Baby Loss Awareness Week – Supporting pregnancy and miscarriage in Greater Manchester

Two patients holding hands; a showing of moral support.

In support of this year’s Baby Loss Awareness Week, Health Innovation Manchester hears from colleagues from across Greater Manchester’s local health and social care system, who can provide expert opinion on this area of care.

Each year, Baby Loss Awareness Week provides an opportunity for remembrance, to support parents and families with others across the world in raising awareness, and in driving change for pregnancy and baby loss in the process.

Health Innovation Manchester has been involved in driving change through specialist services with partners across Greater Manchester, helping improve the delivery of care that women and families experience across the pregnancy pathway.

Jane Coyne, Smokefree Pregnancy Programme Manager at Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership, reflects on how innovative stop smoking initiatives are reducing smoking rates, saving babies lives and helping to tackle health inequalities in Greater Manchester:

“With my background in midwifery, giving every baby the best start in life means everything to me, and that’s why I’m so passionate about treating tobacco dependency in expectant parents with specialist maternity support. Rather than referring out to stop smoking services, help to quit can be arranged for pregnant women and their families from their first midwife appointment.

“Our innovative approach has generated hugely positive results for families in Greater Manchester. Since launching the programme in 2018, we’ve seen the rate of smoking at the time of delivery (SATOD) fall from 1 in 8 new mothers to 1 in 10.

“The positive results we’ve seen in Greater Manchester show that, with the right support, expectant parents are giving up smoking for good. By doing things differently and using innovative measures, we can improve the health and life chances for families across the country and make smoking history for future generations.”

Health Innovation Manchester has been directly involved in supporting women and families with subsequent pregnancies after the loss of pregnancy through the Rainbow Clinic service.

Becoming pregnant again after a stillbirth is a daunting prospect for women and their families, often characterised by the fear of repeating the experience.

Women who have had a stillbirth are at increased risk of complications in subsequent pregnancies, including stillbirth, pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, and low birthweight. It is also associated with other challenges psychologically, emotionally, and socially.

The Rainbow Clinic at St Mary’s Hospital in Greater Manchester is a specialist service for women and their families during a subsequent pregnancy following a stillbirth or perinatal death. It cares for families from the time of the postnatal appointment onwards and into a subsequent pregnancy.

The service engages with women at an early stage of pregnancy, ensuring that they are on the right treatment, making any necessary referrals and providing more detailed ultrasound scanning.

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