This Baby Loss Awareness week, we should take time to recognise the efforts of those who dedicate themselves to helping prevent baby loss.
I am a proud ambassador for the MAMA Academy, and a member of Team MAMA.
MAMA Academy is a registered charity working alongside The Royal College of Midwives.
The aim of MAMA Academy is to equip all expectant mums and healthcare professionals with vital knowledge and education to give every baby the best chance of arriving safely and healthily. They want to help mums have healthy pregnancies and support midwives to aid consistency of maternity care right across the UK.
Pregnant women are often inundated with information and guidance, meaning it is crucial to make them as simple as straightforward as possible.
The Mums’ section of the website includes invaluable information about getting to know your hand-held notes and why it is important to always have them with you; and when to call the midwife.
Knowing when to call the midwife is vital, and could help your baby make a safe arrival in to the world.
This is especially critical because it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between regular pregnancy discomforts and a condition that could potentially threaten the lives of both you and your baby – as I discovered.
My son Hugo died aged 35 days, after being delivered at 24 weeks because I had severe preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. I dismissed my symptoms as the normal pregnancy gripes, and was incredibly fortunate to have had a routine midwife appointment a few days after they appeared.
There was nothing further that could have been done to save Hugo – his death was entirely unavoidable. However, I hate to think what would have happened if I had not had that midwife appointment when I did – I had never heard of HELLP syndrome, and did not know the warning signs that meant I should get touch with my midwife. That lack of knowledge could have cost me my life, and given Hugo no chance to fight for his.
Team MAMA consists of mums and healthcare professionals whose passion is to educate to help see the numbers of baby loss decline. They say that if their information can help save just one baby all their hard work will be worthwhile.
The academy was established by Heidi Eldridge, whose son Aidan was sadly born sleeping. After Aidan’s death, Heidi realised that there are precautions expectant mums can take, as well as warning signs to help reduce the risk to the unborn baby.
Heidi has said she discovered that mums were being given inconsistent advice by midwives. This wasn’t always necessarily the fault of the midwives, who wanted to do their best for the women in their care – they needed support to gain access to the latest research and information. The ‘For Midwives’ page hosts links to all the latest research and guidelines to help keep these busy professionals up-to-date.
There are many ways you can support Team MAMA:
- Become an Ambassador
- Share your story
- Say thank you to your midwife – recognise good practice
Please consider helping and supporting the MAMA Academy in whatever way you can. With your help, there could be fewer mummies and daddies mourning what should have been during Baby Loss Awareness Weeks in the years to come.