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New Planning for Pregnancy tool launched

14th June 2018

Tommy’s, in partnership with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), Public Health England (PHE) and the UCL Institute for Women’s Health, has launched a digital tool today to give women all the information they need to know before pregnancy.

There are several key steps that can be taken before conception to improve fertility, pregnancy health and the baby’s future health. However, before women become pregnant, they are often not talking to health professionals and many are not aware of about how they can reduce their risks.

The tool is being launched this week with a national #AreYouReady campaign to raise awareness of the importance of planning for pregnancy as a factor in having a safe and healthy pregnancy.

In a survey of more than 750 women, pregnancy health charity Tommy’s found that the majority of women put a lot of thought and planning into an annual holiday. When it comes to trying for a baby, however, most of us aren’t aware there is anything to do other than stopping contraception.

The survey found that 67% of women plan for three or more months for a holiday, compared to 20% planning for three or more months for a pregnancy. Just under 40% of respondents said they stopped using contraception the same week they made the decision to have a baby, leaving little time to make any change that might affect the health of pregnancy and baby, such as taking folic acid, improving diet and achieving a healthy weight.

The survey also found a big difference between the perception of how long it takes to get pregnant compared to the reality. More than a quarter of women surveyed (25.3%) became pregnant within one month compared to fewer than 5% expecting this to happen.

The hub includes comprehensive information about all the topics women planning a pregnancy need to know about, from healthy diet and exercise, to taking folic acid.

The #AreYouReady campaign

The campaign to launch Tommy’s new Planning for Pregnancy digital tool (#AreYouReady) plays on the idea that women are currently not aware that there is anything to be done before getting pregnant, and thus they do not plan for it as they do for other events in their lives, such as holidays or moving home.

The campaign aims to educate and inform women aged 18-40 of the importance of looking after yourself and making behaviour changes before pregnancy.

This includes

  • taking folic acid at least two months before pregnancy
  • quitting smoking
  • maintaining or coming closer to a healthy weight (BMI)
  • adopting healthy eating behaviours
  • staying active or becoming more physically active before pregnancy
  • speaking to a GP if taking medication for a mental or physical condition.

#AreYouReady campaign film