Campaign launched to support pregnant women in Slough

Shay Bottomley

shayb@baylismedia.co.uk
Campaign launched to support pregnant women in Slough

An awareness campaign has been launched to encourage women in Slough to get fit and healthy before trying for a pregnancy.

Slough Public Health has launched the #ReadyforPregnancy campaign aims to raise awareness of how women’s health when they get pregnant affects them and their baby, not only throughout pregnancy but also at birth.

Furthermore, Slough Public Health is working in partnership with Frimley Local Maternity & Neonatal System and a number of places of worship as well as community hubs across the borough.

This is because, in Slough, 72.3 per cent of births were from parents born outside of the UK versus the 35.2 per cent national average.

In the year 2019/20, Wexham Park Hospital had 1,742 births from women where English is not their first spoken language.

Are You Ready for Pregnancy booklets have been translated into Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Somali, Polish, Romanian, Bengali and Arabic languages to break down the language barrier and digital inaccessibility they may experience.

It is hoped this will help raise awareness to women and their partners to educate and encourage them to adopt healthy behaviours before pregnancy for the best possible start for them and their baby.

Councillor Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for social care & public health, said: “We’re excited to be launching the #ReadyforPregnancy campaign in Slough which will help raise awareness of things that women can do before conception to improve fertility, pregnancy health and their babies’ future health.

“It’s particularly important because we know that women often don’t consult a health professional before becoming pregnant and we want all women to have the best support during this time and during pregnancy.”

Ifrah Mohamed, chair and co-founder of Slough Integration Services who support Somali women living in Slough, said: “It’s so important that women have all the information they need to make their own informed choices before and during pregnancy.

“Having access to information in their own language will definitely help them to make small changes that will make big differences to both them and their baby.”

The campaign focuses on encouraging healthy behaviours for the best possible start in life for the woman and her baby such as:

  • starting pregnancy at a healthy weight*
  • taking folic acid to prepare for the pregnancy
  • eating a nutritious and healthy diet
  • checking their vaccinations are up-to-date
  • taking regular exercise
  • stopping smoking
  • cutting out alcohol
  • looking after mental health
  • helping fertility
  • learning more about breastfeeding
  • learning more about pregnancy, birth and parenting
  • understanding the implications of existing health conditions, such as diabetes.

Frimley Maternity website has also provided additional advice, tailored to women and families planning a pregnancy, which might help them on their journey to better health prior to conception. For further information, visit www.frimleyhealthandcare.org.uk/maternity/planning-your-pregnancy

The booklets are available to read, download or print from the Frimley Maternity Website Leaflets: www.frimleyhealthandcare.org.uk/maternity/parent-education-other-resources/information-leaflets 

*A raised body mass index (BMI) in a pregnant woman can affect the way a baby develops in the womb, and it also increases the risk of miscarriage. Being overweight also makes it more likely that the baby will be larger, raising the chances of complications at birth.

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