Midwives in Wales are being told to encourage pregnant women to maintain active, healthy lifestyles to avoid stillbirths.
The Safer Pregnancy Wales campaign will roll out for a year, highlighting exercise, healthy eating and attending medical appointments as key to their children’s health. The initiative is a collaboration between a Public Health Wales and the Wales Maternity Network.
In 2015, there were 4.7 stillbirths to every 1,000 births in Wales - higher than the English rate of 4.4 to every 1,000.
Chief nursing officer for Wales Jean White said: ‘We need to reduce the number of stillbirths in Wales and start the difficult conversation about what lifestyle choices have an immediate impact on the risks,’ she said.
The campaign will also encourage pregnant women to speak to their midwife about how to prevent infections during pregnancy, the importance of understanding their baby’s normal movements and anything else worrying them such as feeling low or depressed.
Each new expectant mother in 2017 will receive these messages in a folder that holds their appointment notes.