A young mum from Canvey Island is trying to raise awareness after tragically losing her third child due to pre-eclampsia and complications after birth.
Brooke Saunders, 25, suffered from the condition with her second and third pregnancy after having a perfectly healthy first pregnancy.
Due to the condition and her blood pressure being very high, Kody, Brooke’s third baby was born at 27 weeks in July 2016. His lungs were undeveloped, putting pressure on his heart, making him suffer from pulmonary hypertensions. He was dependent on breathing support and in February this year, at seven months old, lost his battle for life.
Brooke is now calling for more awareness for pre-eclampsia. She said: “Pre-eclampsia has symptoms like a normal pregnancy would, so it’s very difficult to diagnose.
Mums-to-be don’t know enough about the condition and that is why I’m trying to tell my story by highlighting to expectant mums how serious the condition can sometimes be.”
Brooke has made Twibbons and Hairbands to highlight her campaign and is now writing a book for mums hopefully to be given out at hospitals across Essex and at the Neo Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital where Kody was born.
She is also encouraging supporters to donate or help raise money for ‘action on pre-eclampsia’ or Luton & Dunstable NICU.
Pre-eclampsia is the leading cause of illness and death in both mothers and their babies worldwide affecting between 5% and 8%. It is caused by a defect in the placenta and characterised by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in urine.
In the early stages there are no symptoms and it is only detectable by regular antenatal checks on the mother’s blood pressure and urine.
Brooke added: “To any new mums-to-be, please always attend your antenatal and GP appointments and make sure your midwife carries out a high blood pressure test and a urine test before you leave.”
Visit Brooke’s appeal at www.facebook.com/AwarenessForKody