Special ‘wallet’ helping pregnant women

Beautiful bouncing baby Amelia Jackson is the apple of her parents’ eye. At six weeks old she is thriving – but that is only thanks to a special ‘wallet’ and the quick-thinking midwifery team at Scunthorpe hospital.

Bereavement midwife Nick Kerry with chairman and treasurer of Scunthorpe League of Friends Granville Staves.

Proud parents Pete and Bev Jackson, of Winteringham, are celebrating the birth of their rainbow baby after the tragic loss of her big sister Alicia who was born sleeping in February 2017.

It is thanks to a 50p plastic wallet that is being given to all pregnant women who come through Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole hospitals that Pete and Bev sought help.

Pete said: “I am in no doubt that the wallet, and the amazing staff saved Amelia’s life. The wallet says to trust your instincts and that is exactly what we did. Bev had some pelvic pains so we went to the pregnancy assessment unit to get checked out.

“The midwife, Sarah Pedge, who saw us, was fantastic. She did the necessary tests, and acting on her expertise, decided to get Bev scanned.”

The scan showed an abnormality with the placenta and Bev was rushed to the labour ward for further observations. Nick Kerry, bereavement midwife, had been caring for the couple through her rainbow clinic and came in on her day off to be with the couple.

Nick said: “Thankfully Pete and Bev had been in the hospital for an eye appointment. Bev had a niggling pain and acting on the information on the wallet popped into the midwifery unit.

“Amelia was in distress and needed to be delivered by emergency caesarean section. If they hadn’t of acted on the wallet, and had the care they did from the whole team, then Amelia would probably not be here today.”

The colourful plastic wallets, which have been bought by Scunthorpe and Grimsby League of Friends, feature easy to understand key advice regarding mum’s health, and that of the baby.

Nick, who saw the wallets at an ‘Our Angels’ conference, called on the League of Friends at Grimsby and Scunthorpe to help fund the information wallets. They both jumped at the chance to help local families and handed over enough money for Nick to buy 4,500 of the MAMA Wellbeing Wallets.

Nick said: “The wallets are great for women to store notes, scan photos and leaflets. They are also a fantastic way for women to educate themselves about their pregnancy.

“The wallets ensure that key messages such as monitoring babies’ movements become second nature to women. Although a change in movement could be nothing to worry about, it could also be a sign that the baby in unwell and they need to see their midwife.”

Pete and Bev were one of the first families to receive a wallet. Bev said: “There was information on there that I hadn’t even thought about. It was full of great top tips. The main thing was ‘if in doubt, get checked out’. That’s exactly what we did.”

Pete added: “We couldn’t have been in better hands. The team were incredible, especially Nick who has been with us throughout the whole pregnancy; she was even there at the delivery.”

They both paid tribute to the staff who they met on their rainbow journey including Rick, the sonographer who they always saw for their scans, the midwives and reception staff. Bev added: “I knew Nick was always there at the end of the phone. She said the first day we met her it would be an emotional ride and it certainly has been but we have come through that rainbow as Amelia is here now.”

The wallets include information on such things as:

• When to call the midwifery unit, such as if the baby’s movements have slowed down, changed or stopped or if they have a persistent headache
• What the normal signs of labour are
• Foods to avoid in pregnancy.

Granville Staves, chairman and treasurer from Scunthorpe League of Friends, said: “When we heard about this we couldn’t wait to get involved as we think that every mum and baby needs all the support they can get to ensure it is a healthy and happy pregnancy. That is what we are all about, here to help and support wherever we can.”

Chairman of Grimsby League of Friends Jeff Todd said: “We were delighted to be able to fund the purchase of these educational wallets. They contain important and useful information for ‘mums to be’ and also advice on who and when to contact if they have any concerns and queries during their pregnancy. Our council members did not hesitate to approve this request.”

Heidi Eldridge, chief executive of the stillbirth prevention charity, MAMA Academy, said: “After the tragic loss of my stillborn son, Aidan, I wish I had been told the signs and symptoms to look out for in case my baby was not well during my pregnancy.

“When I discovered the UK has one of the highest stillbirth rates in the developed world, I took action by setting up MAMA Academy and creating our Wellbeing Wallets to empower parents with essential information so they have the confidence to approach their maternity team with any concerns.

“We are thrilled to hear our MAMA Wellbeing Wallet has changed the lives of the Jackson family and we will endeavour to raise awareness to help other babies like Amelia arrive safely.”

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