’, ‘shes beautiful’, ‘well done’, ‘your an amazing mummy’. Why? why is everyone so scared to say these words, we still gave birth, we still became a mummy, our children are still beautiful. Its really irritating and something that grinds on me every time I see it. Don’t be scared to speak out loud, its more upsetting when you don’t mention it. When we lose a baby at any stage we start feeling different emotions each parent grieves differently. Some of the things I/grief can make you feel can be ~

~ Feeling like a failure or a let down

~ Thinking it’s all our fault

~ Letting our baby down

~ There is something wrong with us

~ Why did this happen?

~ Not accepting what has happened

~ Isolated

~ Feeling of being alone

~ No one understands

~ No one cares

These are just some things that can happen or feel whilst grieving carrying all this in our mind every single day as well as social media is really mentally draining. Social media shows everything baby related and when going through loss it seems to be there right in your face staring right back at you in the eye. The lady with her bump, the scans photos quoting ‘look at my baby’ but for most of all it hurts for me when baby’s have been born and I see photos of them with captions and comments under neath ‘Congratulations’ ‘he/shes beautiful’ it hurts so bloody much because that was me I gave birth to my beautiful little girl and not many people wanted to say these words, instead we received ‘sorry for your loss’,  ‘I feel for you’, ‘my heart breaks’. It’s the most difficult time and these words DO mean a lot but further on down line it is nice when some one says “she’s beautiful” but they don’t. There is so much taboo around still births and baby loss, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s certainly nothing to be embarrassed about either. Killing the stillbirth taboo is essential, Tommy’s the baby charity are doing just that by hosting a a new campaign #togetherforchange the video on the link below shows a video of what others going through loss or others see on social media when a person announces a birth, scan or status around pregnancy. It hits the nail on the head perfectly.

It’s time to make a change and start and stop the silence on baby loss.

Click on the link below to find out more #togetherforchange “There is still silence and shame around baby loss. But if we can talk about it openly and honestly, not only can we help each other feel less alone, but we can also pave the way for greater awareness and more research to stop it happening”

~ Tommy’s the Baby Charity

Happy 70th Birthday NHS

Happy 70th birthday NHS

Although I am currently trying to change the testing for Group B Strep as they didn’t provide me with one or information whilst pregnant and signs for Sepsis.

I wanted to say a big thank you to the NHS for providing me & my husband with the amazing midwives that looked after us from when Violet was first in my womb, a thank you to the midwives who cared for me when moments went a little bit pear shaped during my pregnancy and a massive thank you to the midwives, doctors and consultants who kept me alive during labour. If it wasn’t for the NHS I wouldn’t have been provided with an amazing bereavement midwife who is there for me to help me through this tough time. The counselling provided which keeps me some how sane and helps me carry on each day, the love and care given by the amazing bereavement team at the birthing centre when Violet was born. Each midwife who met Violet and treated her ‘normal’ with lots of love, respect and kindness. The priest from the Chapel who performed a beautiful blessing for Violet. The midwife who carefully took Violet down her first part of her journey.

If I hadn’t been for the NHS, we wouldn’t have these memories.

So thank you #NHS70th