Sofia, from Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, told us her story and urges other mothers to get the simple test that could save lives.
“My son Hunter was born on 14 August 2019. I went into hospital to have a normal birth after my contractions started, and a few hours later my waters broke. Approximately two hours after, my son’s heart started to drop rapidly. Midwives and doctors rushed me in for an emergency C-section.
“For that, I had to be put asleep to be woken and told my beautiful boy was born but that I couldn’t yet see him as he was very poorly and been taken to ICU to have some tests done. A few hours later, once I was strong enough, I got to meet my beautiful boy and hold him for the first time.
Really high infection
“A consultant came in to say the bloods they ran had come back with a really high infection and that they suspected meningitis. It was suggested he had a lumber puncture, which of course we agreed to and straight away he was put on all types of antibiotics.
“A week later, the results came back to say he had meningitis caused by a suspected infection called Group B Strep (GBS). Now I had no idea what this infection was, so I asked all sorts of questions like: What is that? Was it something I did? Is it my fault? They explained that every woman is likely to carry the GBS bacteria at some point in their life. It’s harmless UNLESS you are pregnant and give birth - if you are pregnant and your waters break and the infection reaches your baby, all different symptoms can occur, including sepsis and in the worst case, meningitis.
“This isn't something my midwives told me about why? Because its infection rate isn't that high... well I believe if it happened to me it can happen to anyone. I was also told you can have this test privately for around the price of £40. It's a little swab and it’s harmless. I wish I was told about it and wish there was more awareness of this infection. Thankfully this infection reached my boy straight away. If I had taken him home, he would not be here today.
Healthy strong boy
“Hunter is now 30 weeks and 1 day. He is a healthy strong boy with no problems. He has his last hearing test very soon and I am hoping he passes with flying colours. So to all the ladies out there, please, please have the test done! Luckily I had a great team around me who picked it up straight away or the results could have ended very differently.”
Find out more about Group B Streptococcus.