Headache saves Mother and Unborn Baby’s Life

If not for a headache, Bethan Benney would never have gone to the hospital and known that she was suffering from a condition that could have turned fatal for her unborn child.

27 year old Bethan, a teacher from Park View, Abercynon, was 35 weeks pregnant when she developed a headache. Not taking any chances she decided to visit her hospital and get a checkup.

“I went to Prince Charles Hospital’s maternity unit because I had quite a bad headache and was concerned that I could be developing a condition called pre-eclampsia.” She said. “The midwife decided, as a precaution, to admit me and monitor my condition.”

But in the hospital Bethan suffered a condition called Placenta abruption that caused severe hemorrhage in her womb. As the condition was extremely dangerous for her and the unborn baby, doctors performed emergency C-section.

“But just hours later I suffered from placenta abruption where the placenta separates from the uterus and then the baby can be deprived of oxygen. Time is of the essence and the baby has to be delivered very quickly. If I had not been in hospital I dread to think what could have happened,” said Bethan.

Even with the emergency surgery, baby Ffion was born 4 lbs 14 ozs and was not breathing. Doctors struggled for 14 minutes to revive her.

Meanwhile, Bethan’s partner 27 year old Gareth Harris was at home in bed totally unaware of the drama at the hospital. He got a call from the maternity ward asking him to come to the hospital immediately.

“Gareth was distraught when he got here as he didn’t know if he was going to lose us both,” said Bethan.

Baby Ffion was first taken to intensive care and later transferred to the neo-natal unit at the University Hospital of Wales. Here, for two weeks she battled for life as she suffered a number of seizures and developed a kidney problem. However, the baby is now home, and at eight weeks age, she weighs 6 lbs.

“I recovered from the surgery with no problems but Ffion will have to be monitored to keep an eye on her kidneys”, said Bethan.

The family is thankful to the expert care they received at both the hospitals.

“They didn’t give up on Ffion and saved both our lives. I know I’ll never complain about having a headache again,” said the young mum.

A spokesman for Cwm Taf Health Board said, “The Health Board would like to thank Bethan Benney and her family, for her praise and gratitude of the staff working in the maternity unit in Prince Charles Hospital.

“All the staff are dedicated to give the very best care to women and their babies, and work very hard to ensure the service they provide is of a high quality. It is wonderful to hear that Ms Benney and her daughter are well, thanks to the hard work of all the staff.”

In the UK, placenta abruption is one of the most common causes of still birth and neo-natal deaths. But this time around a chance headache saved two precious lives. – Atula, Staff Writer

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About the author


Atula is a writer, traveler and a nature-lover. She is also mom to a boy who seems to have inherited all her creative genes. When Atula is not busy making up stories with her son, she writes for numerous magazines, websites and blogs. She is also working on her site on endangered species called

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