NHS England commissioned research indicates an estimated 600 stillbirths annually could be prevented if maternity units adopt national best practice. Evaluation of the implementation of the Saving Babies’ Lives Care Bundle in early adopter NHS Trusts in England shows that stillbirths fell by a fifth at the maternity units where national guidance, known as the Saving Babies Lives Care Bundle, had been implemented. Clinical improvements such as better monitoring of a baby’s growth and movement in pregnancy, as well as better monitoring in labour, meant maternity staff helped save more than 160 babies’ lives across 19 maternity units.
Read the NHS England blog entry, with additional links to a reduced fetal movements video and leaflet here
Go direct to Saving Babies’ Lives Care bundle overview here
Guidance for health professionals to share with pregnant women immunised with MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), chickenpox or shingles vaccines. This advice provides information on the safety of each vaccine when given in pregnancy for health professionals to share with pregnant women who have been inadvertently vaccinated.
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has confirmed that ‘the decision of whether or not to breastfeed is a woman’s choice and must be respected’, in a new position statement on infant feeding. The statement recommends that balanced and relevant information be given to parents choosing to formula feed their babies, whether exclusively or partially, to enable them to do so safely and with support to encourage good bonding. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life is the most appropriate method of infant feeding.
Read the RCM press release here Download their Position Statement here
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service has published Social media, SRE and sensible drinking: understanding the dramatic decline in teenage pregnancy. This report explores the factors which may have contributed to a sharp decline in teenage pregnancy rates.
“We believe that young people themselves are making different choices about the way they live their lives. If we can maintain good access to contraceptive services for young people, there is every reason to hope this profound decline in teenage pregnancies is here to stay”
Katherine O’Brien, Head of Policy Research at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service
Public Health England has published information, intelligence and tools with evidence-based approaches for how preconception care can be embedded to help in planning and preparation for pregnancy and to improve outcomes for mothers and babies. The resources include
A report for local maternity systems and their wider systems partners which covers the impact of preconception health; ways to improve birth outcomes; and ways to reduce inequalities through embedding preconception care
A report which analyses pregnancy booking appointments data from the Maternity Services Dataset. It provides information on the health behaviours, risk factors and inequalities relating to woman before and during early pregnancy.
A tool which shows the data on health behaviours and risk factors at provider level aimed at commissioners and providers in local maternity systems.
Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has published its report on ‘Feeding in the first year of life’, providing recommendations on infant feeding from birth up to 12 months of age. SACN recommends babies are exclusively breastfed until around 6 months of age and continue to be breastfed for at least the first year of life. Additionally, solid foods should not be introduced until around 6 months to benefit the child’s overall health. SACN has recommended strengthening advice regarding the introduction of peanuts and hen’s egg – advice on complementary feeding should state that these foods can be introduced from around 6 months of age and need not be differentiated from other solid foods.
The latest results and trends in women’s smoking status at time of delivery (SATOD) in England provide a measure of the prevalence of smoking among pregnant women at Commissioning Region, Region, Sustainability and Transformation Partnership and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) level. Smoking at the time of delivery: Q4 and annual update shows that the percentage of women recorded as smokers at the time of delivery is 10.8% both for Q4 and the year as a whole. There continue to be large differences between CCGs ranging from 1.6% in NHS Westminster to 26.0% in NHS Blackpool.