Film published: April 2017, review date: April 2020
More than 60% of women worry that about wasting midwives’ time when raising health concerns during pregnancy.
The campaign aims to reassure you that you are NOT wasting time or being a nuisance when raising concerns to a health professional during pregnancy.
Your knowledge about your changing body is invaluable in helping health professionals detect pregnancy complications early before they become serious. This is why it’s important to speak up when something doesn’t feel right.
The campaign film is based on a longer 5 minute film produced by King's College London. View the full animation here.
Practical tips from other women on how to get listened to and be taken seriously when you have a concern in pregnancy.
Tommy’s, King’s College London and BabyCentre have launched a new campaign, ‘Always Ask’, to empower pregnant women to overcome fears about speaking to professionals about health concerns.
In many cases the symptoms in this section will not lead to a serious complication and will be treated easily. Occasionally though they are signs of a more serious complaint.
Jo Birtwhistle had reduced movement with her first baby in 2016. In spite of being a midwife, she hesitated to report it out of fear of being a nuisance: ‘As a midwife I’m really aware of telling pregnant women that, if they have a concern, they must come and see us. Yet, when it came to my own baby, I didn’t take my own advice. I had reduced movement with my baby and delayed making that call because I didn’t want to make a fuss. When I finally did go in the hospital found that the baby was measuring small for gestational age, which meant she may not have been getting enough oxygen through the placenta. The hospital induced labour and four hours later Sophie was born. I dread to think what might have happened if I had not gone in.’
Research from King’s College London confirms that speaking up about concerns can prevent complications from becoming serious. You can read more about the research behind the campaign here.
#AlwaysAsk centres around two animated films that have been voiced by midwife Clemmie Hooper. Both animations were created with women and health professionals, and based on the real experiences of women. The first film (above) follows a pregnant woman through her pregnancy journey. It shows her fears being resolved as she speaks up about a concern. Our second film gives practical tips for talking to health professionals.
'I finally called a midwife, but even then, I convinced her I was just a worrier and we agreed to wait for my appointment the next day. At the appointment, my blood pressure was so high the midwife thought the machine was broken.'
Caroline (read more)
Tips for speaking up in pregnancy
The follow-up film gives practical tips on how to get listened to and be taken seriously when you have a concern in pregnancy. The tips have been gathered from other women who have been in the same situation. You can read more about each tip here.
To help prioritise your questions, queries and concerns, we've created a downloadable sheet to write them down. Store it inside your maternity notes so it is ready for your next appointment.
Help us spread the word - please share
You can really help to get the message out by sharing our films on social media. Please share today to empower other mums-to-be to trust their instincts and speak up. The campaign hashtag is #AlwaysAsk.
Find out more
The campaign is supported by NHS England, Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.