We have entered the Aviva community funding competition and we love to have your 10 votes to help us win this, vote here:
This is a little bit of what we do
Here at Little Heartbeats we are all mothers , fathers, and families who have first-hand experience of dealing with PPROM on a personal level and those experiences differ across the board.
We support pregnant mothers through their PPROM journeys throughout the UK and internationally. We have worked hard to fundraise to pay for and send PPROM information packs to pregnant mothers dealing with PPROM when requested.
We have built a source of information and support. We also work on improving the general awareness of this pregnancy-related condition.
And finally provide a platform from which to voice an opinion based on real experience as to how the medical professionals involved in childbirth might improve their understanding, treatment and care of PPROM patients.
What is PPROM in pregnancy?
PPROM is the acronym for Preterm Pre-labour Rupture of Membranes.
This is otherwise known as when the waters break prior to 37 weeks during pregnancy and is associated with 40% of premature births. Waters, known as the amniotic fluid, protect your baby from injury. It also helps in preventing infection being passed from mother to baby. As soon as the waters break the risks of infection to both mother and baby are high. Therefore good management of care at this stage is key to treating this condition successfully. Click here to see our PPROM presentation here:
PPROM occurs in:
• PROM occurs in 6-19% of term pregnancies.
• P-PROM occurs in 2% of all pregnancies.
• P-PROM is associated with 40% of preterm deliveries and can lead to significant morbidity and mortality.
When our mums are prior to 24 weeks
When this happens during pregnancy many women are told that termination of their pregnancy is their only option. As a mother how do you comprehend this when your already loved baby’s heart is still beating happily inside your bump. There is hope and our mission at Little Heartbeats is to promote awareness of this condition and that babies can survive. They can go on to live full, happy lives. There is hope.
When our mums PPROM after 24 weeks
Mums know that waters shouldn’t break before 37 weeks of pregnancy and if it does it is a serious condition that requires management. There is very little information given to these families. Guidelines recommend delivery at 34 weeks, some women are informed of this, but sadly not all. Tragically, this means that some of these babies don’t survive. We are striving for change. These guidelines have, at the moment, been withdrawn in the UK and we are doing our upmost to change this. We encourage our mums to get to know their babies and their movements and know what is normal for them. Some people think that the later your membranes rupture; the higher chance you have of bringing your baby home. That’s not always the case. Management is key with PPROM, we encourage our mums to go and get checked out if they have the slightest feeling something isn’t right and to trust their instincts. Speaking up and getting checked out can save their baby’s life.
When we are contacted by a mother or family member who is going through PPROM, we send out packs to them.
Our packs include:
PPROM information leaflets- to empower families to speak up
The PPROM regimen - to offer advice on PPROM management
A heartbeat bear- to record baby's heartbeat
A colouring book and pens- for relaxation
We would use any funds given to carry on our work in PPROM awareness and look towards building our non-profit organisation into a charity. In the future we would love a headquarters and a shop to raise funds for our charity and towards research into PPROM and a cure.
What others have said about our work:
Little Heartbeats was the only thing that kept me hopeful while in the hospital awaiting my baby. I experienced PPROM at 27 weeks and was clueless as to what to do and who to turn to. I am so grateful I found their FB page and was able to get advice, cry, be frustrated, vent, and meet new women in my situation! They were there every time I needed them. My baby was born at 32 weeks after 5 1/2 weeks of hospital bed rest. Little Heartbeats was a life saver and are still helping me by allowing me to help others like myself.
By Rhiannon price
Little heartbeats are the most deserving group in my eyes. They helped me when my waters broke at 16 weeks. Having 3 non complicated pregnancies before my pprom, I had no idea what was happening. Ciara gave me all the information I needed to realise aborting wasn’t the only option , which the hospital kept insisting I do. I delivered my precious Prince Louie ar 23weeks and 3 days and he lived a wonderful 4 days with us here on earth. Again little heartbeats helped me through my grief.
10 months on and we discovered we were pregnant again and once again ciara and little heartbeats helped me through a worrisome pregnancy. My beautiful rainbow baby matayo-louie is now 1 but I help out on the page where I can with my personal story and photos
Saiqa R Mansoor
My journey is very hard to talk about even until this day even though my little boy is over a year old now.
My waters broke at 12 weeks. When I went for my scan there was amniotic fluid around my babies- yes I was expecting twins! After being misdiagnosed and told to terminate time and time again I decided to persist and move forward with the pregnancy. This was only because I had unlimited support and guidance from Ciara. I had never heard of pprom and had no idea what to do. After speaking to Ciara I followed the pprom protocol. She always encouraged me and told me where there is a heartbeat there is hope! Her strength made me stronger and her guidance allowed me to follow a path I had no idea I had the courage to follow.
I delivered at 31 weeks due to emergency c-section as I had cord prolapse! One of my boys gained his wings a few hours after birth my other little boy lives to tell the tale! I cannot thank Ciara and everyone from little heartbeats enough!
Mother of twins always and forever…
There is no one more deserving for this award than Ciara and her team at LHB . We fully support them here all the way from the States in Miami,FL . They have been incredible when I went through my PPROM pregnancy and the loss of my baby boy Kai. I cannot wait to meet them all in the future to give them a big hug. They do so much for our PPROM community
By Kelly Strange
As a journalist for national newspapers and magazines, I’ve interviewed many parents who’ve received the help and support of Little Heartbeats. When medical professionals have given up, Little Heartbeats offers hope. It has been a pleasure to work with parents who tell me time and time again that they believe the information they got from Little Heartbeats helped to save their baby. Tragically, that is not always possible. But Little Heartbeats – and the community of supporters that has grown around it – is always there helping and caring whatever the outcome and for that reason I hope their wonderful work is acknowledged in the awards.
By Davinia Watson
Little Heartbeats were my absolute saviour whilst on my PPROM journey. I lost my waters at 21 weeks and was told I must terminate my pregnancy- I did nothing of the sort! However the medics I encountered were always so negative and did nothing to support me – all they ever discussed was a termination. LHB and Ciara let me see that there was hope, they provided me with necessary information to fight my battle and spoke with me daily. My little boy is now 19 months old and a healthy, happy boy – he was given 2% chance of survival and I believe that if it wasn’t for LHB my story and mental health would have been so different. I can’t thank them enough. Davinia
By Jenny Sanders
The work of Ciara and little heartbeats has given so many women support during a terrifying time in their pregnancies. Quite often doctors have little advice or knowledge of PPROM and usually advise to terminate. Little heartbeats send out vital information in their support packs which I’m sure have helped many women, including myself, realise there are miracle stories out there and what they can do to continue with their pregnancies.
I haven’t had my baby yet but having access to other women’s stories on their website and Facebook page has given me hope for a good outcome.
By Wynette Darkes
Without Ciara and Little Heartbeats I would never have found the strength to get through the loss of my little boy is March 2016. She is an inspiration to all she meets and provides hope when no one else can or will. Thank you Ciara from the bottom of my heart, you saved me! Xx
By Chloe Cava
LHB what can I say that I haven’t already said on your video…
I am so thankfully that we found you! Your 24 hour support has been incredible! We were told that there was no other option than to terminate our baby’s life! You gave us information, information that changes my son’s life! We spent An amazing four and a half hours with my son in my arms, time that would have never been possible if it wasnt for you!
You are amazing! Go team LHB
By Amanda Robinson
Little heartbeats supported my family through one of the hardest things I have I ever been through, they stood by us from the start when I reached out to them when I found out my waters had broken at 17 weeks, they sent me information and gifts to help me such as the heartbeat bear. I had more information about pprom from little heartbeats than I did from my hospital if it wasn’t for little heartbeats I might not have met my little girl as the hospital offered a termation but I knew from little heartbeats support and advice that some babies do survive this. My little girl Hope was born by emergency c section at 28 weeks, she lived 26 hours and I’m so grateful for that time spent with her I never regretted carrying on with my pregnancy. Little heartbeats were there every second of the day and are still here for me now a year and a half after our loss. They bring hope to families in despair, support us all I never felt alone and I’m truly thankful for all their hard work, advice, support and information but most of all just being a friend when I needed one.
By Rachel Allman
When I thought I was alone I came across little heart beats and went to meet Ciara. All I can say is thankyou so much for making me realise I am not alone and supporting me from a life changing experience! Truly amazing the work you do and so pleased I met you!
By Traci Page
Little Heartbeats does so much for so many and never asks for anything in return. Please vote for this organization. They deserve recognition for all they do and the unending support they give in our most sorrowful times.
By Danielle Martinaj
Where would I have been without Little Heartbeats and Ciara? When I lost my waters completely at 16 weeks I was given the most bleakest outcome and told all I could do was to terminate my son, then my husband and I stumbled across little heartbeats online – immediately I posted a plea for help and we had so much support & information including a support pack full of vital info and a beautiful heartbeat mascot so I could record my babies heartbeat which is so precious to me (all sent for free ) – we decided to go home and give our baby son a chance where there is a heartbeat there is hope, unfortunately for us, our journey ended a little further down the line with our beautiful boy being born sleeping at 20 weeks, but it Was Ciara and her team and all the other ladies on the support group who got me through those weeks and those following his death helping me grieve for the loss of my son & understanding why this has happened. They are working so hard to raise awareness of PPROM, and Ciara and her team go beyond the norm to help each and every one of us , Thankyou for all you have done for us x
By Louise Quayle
Without the amazing work of little heartbeats I honestly wouldn’t have a clue what to do! My doctors were totally unhelpful, told me I had no chance to make it even past 48 hours. Didn’t give me any information, no do’s or don’t’s, no plan, nothing just sent home. Although I did lose my babies little heartbeats helped me with any question and gave me hope I didn’t think was there! I made it 5 weeks after pprom with my first and 3 weeks with my second. Honestly if it wasn’t for the support and guidance they offered I don’t think I would have gone that far. They are absolutely amazing!
By Louise Macdonald
The support received by Little Heartbeats has been second to none since I sadly lost my son last year at 24 weeks to PPROM. I received a pack which gave me vital information which helped me to ask the right questions at my post natal check up, but also helped formulate an evidence based plan for future pregnancy. Without the information and the support I would never have had the strength to even ask for these things, let alone the confidence to demand them. Ciara herself has been a pillar of strength and is always there in the dark times and the good. So important to people who cannot see the light for the darkness.
Our PPROM babies