A MOTHER is raising awareness of an infection which left her son fighting to survive the first few weeks of his life.
Cllr Justine Baker, prospective parliamentary candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset, is helping to mark Group B Strep awareness month by sharing her harrowing experience of almost losing her son, Harrison, to the infection.
Group B Strep is an infection that pregnant women pass on to their newborn child during childbirth.
The UK currently does not offer women a routine test during pregnancy of the infection; this has led to it being one of the biggest killers of newborn babies in the UK. It is akin to meningitis in a newborn baby.
Cllr Baker said: “When my son was born, I had never heard of this infection, despite him being my second child. He spent his first few weeks fighting for his life.
“My husband and I had to say goodbye to him twice, which was simply beyond horrendous and any parent’s worst nightmare.
“However, we were extremely lucky and Harrison turns six this month, during Group B Strep awareness month and is happy and healthy little boy.”
Cllr Baker said the experience could have been prevented by one simple test, which could have led to her receiving a course of antibiotics in labour to combat the infection.
She added: “Women can have the test if they ask their midwife. They have to pay £30 for it, but trust me, it could be the best £30 you spend on your unborn child. I would hate any parent to go what we went through.”
To find out more about GBS, visit www.GBSS.org.uk.