Why Are More than 100 Babies Dying Every Week in the UK?

Did you see Abbey Clancy on this morning’s Lorraine? She announced her support for a national safer pregnancy campaign, Our Chance, aimed at reducing the number of stillbirths and neonatal and maternal deaths. 

Abbey wants to encourage young mums and mums-to-be to use the campaign’s 25 videos to help them have safer pregnancies.

It’s a heart-breaking fact that every week in the UK, more than 100 babies die just before, during or after birth and model and mum of two, Abbey, wants to raise awareness about conditions which can endanger pregnancies if they are left untreated. These include:

  • Pre-eclampsia: a condition which affects around 6 in 100 mothers during their pregnancy. It causes problems with the placenta, the organ that nourishes the baby. If left untreated, it can lead to one or both of the mother and baby dying.
  • Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP): a dangerous liver disease that affects up to 5,500 women in the UK each year
  • Gestational diabetes: a condition in which women develop signs of glucose intolerance during pregnancy, which means that their blood glucose levels are higher than they should be. It’s estimated that it affects around 1 in 200 pregnancies.

It’s also sad and so shocking that Black or Black British babies and Asian or Asian British babies have an 80% and 60% increased risk, respectively, of dying during pregnancy (after 24 weeks gestation) or within the first four weeks of being born.

Abbey said: “As a mother of two young girls, I’m really proud to be part of a campaign to help women of all ages have the safest pregnancy possible. The strength and bravery of the young women in these videos is what inspired me to become involved.  Their real-life stories are sometimes terribly sad and sometimes incredibly uplifting.  I’m sure women across the country will listen to their first-hand experience.  Unfortunately, the number of mother and baby deaths in the UK is much higher than I think a lot of people realise, so it’s great to be helping to change things by supporting Our Chance.”

Our Chance is an initiative from charities Best Beginnings and Sands, supported by the Department of Health and NHS England, which includes a series of videos to show mums-to-be how they can have a pregnancy which is as safe as possible for them and their baby. The videos feature women from across the country some of whom experienced complications during pregnancy and childbirth. They also feature healthcare professionals giving practical information and advice. 

The Our Chance videos can be watched at ourchance.org.uk and within the free Baby Buddy app (available on Android and Apple).

The Our Chance films and the other Baby Buddy app films have all been endorsed by the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Institute of Health Visiting, the Community and Practitioners and Health Visiting Association, the Faculty of Public Health and the Department of Health.