The #ReadyforPregnancy campaign https://www.slough.gov.uk/leisure-wellbeing-health/ready-pregnancy 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.
The campaign focusses 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 of alcohol
- looking after your mental health
- helping your fertility
- learning more about breastfeeding
- learning more about pregnancy, birth and parenting
- understanding the implications of existing health conditions, such as diabetes.
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.”
In Slough, 72.3% of births were from parents born outside of the UK versus the 35.2% national percentage in the 2019 and in the year 2019/2020 Wexham Park Hospital had 1,742 births from women where English is not their first spoken language.
With the aim to improve these disparities, Slough Public Health in partnership with Frimley Local Maternity & Neonatal System has worked with various community organisations, places of worship, Early Years settings, Slough libraries and community hubs such Hindu Temple, Polish Parish Church, FT Church in Chalvey, Café Mama in Jamia Masjid & Islamic Centre amongst others to reach out to women speakers of other languages and their communities.
The booklets translated into community languages including Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Somali, Polish, Romanian, Bengali, Arabic, Somali and Chinese languages are being made available. Over 3000 copies of the booklets have been printed and distributed to all partners involved in this campaign focussing on overcoming language barriers and digital inaccessibility that many may experience at the same time.
This resource aims to educate, raise awareness and encourage women and their partners to adopt healthy behaviours before pregnancy for the best possible start in life them and their baby.
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.”
Frimley Maternity website provides 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: Frimley Health and Care
The booklets are also available to read, download or print from the Frimley Maternity Website
*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.