We use necessary cookies that allow our site to work. We also set optional cookies that help us improve our website For more information about the types of cookies we use, visit our Cookies policy and manage your preferences.


Hannah B's story

16th November 2023

Hannah, from Selby in Yorkshire, was pregnant when she was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.

Hannah B case study pic

“I never thought it could be meningitis. I thought it was what babies got, not adults, especially not pregnant adults."

“I was 37 weeks pregnant when I started to feel unwell. I had a stiff neck throughout the day but I just thought I’d slept funny.

“I went to bed as usual but woke up in the early hours with a fever. My stiff neck felt even worse, and I had a really bad headache.

"I went downstairs to take some pain killers. When I turned the lights on I nearly cried because of the pain it caused in my head. My temperature was over 40 degrees.

“I went back to bed but couldn’t sleep. I was then sick. My partner got up for work and I told him something was not right. I thought I might have preeclampsia as my headache wouldn’t go away.

Labour ward

“I rang the triage unit at my local hospital because the baby had reduced movements. They told me to come straight in. The midwives decided to put me on the labour ward to monitor the baby.

“I had to have all the lights dimmed and I sat with a towel over my head as the lights were too bright for me.

“They did multiple blood tests and the results came back that I had an infection but they didn’t know what it was at first. I had a CT scan that came back fine so they did a lumbar puncture, and the results showed I had bacterial meningitis.

“I never thought it could be meningitis. I thought it was what babies got, not adults, especially not pregnant adults.


“I slept a lot whilst I was in hospital. I was put on a constant drip of antibiotics; they were changing the bag every 4-6 hours.

"The doctors were a bit shocked at first as they weren’t sure how to treat me without harming my baby, and they had never seen a pregnant person with meningitis.

“I responded well to the antibiotics - my headache went after 48 hours of starting them.

“I was in hospital for eleven days and went home with my baby, Matilda, who was born a week early.

“I was extremely anxious when I did go home as my partner and my two-year-old daughter had to have a dose of antibiotics as well as they had been in contact with me.


“I was scared I would get meningitis again - I literally bleached the whole house. I still get anxious if I get a headache.

"I get awful headaches and I’ve also struggled with hearing loss due to the meningitis.

"Matilda was born perfectly healthy and is a happy little girl.”