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Health awareness: Maternity support

This month we are focussing on maternity. If you are an expected mother or have a young child you may find some of these resources helpful.

World Breastfeeding Week 1-7 August

World Breastfeeding Week aims to increase the rate of breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. Currently a national average of 73% mothers breastfeed at the time the baby is born, and locally it is 62%.

We are keen that this number increases, so that everyone who is able to breastfeed does so. Read about the benefits of breastfeeding and support available in our latest press release or visit the NHS Choices website.


Perinatal mental health: bad moments don’t make bad mums

During pregnancy or as a new mother you can often feel pressured. It is important to know that help and support is available:

Pandas http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk/ is a charity which offers pre and post-natal depression advice and support. Their website lists support groups and tools to manage your mental health.

Exercise is known to help reduce mental health issues. Read this blog by Dr Elizabeth Boath from Staffordshire University entitle “Exercise as an adjunct treatment for postpartum depression for women living in an inner city-A pilot study.” 

Out of the Blue is a series of films, created by Best Beginnings, to help take the country to the Tipping Point where everyone knows that mental health is as important as physical health. Watch the films: https://www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/out-of-the-blue and you can also follow the campaign on Twitter @BestBeginnings and #OutOfTheBlue


Better births

In February 2016, Better Births set out the five-year plan for NHS maternity services in England to become safer and more personalised. There is a dedicated website http://betterbirths.rcm.org.uk/. which hosts a variety of resources and information covering three key topics; continuity of carer, facilitating normality and addressing inequalities.

Jacque Gerrard, Director England and Mary Ross-Davie, Country Director for Scotland jointly wrote a blog about Better Births and how this would be implemented: https://www.rcm.org.uk/news-views-and-analysis/views/better-births-and-the-best-start-implementing-the-english-and-scottish

Alexandra Birch, Programme Lead for the Pan Staffordshire Maternity Transformation Programme and Midwife for the CCGs said: “It is important that transforming care for women, babies and families is led by local women who use the service. We are forming a system that ensures the needs of local women is met and brings together all maternity professionals. If you would like to play a role in this, or to find out more, please call me on 01785 356735 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.."


Keeping your baby safe and well

During pregnancy and labour

Your baby and toddler

Each year 40,000 under-fives are admitted to hospital following accidents, and lots of these accidents are preventable. NHS Choices have a number of ‘how to’ guides on protecting your baby from some of the commonest accidents: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/baby-safety-tips.aspx

Other tips and ‘must dos’ include:

There are a number of charities that can offer support if you experience a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death, including:


Healthy mum, healthy baby

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