A grieving mum whose baby died at just three days old is calling for people to back a petition.
Hayley Keane lost baby Simon John Foster in December after she contracted a bacteria while she was pregnant, which led to meningitis.
Now the 26-year-old mum is campaigning for the NHS to introduce routine screening for the Group B Streptococcus.
Hayley, from Hartlepool, believes it could have saved baby Simon’s life and would prevent other tragic deaths.
The 26-year-old said: “This month is Strep B Awareness Month. Last time we only got 55,000 signatures but it needs 100,000 to be raised in Parliament, otherwise we will be waiting another year.
“It is a case of the sooner the better because it is still happening, babies are still dying of this and mothers may be carrying the infection without knowing because they are not getting tested for it.
“I’m urging everyone to sign the petition because their signature can make a difference.”
Hayley, who lives on the Headland, gave birth to Simon, named after his dad Simon Foster, 39, by C-section but after 10 hours he suffered seizures and was cared for in an incubator.
Despite the best efforts of medics, he could not be saved.
She has added her voice to growing calls for routine screening of the bacterium late in pregnancy when, if found, can be tackled with antibiotics.
Hayley, also mum to Alfie Jack Keane, who is nine, and seven-year-old Annalise Keane, said even if Strep B does not claim the tot’s life it can still leave devastating consequences that the baby has to live with or the rest of their life.
Hayley also wants to let mums-to-be know that private screening is available.
The UK National Screening Committee does not recommend screening for all pregnant women as tests cannot predict if mothers will have the infection by the time they go into labour.
There is also said to be insufficient evidence to show it is less harmful to give women antibiotics in labour to outweigh the possible harm.
The petition at change.org was launched last week by a mum who lost her baby boy to the condition at just nine days old.
Go to www.change.org and type ‘Strep B’ in the search box.