A TRIP to the beautician helped save a mum-to-be and her unborn baby's lives.
Angela Belassie, 39, who was 40 weeks pregnant, was unaware her waters had broken until she popped along to have her eyebrows tinted.
Audrey Jones, of Audrey Beauty, who also heavily pregnant, told Angela a small 'trickle' was probably a sign her baby was on the way.
When Angela sought medical advice it emerged she was carrying Group B Strep, a common cause of life-threatening infection in new-born babies.
The former Bridgwater Mercury reporter and her unborn child developed septicaemia, so she underwent an emergency Caesarean and both were given antibiotics intravenously.
Husband Alex said: “Angela started shaking as her temperature soared and the colour drained from her face. At one point I thought I was going to lose both of them.”
Today they have a healthy daughter, Amelia, but the Bristol couple believe things would have been far worse but for Audrey's intervention.
Angela, who runs PR The Write Way and used to live in North Petherton, said: “I will be forever grateful to Audrey and believe she helped save both mine and Amelia’s lives.
“I had a trickle on and off for a few days, but had no idea my waters had broken.
"Doctors said if they are broken for a longer period of time there may be a higher risk of infection. I was tested for GBS, but it takes 48 hours for the results to come back.
“During that time I became unwell and Amelia had a fast heart rate. We weren’t sure if she’d survive and it was terrifying.
“I dread to think what could have happened if I had left it any longer, without the constant monitoring and medical assistance from all the staff at the hospital, who were great.”
In gratitude, Amelia has been given the middle name Audrey.
Angela, who conceived through IVF, wants to warn other pregnant women that water breaking can take many forms and to be aware of GBS.
The normally harmless bacteria, carried by one in four pregnant women, can be passed to infants during labour and childbirth and can cause blood poisoning, pneumonia and meningitis, with a fatality rate of one in 19 and in some cases long-term disabilities.
The NHS, unlike many developed countries, does not screen for the infection - a simple swab test would cost £10.
Jane Plumb, Group B Strep Support chief executive, said: "The NHS decision means future babies will suffer needlessly from infections which should have been prevented – some of these precious babies will die, others will survive with life-long disabilities.”
Audrey said: “I’m happy Amelia and Angela are OK, but hope this will help raise awareness about Group B Strep and the need to get things checked out if anything is out of the ordinary.”