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Bereavement Leave

Bereavement Leave A recent social media discussion has got me thinking about the difficulty in returning to work following the loss of your child.   For some it be can an unbearable experience that literally pushes many over the edge.   I was one of the lucky ones, I for many years have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with both my bosses and my direct reports in the same employment.   Bereavement leave, especially time taken for the death of your child is, I guess, not something that enters your mindset through everyday life.   That said, it never entered my head that within reason, I would not get given whatever fully-paid time I required to ensure that I was in the best possible place before contemplating returning to work.   Some people and way more than I realised until participating in that  recent twitter discussion do not have the luxury of understanding bosses and colleagues that I had when I returned to work 2 and half weeks later following the passing of our da
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MP Sharon Hodgson - My stillborn baby did 'not exist'

Last week, in the House of Commons, MP Sharon Hodgson broke down as she revealed her agony of being told her stillborn daughter, Lucy, who was born 20 years ago at 23 weeks + 5 days did not ‘officially exist’.   That is because under UK law, parents are not given a birth or death certificate if the child is not born alive before 24 weeks’ gestation. Although the passing of her daughter was not as far as I’m aware related to a Group B Strep infection, listening to her plea hit home with us and got us thinking about what she is asking for.   Her little girls heart had beat through most of her labour and she held her babies motionless body in her arms in hospital.   It surely cannot be questioned that indelible memory is fact that her daughter indeed existed . MP Sharon Hodgson, 02/02/18 Our daughter, Mia was born alive at 25+5 weeks (2 weeks older than Lucy) and lived for 22 minutes, therefore she ticked all the boxes to be classed as having ‘officially existed’

BBC Look East - Patient information leaflets

A few weeks ago I sent an email to our contacts at the local newspapers about the new patient information leaflets and the work done by GBS Support and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.  We asked for an article highlighting that by fully implementing the agreed recommendations, the rate of avoidable Group B Strep infections to newborns in the UK would fall. The article was published in mid January and following a good response prompted us to release the first few pages of "Mia's Story".  I then received a phone call from BBC Look East about their intention to run a headline story about the leaflet, Group B Strep and Mia - we agreed to do the interview and was scheduled for Monday 29th January. We did our best to keep the leaflet as the main topic within the interview and that it is our belief that the biggest problem at the moment is that to-be parents just don't know about the dangers of the infection and how easy it is to be prepared if the moth

Why is the new GBS leaflet so Important?

Just before Christmas we received some amazing news from Group B Strep Support.   During September 2017, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) updated their Green-top Guideline in to the Group B Strep infection to advise that, it is now the national recommended practice to provide all pregnant women with information about GBS.   Now after collaboration between RCOG and GBSS, a jointly written leaflet will be provided in the UK to all pregnant women for the first time. Why is this leaflet so important? Firstly, the leaflet is endorsed by RCOG who aim to improve the healthcare of women worldwide and publish guidelines to provide high-quality care.   This will bring huge changes in both awareness and ultimately prevention of infections. A hard-copy of the leaflet will be made available to all pregnant women in the UK (based on 2016 figures, that is around 0.7M per year) and is written in an easy to understand way that includes how to minimise the risk

Dear Darlin'

Sub-Lyrics from the hit single "Dear Darlin'" - these words are for Mia Dear Darlin’, please excuse my writing. I can’t stop my hands from shaking 'Cause I’m cold and alone tonight. I miss you and nothing hurts like no you. And no one understands what we went through. It was short. It was sweet. We tried. And if my words break through the wall And meet you at your door, All I could say is “Girl, I mean them all.” Olly Murs (c) 2014

4 Years tomorrow….

4 Years tomorrow…. It seems inconceivable that it’s four years tomorrow that Mia was born.   It goes without saying that both her mum and I are different people, changed beyond recognition.   Sometimes it feels like we are going nowhere, the world is not listening and then out of the blue something happens like a media interview request that happened earlier this week on how things had changed over the 4 years and in light of the new leaflet now being given out to pregnant families detailing the existence and effect of Group B Strep. Tomorrow will be quiet, just myself, Amanda and Theo – I’m hoping we will see the other children too at some point in the day, because for tomorrow nothing else matters X

Pegasus - 'Bake a cake for work' Day

Yesterday, we held a ‘Bake a cake at work’ day at Pegasus     Lots of people baked and others provided shop bought cakes and we raised a grand total of £147.54 for the Group B Strep Support charity.   This was pushed over the £200 mark by a private donation by the partner of one of our employees. Just as importantly though we carried on raising awareness and I learnt that first time mum-to-be Natalie Green who works in our Support department had attended a number of antenatal classes and had not been made aware of GBS or the tests available privately.   Everyone in the office was full of cake by the end of the day but perhaps the biggest plus point of the day was Natalie’s face when she was told that the test was not routinely available in the UK as part of standard antenatal care but is in many other countries and is available to purchase privately for £35 and it is more accurate than the standard test offered by a very small number of NHS Trusts throughout the UK. A good