A heartbroken mother has launched a petition to urge the Scottish Government to introduce a swab test for pregnant women to prevent the risk of Group B Strep after she lost her "perfect baby boy" to the infection. 

Shaheen McQuade post is gathering momentum on Facebook with over a thousand likes and shares as she looks to raise awareness of the condition and how the test could save mothers from the heartache she has endured. 

As newborn babies have a poorly developed immune system, Strep B bacteria can quickly spread through their body, causing serious infections such as meningitis and pneumonia.


Evening Times:

In the post she says, "On the 2nd of August 2015 I gave birth to my first baby, my beautiful happy healthy perfect baby boy Zach. I could not believe how lucky I was to have such a content and happy baby.

"They say when babies smile that it is the hives yet my son smiled every single day. On the 14th of August he was unwell and my health visitor advised it was just colic however a couple of hours later I could see he was getting worse and called an ambulance.

"Zach was taken to Wishaw General where he was tested for meningitis. A couple of hours later my world was shattered forever when the doctor advised that he did in fact have bacterial meningitis and would not survive. He was moved to Yorkhill Hospital where he fell asleep the following day."

She continued, "No words can explain the devastation and heartache this has caused me. I have since had a meeting with the consultant who treated Zach at Yorkhill to explain what had happened. The consultant explained that Zach had Group B Strep strain of meningitis which was picked up during labour.

"I have contacted the Meningitis Research Trust and have also read numoureous articles, and I am devestated to learn that a simple swab would have alerted midwives that I was carrying this in the birth canal.

"Had I had a swab at the beginning of my labour i would have been given antibiotics and my baby would have been delivered by cesearean, and Zach would still be here.

"This is something I was never made aware of during pregnancy. I have asked why mothers are not routinely swabbed when they go into labour and as of yet have not received a satisfactory explanation.

"No mother should ever have to cope with losing a baby however to live with the knowledge that it was preventable is a million times worse.

"It is indescribable the feeling I have to learn that a simple £11 test would have saved my son's life. Why are the NHS taking these risks and not raising awareness or offering these tests? This test should be compulsory in Scotland

"I want people to realise the devastating consequences Group B Strep can have on such a perfectly happy content beautiful baby boy.

"Please help me in my fight to make changes to prevent this happening to any other little baby."

Hundreds have already signed the petition and posted comments on why they support the petition.

Evening Times:

Sign the petition here