The True Impact of Sodium Valproate

Ahead of the Back Bench Business Debate at Parliament on 19th October, we have been asked to collate parents stories of how taking Sodium Valproate in Pregnancy has impacted their children’s and their lives. Here is Caroline’s story : I … Continue reading 

Mental Health Awareness Week


When you are anxious you feel fearful and tense. In addition you may also have one or more unpleasant physical symptoms. For example, you might have a fast heart rate, a thumping heart (palpitations), feeling sick, shaking (tremor), sweating, dry mouth, chest pain, headaches, fast breathing.

The physical symptoms are partly caused by the brain which sends lots of messages down nerves to various parts of the body when you are anxious. The nerve messages tend to make the heart, lungs, and other parts of the body work faster. In addition, you release stress hormones (such as adrenaline) into the bloodstream when you are anxious. These can also act on the heart, muscles and other parts of the body to cause symptoms.
Anxiety is normal in stressful situations, and can even be helpful. For example, most people will be anxious when threatened by an aggressive person, or before an important race. The burst of adrenaline and nerve impulses which we have in response to stressful situations can encourage a ‘fight or flight’ response.

Anxiety is abnormal if it:

Is out of proportion to the stressful situation; or
Persists when a stressful situation has gone, or the stress is minor; or
Appears for no apparent reason when there is no stressful situation.

If you feel you are having signs of anxiety, visit your Gp or for more information

Pre Eclampsia Awareness Month

New Ambassador badge

My role as Ambassador at MAMA ACADEMY is to help promote all advice and stories about pregnancy, to spread and give advice on pregnancy related topics as and when.

May is Pre Acalampsia Awareness Month and for any expectant mum knowing the signs and symptoms of Pre Eclampsia is for both mum and baby sometimes life threatening.

Pre Eclampsia only occurs in pregnancy and the postpartum period. It is a progressive condition and can deteriorate suddenly. It is detected by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine, and this will normally be picked up at routine midwife appointments

Severe pre-eclampsia, can be fatal to mother, baby or both. It can only be managed with medication up to a point – the ONLY cure for pre-eclampsia is delivery of the baby, and if it develops too early in pregnancy, it is clear to see how pre-eclampsia is responsible for 15% of all pre-term births in the UK

Signs and Symptoms
Swelling of the hands and face, especially around the eyes (swollen feet or ankles are very common in later pregnancy and aren’t necessarily a sign of pre-eclampsia)
Weight gain of more than 5lbs in a week
A severe headache that won’t go away with painkillers
Changes in vision such as seeing spots or flashing lights, or any loss of vision (if you have ever been unfortunate enough to have a migraine with aura, it is similar to this)
Nausea or throwing up, often suddenly, in mid to late pregnancy (this is different to the ‘morning sickness’ common in early pregnancy)
Upper abdominal pain, sometimes mistaken for indigestion
Difficulty breathing, gasping or panting

If any of this symptoms present themselves, contact your midwife as soon as possible.