Manktelow BN, Smith LK, Seaton SE, Hyman-Taylor P, Kurinczuk JJ, Field DJ, Smith PW, Draper ESLeicester: University of Leicester; 2016

Initiative empowers pregnant women to know when to seek help

02 September 2016
7 min read
Volume 24 · Issue 9


To help women identify symptoms of potential pregnancy-related complications, charity MAMA Academy has launched Wellbeing Wallets, explains chief executive officer Heidi Eldridge.

MAMA Academy is a pregnancy charity empowering women and midwives to help more babies arrive safely. We educate expectant mothers on how to keep healthy, and when they should call their midwife for advice. We also support midwives by keeping them up to date with current guidelines and research to aid consistent maternity care. All the information we provide is written by our team of health professionals and our website is accredited by the Royal College of Midwives for professionals. The UK has one of the worst stillbirth rates in the developed world, so our mission is to save babies' lives by promoting positive pregnancies (Box 1).

MAMA Academy is a charity founded in 2012 by Heidi Eldridge, whose first child was sadly stillborn in 2009. Even though Heidi had gestational diabetes, she managed her blood sugar levels by diet alone and was told she had nothing to worry about. At a routine 36-week antenatal appointment, the midwife couldn't find the baby's heartbeat. Heidi was asked when she had last felt the baby kick and she couldn't remember—she'd never been told the importance of monitoring her baby's movements. Aidan Eldridge's death is marked as unexplained, even though he was found to be growth restricted. Heidi was told his death was ‘just one of those things’ but when she discovered that the majority of stillbirths are preventable, it sparked her passion to empower parents with information and support midwives to prevent similar heartache.

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