A wellbeing wallet has been praised for advising new mums about signs and symptoms to look out for during pregnancy.
The MAMA Academy, a charity that advocates for safer pregnancy, was commissioned by Kent and Medway Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) – to produce the wallets containing advice about diet, exercise, signs of labour, illness and when to phone the midwife or hospital.
In the past year, 25,000 wallets have been issued to pregnant women in Kent and Medway.
And new mum Megan Hand (pictured) can attest to how useful – and life-saving – the wallet’s information is.
Unbeknown to the 26-year-old from Hoo, she had pre-eclampsia and only knew the signs and symptoms thanks to the wallet.
She said: “I was 34 weeks pregnant and busy working from home when my vision went blurry.
"I couldn’t see the screen. I had a headache too and had taken paracetamol, hoping it would wear off.”
When the symptoms persisted and her face swelled, Megan, who works as an admin officer for Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex, decided to check the information on the MAMA Academy wallet, which advised her to phone the maternity unit at Medway hospital immediately.
She said: “I phoned the maternity unit and my partner Jordan took me straight to the hospital.
"I was expecting them to say everything was OK, but instead I was admitted and stayed for a week before Elijah was born by emergency caesarean on 23 January.”
On admission, Megan had protein in her urine and high blood pressure – both signs of pre-eclampsia.
Her placenta was also deteriorating meaning it was no longer fully functioning and her baby had stopped growing.
Despite these worries, baby Elijah was safely delivered five weeks early, weighing 4lb 2oz.
Megan said: “The wallet is not only useful for keeping all your notes safely in one place but the information it contains is very helpful and in my case life-saving.
"I didn’t know anything about pre-eclampsia and I didn’t know it is life-threatening. My story could have been very different.”
Tracey Robinson, Programme Manager for the LMNS, said: “The MAMA Academy wallets were introduced in March 2020 as part of Kent and Medway’s LMNS response to the pandemic.
"The wallet is a great way to make sure pregnant women and their partners can access safety messages relating to pregnancy and the feedback we have received has been positive and, in Megan’s case, lifesaving.”