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Baby Loss Awareness Week highlights support for expectant mums

Mums-to-be across the region are to benefit from a pioneering initiative that has already helped hundreds of women track the progress of their pregnancy and improve their wellbeing. 

Baby Loss Awareness Week (9-15 October) highlights the national concern that 15 babies are either stillborn or die shortly after birth every day in the UK (5,600 a year). The UK has one of the highest stillbirth rates in the developed world, with the majority potentially preventable as they occur so close to term. In 2015 the government announced its ambition to reduce stillbirths by 20 percent by 2020, and 50 percent by 2030.

To compliment the government’s stillbirth strategy, wellbeing wallets are being provided by the maternity departments at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.  The MAMA wellbeing wallet was designed for women to carry their antenatal notes and to use as an aid to support pregnant women to detect signs of potential problems with their pregnancy.

Michala Little, community midwifery and antenatal day services manager at the Trust, said: “The wellbeing wallets were provided by MAMA Academy, and piloted by our Trust last year and we have been lucky enough to be offered a year’s supply.

This amazing donation of MAMA Academy wallets will provide expectant mums with really useful pregnancy information. The wallets protect pregnancy notes, scan photos and leaflets and are full of colourful, easy to understand key health information that supports them right through their pregnancy.”

Heidi Eldridge, CEO of MAMA Academy, said: “We are thrilled to see the huge impact our wellbeing wallets have had on reducing baby loss throughout the UK over the past couple of years and are thrilled that the Trust is working with us to help save more babies lives.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Our Angels, a Harrogate based charity set up to support families through the loss of a baby, for funding them. This will empower more parents with safer pregnancy information to give their babies the best chance of arriving safely.”

Michala added: “Not only do the wallets educate expectant mums, they help us midwives to discuss concerns with our patients. Because the information from the wallet is fresh in their minds it is the ideal time to discuss certain topics such as giving up smoking, signs of pre-eclampsia and how to monitor babies’ movements. These are some of the factors that can have a considerable effect on pregnancy outcomes.”

Chris Binnie, Trustee at Our Angels said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with our friends at MAMA Academy to bring these fantastic lifesaving wallets to mums-to-be in York and across North Yorkshire.

“At Our Angels we absolutely recognise the vital need for better standards of bereavement care and support, but alongside that it’s enormously important to us that we can help hospitals in our region to be proactive in saving babies’ lives as well as supporting families through their darkest hours.”

The wellbeing wallets are available to all expectant mothers visiting the maternity departments at York and Scarborough hospitals.

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