As a member of the Baby Loss Awareness Alliance, iHV supports the report published today by the Sands and Tommy’s Joint Policy Unit which makes clear that too many families continue to suffer the heartbreak of losing a baby.
The Saving Babies’ Lives Progress Report pulls together data from different sources for the first time to give everyone a shared understanding of the burden of pregnancy and baby loss across the UK. At the heart of the Saving Babies’ Lives report are the voices of bereaved parents and other family members.
Overall, the report paints a concerning picture with progress stalling and a risk of going backwards.
In England, the Government’s target to halve the number of stillbirths and neonatal deaths by 2025 compared to 2010 levels is not on track, and there is no current target or ambition for reducing baby deaths in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
The report also highlights that despite Government commitments to act on the findings of recent reviews of maternity services, this still hasn’t led to the fundamental change needed to save more babies’ lives.
The iHV joins with others in calling for pregnancy loss and baby death to be high on the political agendas of all parties and to be treated as the urgent priorities that they are.
iHV is delighted to work with Tommy’s and other partners on the launch of a new mental health digital tool for pregnancy and post-birth – the digital version of the NICE-approved Pregnancy and Post-birth Wellbeing Plan.
The new digital tool, created in partnership with Tommy’s, the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), Netmums, Public Health England (PHE) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), is called: Your Baby’s Mum: A wellbeing plan for pregnancy and post-birth.
Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, commented:
“I am delighted to have been part of the group to refresh the Wellbeing Plan, and to make it digital. This has proved a hugely helpful tool for health visitors to share with parents in the past during their antenatal visit, and that will be easier now as it can be shared as a link. Until she has a child, many women have little idea of what the impact will be on them. However, with a little planning no new mum needs to find herself feeling isolated or lonely, and this tool will help her plan reliable sources of support in advance.”
The resource, and accompanying Your Baby’s Mum campaign, is designed to help all pregnant women to think and talk about their mental wellbeing in the pregnancy and post-birth period, and to plan early for support and self-care after the birth. The tool is suitable and available for all pregnant women and can be completed at any point in pregnancy.
The tool will help pregnant women make a plan for their mental wellbeing and it will offer extra support to those who need it during pregnancy. It has a tailored route for women who have suffered a previous pregnancy loss or premature birth, which acknowledges the extra anxiety this can cause.
The Wellbeing Plan aims to:
encourage self-care for emotional wellbeing
help women identify symptoms of mental health problems
help women prepare mentally for the post-birth period
help women identify sources of support after the birth that can improve wellbeing.
Please watch the Your Baby’s Mum campaign animation:
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.
taking folic acid at least two months before pregnancy
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.
Like the #OurChance campaign, led by charities Best Beginnings and Sands, the Tommy’s #movementsmatter campaign is supported by NHS England and Kicks Count.
A baby moving during pregnancy can be anything from a flutter, kick, swish or roll and these are a sign that baby is well. When a baby is unwell, they may conserve energy by slowing down their movements. This can be the first sign of a problem.
Please share this information to maximise public awareness of reduced fetal movement by using both the #OurChance and #movementsmatter hashtags – to reach even more women and ensure that they are aware of the need to pay close attention to their baby’s movements and seek help when they need it.
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