25 February 2016

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has launched a new Government-backed campaign that aims to maximise the chances of women having safer pregnancies.

Our Chance is an online campaign developed with charities Best Beginnings and Sands to empower parents with the knowledge and confidence to maximise their chances of healthy outcomes for themselves and their babies.

A series of 25 short films, featuring real-life stories from parents, healthcare professionals and Our Chance supporter Abbey Clancy, sits at the heart of the campaign.

Women and their families will be able to learn about how to look after themselves and their baby through support available online at ourchance.org.uk, through the Best Beginnings Baby Buddy app and on social media.

With timely diagnosis, most conditions can be well-managed to reduce the risks of stillbirth, neonatal death and maternal death.

The Our Chance films were developed in collaboration with key royal colleges, other health charities and parents. They cover issues such as:

  • attending antenatal appointments;
  • the importance of mental health and seeking help early;
  • not smoking or drinking alcohol during pregnancy;
  • being aware of symptoms such as itching or swelling which might point to potentially harmful conditions such as pre-eclampsia or Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy;
  • and being aware of reduced fetal movement.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

The loss of any baby or new mum is a tragedy. We want the NHS to be one of the safest places in the world to have a baby. By making sure women are aware of the small changes they can make or the signs to look out for, they can increase their chances of a healthy pregnancy.

The new campaign is a game-changing moment and will help us halve the rates of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries occurring during or soon after birth by 2030.

Alison Baum, CEO at Best Beginnings said:

We are so proud to be jointly leading the ground-breaking Our Chance initiative with Sands and thanks to support from the Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England. We’d like to thank all the parents, charities and health professionals who helped create the Our Chance films and are now supporting the campaign.

I set up Best Beginnings to reduce child health inequalities across the UK. Best Beginnings created our free Department of Health endorsed Baby Buddy app to enable parents of all ages and backgrounds to look after their own mental and physical health and to maximise the chances of their children having a healthy and happy start. The new Our Chance films have been integrated into the Baby Buddy app and are designed to ensure that parents and parents-to-be have the information and confidence they need to reduce their risk of poor outcomes for them and their baby.

Clea Harmer, Chief Executive at Sands said:

We are delighted to be jointly leading this ground-breaking project, which is the culmination of many years of work with the Department of Health. We’re particularly excited about reaching younger people, to help them have a safer pregnancy whether they are planning on having a family now or in the future.

Viv Bennett, Chief Nurse at Public Health England said:

The steps parents take in the first months of pregnancy are vital for giving their child the best start in life. Premature babies are more likely to suffer poorer health in later life, so it is important for parents to know how to avoid risks. This campaign provides expectant parents with some of the best advice and information to promote a healthy pregnancy.


Notes to editors:

For further enquires for the Department of Health please contact our press office:
Melanie Karalis
020 7210 5010
[email protected]

For all case study enquiries or interviews with Abbey Clancy please contact Linstock Communications:
Jennifer Evans
[email protected]

Kenji Maghoma
[email protected]

To follow Our Chance on social media:

Twitter handle: @OurChance_

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/OurChanceCampaign

Instagram: ourchancecampaign

YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCkY5eqUIfiHnHsB0a75OvUg/

The films highlight and offer advice and support – some of the films are listed below:

  • What is Our Chance: Abbey Clancy introduces the campaign
  • Antenatal visits – what can I do: Young mum, Morgan Noquet, talks about her experience and saving her baby
  • Diabetes in pregnancy – what’s my risk: Pregnancy doctor, Jenny Meyers, describes gestational diabetes
  • Is my baby growing: Pregnancy doctor, Virginia Beckett, explains how midwives and doctors measure how your baby is growing
  • Why I cut out alcohol: A mum, Natalie, talks about giving up alcohol
  • How I stopped smoking: Young mum, Shedenise, talks about why she gave up smoking and how she did it
  • Is my baby moving enough: Midwife, Bernadette Keating, explains the importance of fetal movement patterns
  • My mental health matters: An introduction to the importance of looking after your mental health
  • What if my waters break early: Mum, Karolina Tattersall, explains what happens and what to do