A message from our Parents' Panel lead Emilie-Mai - 22 February 2016:

I’m Emilie-Mai. I used Baby Buddy when I had my youngest daughter Mia. Since then I have been filmed about my experiences for some of the videos in Baby Buddy and I now look after the Baby Buddy Parent Panel.

I’d like to tell you about a really exciting national campaign, likely to be called 'Best Chance', which is launching in Spring 2016 and to invite you to get involved.          

I’ve made a short video that explains a bit about the campaign and how you can get involved:

Some background         

Having a baby is an exciting (and sometimes overwhelming) time.  Most pregnancies go well but sadly, as I’ve experienced, sometimes things go wrong and I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I went through.

Sometimes, like with me, things happen that we can’t do anything about, but there are other things all mothers can do to increase our chance of avoiding awful outcomes.  There are no guarantees, but there are things we can do to increase our likelihood of having a safe and healthy pregnancy and birth, and a healthy baby at the end.

Best Beginnings is working with the Department of Health and the charity Sands to make sure all women know about the things we can do to give us and our babies a better chance of a healthy start and to reduce the likelihood of us having a stillbirth or there being any injury or harm to us and our  baby.

The things all of us need to know include the importance of:

  • eating well and keeping active during our pregnancy
  • quitting smoking and drinking if this is something we had been doing
  • booking early and going to all our midwife appointments
  • telling the midwife if things don’t feel right eg: if our baby is moving less than it was or we are bleeding, feeling itchy, swelling, getting headaches or feeling low or anxious.

Information on these things is already in the Baby Buddy app in the Daily Information and/or in the “Ask me” section of the app, but mostly it is written information.

Many women (like me) would rather hear this information in the form of short videos from women like us and from experts rather than just read about it.

Not all pregnant women are using Baby Buddy (yet!) and we want to support parents of all backgrounds and all ages across the country to have access to this information in video form in lots of different places, so they can get the information and support they need to help them and their baby.

Having a healthy baby (babies) and a healthy mum at the end of our pregnancy is not just down to us as mothers

There are things that our midwife, GP or doctor should also do – like listening to our concerns and taking action on them, measuring the growth of our baby during your pregnancy and monitoring us during labour.

There are also things that our family and/or partner can do to support us in our pregnancy like supporting us to quit smoking and quitting smoking themselves.

At the moment, England has higher levels of stillbirths and newborn and maternal deaths than many other countries.

The new campaign which might be called “Best Chance” focuses on getting information to women and families before, during and after pregnancy across the country.

This campaign is part of a national ambition set by the government, to radically reduce the rates of stillbirths,newborn and maternal deaths and injury by 50%.

You can play an important part in making this happen!

The Campaign

In the spring Best Beginnings, Sands and the Department of Health will launch the campaign. It is likely to be called the “Best Chance” campaign, but let us know if you have a better name for it!

Over the next few weeks we are creating the campaign and there are lots of ways of getting involved.

Firstly, we are making 20 new short films featuring mums and health professionals with all the key information everyone needs to know about increasing our changes of having healthy babies and being healthy ourselves. Once the films have been made and approved by our Parent Panel and Editorial Board, these films will go into the Baby Buddy app and also go into other apps and other websites.

Secondly, we are launching a twelve week media campaign involving TV, Radio, Newspapers and social-media, raising awareness about the films and the things parents can do to increase our chances of us and babies being healthy and us being well and healthy too.

You can be involved in one or more of the following five ways:

  • you and your experiences could be featured in one of the 20 films we are making
  • you and your experiences could be featured in the 12 week social media and PR campaign
  • you could join the Parent Panel and help review the films and the campaign messages
  • you could help be part of the 12 week campaign by spreading the films and messages using your social media messages
  • you could share this email with friends of yours whom you think might like to be involved.

How you can get involved in the films and/or the PR and social media campaign

If you are interested in being featured in one of the films and/or being part of the social media and PR campaign please email the filmmaker Tulip@bestbeginnings.org.uk and Best Beginnings CEO, Alison@bestbeginnings.org.uk with a 1-3 minute selfie video from your phone about you and your story that will help the campaign. For example:

  • are you pregnant and have given up smoking or alcohol and are you happy to share what helped you quit? 
  • are you keeping active and eating healthily on a limited budget to help you and your baby?  
  • have you had any problems picked up at your midwife appointments – maybe your baby wasn’t growing or kicking enough?
  • perhaps you nearly missed an appointment, but then you went and you were lucky that you did go because they found something important out.
  • are you a new mum who had pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes or obstetric cholestasis (ICP)?  Did you have any problems with bleeding or infection when your baby was born?
  • did you know something was wrong and insisted on being seen and were lucky you did? 
  • did you experience depression or anxiety in pregnancy and asked for and got the help and support you needed?

Please make the subject line of the email: Best Chance Video Selfie and in the video clip and/or in the covering email please tell us:

  • your age
  • the town/city/village area you live in
  • whether you would be happy to be in the films and/or in the PR/Social media campaign.
  • why you want to be part of the campaign
  • what you think of Baby Buddy

Important

You can be confident that the video selfie you email to Tulip and your covering email will NOT be shared with anyone other than the small group of people involved in making the films and planning the media campaign. 

We are looking for a good mix of ages, ethnicities and locations, with a particular focus on young mothers.

Your video selfie will NOT be shown publicly or put on any social media – it is just to help us decide who to feature in the films and in the media campaign.

The video selfie doesn’t have to brilliant; it is just to give us a chance to get to know you a bit and help us get a good mix of stories across the films and the media campaign.

If you are having problems emailing Tulip your video drop her an email with your phone number and she’ll be in touch and help you.

How you can join the Parent Panel

If you would like to join the Parent Panel and review these new campaign films and other films going into the Baby Buddy app and help us with further development of the app then please email me:

Emilie@bestbeginnings.org.uk telling me your age, phone number and a bit about you. I’ll then give you a call and explain more about the panel and how to join it – it is quick and easy!

How you can support the social media campaign

If you are use Social Media and want to help drive the campaign when it goes live please email me: Emilie@bestbeginnings.org.uk giving me details of your social media accounts that you’d like to use eg: Twitter, Facebook, Instragram and Snapchat.

I’m loving being part of the Best Beginnings family. The charity really cares what young people like us think and are working so hard to help us and our babies. It is brilliant being part of this new national campaign that is a collaboration with the Department of Health and Sands. I never thought I’d get to be involved in something so important!

It would be brilliant if you would also like to join the Best Beginnings family and become part of this exciting national campaign.

As Alison, the CEO and founder of Best Beginnings, always says: “Together we can make a difference for future generations”.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Very best wishes

Emilie