Thinking Differently Together - First 1,000 Days Of Life

In Suffolk and North East Essex we have been looking at the equity of our maternity provision, which has identified: • Ipswich & East Suffolk and North East Essex have above national averages for obesity and smoking in pregnancy. • Ipswich & East Suffolk and North East Essex have above national average numbers of babies with very low birth weight. • Ipswich & East Suffolk is below national average in uptake of folic acid - the national average is only 30%. • Ipswich & East Suffolk has above national average numbers of teenage pregnancy, and highest numbers of mothers of ethnic minority origin. • In all localities our rates of hospital readmissions are above national averages. Reasons can include feeding difficulties, and jaundice. What can we do? • Take a system-wide approach where we make every contact count. For example, our education establishments can explain the importance of good health for both parents going into pregnancy; and during smear tests the practice nurse can check if a person is planning a family and give advice. The graphic below describes how we can all contribute. • Support our families in our most deprived wards with the wider determinants of health including housing and unemployment, will have the biggest impact at conception and in pregnancy. This year the Maternity Programme has funded some of our voluntary sector partners to support families through their pregnancy and these wider determinants. • Promote ‘Ready for Pregnancy’, a simple online tool of lifestyle checks for families planning a child. • Support people with long term conditions and serious mental illness, through their annual health checks, with their choices and their medication. • Provide in-depth support to those at highest risk including some ethnic minority groups and those living in deprivation. • Hard-wire Maternity into our Alliances’ prevention and communities agendas, as well as whole system working. Pregnancy and childbirth is not a discrete clinical pathway; it influences lifelong health and wellbeing. Addressing inequity from preconception, as well as during pregnancy, can influence the next generation of adults and our disability and Long Term Conditions agendas. There is no earlier opportunity than at planning and conception to positively improve the complexity of pregnancy, the child’s lifelong health, and inequalities. Thinking Differently Together | 6

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