In May 2009 my life was about to change forever. I was 36 weeks pregnant with my first baby and had everything ready for his arrival. I was a healthy young Mum having a wonderful pregnancy. I developed gestational diabetes as it runs in the family but my sugar levels were very good, being managed by diet alone and all my antenatal appointments had been filled with excitement. I went to work excited as it was my last day before going on maternity leave and my leaving do was being held that evening. I popped out quickly in the afternoon to see my Midwife for a check up but to her dismay, she couldn’t find my baby’s heartbeat.
Aidan James Eldridge was born still the following lunch time on the 15th May 2009 weighing 5lb 4oz. His death is marked as “unexplained” on the post mortem results but it is thought that my placenta had stopped working. The shock and devastation that followed cannot be described & my life was completely turned upside down.
I had no idea that babies were still dying in the UK, or how common it is. The UK has nearly the highest stillbirth rates amongst high income countries. 6,500 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth each year which results in 17 every day which is 1 in 200 births. These figures remain unchanged over the last 10 years.
I have since been blessed with another son, Tobiah (Goodness of God) who arrived safely into the world on the 1st October 2010. During this pregnancy I made sure I was well educated & armed myself with as much knowledge as possible so I knew the warning signs & when to get checked by my maternity team.
Last year I decided I wanted to help prevent stillbirth affecting other parents. From attending Sands meetings I noticed that there was a common link in baby loss which was the reduction of babies movements and that many Mums were receiving inconsistent advice from their Midwives. I did a lot of research and got in touch with my local hospitals to present my findings at their MSLC meetings which resulted in them changing their practises on informing Mums the importance of monitoring movements. I also learnt the true value of Midwives, and how they need support & vital education, just as much as expectant Mums do. This led me to set up MAMA Academy, the pregnancy school!
MAMA (Mums And Midwives Awareness) Academy has just been born to provide vital education to both expectant Mums and healthcare providers. We aim to help Mums have a healthy pregnancy and keep Midwives up-to-date with all the latest guidelines, studies and research. We are currently on facebook and will be launching an educational website in the next couple of months. We shall also be helping to raise awareness of baby loss but in an educational way. Our mission is to make a difference in the world and see the numbers of baby loss decrease by the end of the year.
You can make a difference too by sharing our page on facebook and supporting Heather on her incredible challenge for an amazing cause. Your money for Tommy’s will assist in vital stillbirth research which will help 17 parents in the UK every day.
Thank you for making a difference