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"I dread to think what would have happened"

Devin

Published by Carol Musgrave at 6:03am 9th October 2018.

A Surrey stillbirth charity has been praised for helping save the life of a baby after a woman gave birth prematurely.

Lucy Harrison from Chesterfield was 28 weeks pregnant when she noticed her baby's movements had reduced.

She checked her Wellbeing Wallet, an information pack produced by MAMA Academy, based in Chertsey, for expectant mothers.

At the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week Lucy explains how it prompted her to go straight to the birth centre to be checked out:

"The wallet really did change my mind, I was thinking it wouldn't say that for no reason, I need to do something about this straightaway...and to have something to hand that backs you up, and gives you that confidence to say I am not being a nuisance, I am not just imagining this..."

There, they monitored her baby for half an hour, after which it was decided her baby was at risk - and the decision was made to deliver him by Caesarean section.

Baby Devin was born safely just a few hours after she had checked the Wellbeing Wallet, weighing just 1kg.

He is now at home after nearly eight weeks in neo-natal intensive care.

Mama academy
Lucy credits the information in the pack for urging mothers-to-be to follow their gut feel.

"They are practical as well - the information in there is crucial, it gives you that added incentive to trust your instinct", she said. 

She told us she had thought of waiting until she had a glucose tolerarance test the following day, before getting it checked out but even then, the midwife may not have picked up on the reduced movements using just a doppler.

"I dread to think what would have happened if I hadn't gone in that day and been checked out and had that extensive monitoring..." 

The MAMA Academy Wellbeing Wallets are available in two thirds of hospitals around the country, with the aim being to provide one for every expectant mother once funds become available.

Alternatively the wallets are available to buy from MAMA Academy's website for £2. Midwives are provided with free samples.

Separately, stillbirth charity Kicks Count is calling on major retailers Amazon, eBay and Facebook to ban the sale of home dopplers.

So far, Kicks Count’s #ditchthedoppler campaign has been successful in stopping their sale by leading brands Tesco and Mothercare.

Mother and Baby magazine has also stopped advertising them to its readers. 

Kicks Count says: "Fetal Dopplers are medical devices, sold commercially, over the counter to parents. They are designed to monitor the baby’s heartbeat in the womb, using ultrasound. 

"Unfortunately, these devices can give a false sense of security to parents. When a mother has a home doppler and is concerned about her baby, she may use the home doppler to reassure herself that she can still hear a heartbeat and delay seeking professional medical advice. Hearing a heartbeat is no substitute to monitoring fetal movement."

Meanwhile, a Surrey hospital trust is inviting people affected by the loss of a baby or child to gather at St Helier Hospital on Sunday October 14 at 6:30pm for a minute's silence and commemorative event.

The event is free, although donations to Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity are welcome, with money raised to go towards improving facilities in their maternity departments. 

 

 

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