Press release

From bump to baby: the top 20 questions in pregnancy

New research from Start4Life highlights that mothers-to-be are looking for answers by revealing their top 20 questions.

Start 4 Life logo

Start4Life today highlights the top 20 questions women have during pregnancy. The service offers NHS approved information and advice to those seeking guidance.

The top 20 questions women have during pregnancy have today been revealed by Start4Life’s Information Service for Parents. The service offers NHS approved information and advice directly to those seeking guidance, making it the best place for parents-to-be and parents of 0 to 2 year olds to use to find the advice they need to get their child off to the best start in life.

Findings released today have shown that pregnancy is a time filled with questions for women, with queries on labour, pain relief, breastfeeding and sleep - at the forefront of most minds. ‘How will I know I’m in labour?’ was revealed to be the number 1 question most asked by pregnant women.

To identify common themes, a survey of 4,508 expectant women was carried out to find out what questions they had at this stage in their lives. From this over 53,576 distinct questions were identified, the most popular of which were then ranked by pregnant women, women who had recently given birth and mothers of older children to find the definitive top 20.

The initial research has been used to shape the Start4Life Information Service, to ensure that parents-to-be can find straightforward, NHS approved answers to their questions at what can be an overwhelming time.

Dr Ann Hoskins Director for Children, Young People and Families at Public Health England, said:

Women today have a wealth of information available to them from many different sources, but sometimes there is simply too much information available, and not all of it sensible, which just leads to even more confusion.

The Start4Life Information Service for Parents directs parents to clear, approved information, to make pregnancy a less confusing time for mothers.

Dr Dan Poulter, Health Services Minister, commented:

It is always natural for parents to have lots of questions. The Start4Life Information Service plays an important role in delivering accessible and easy to understand information and the top 20 questions will provide a good place for parents to find the answers they need to their most pressing questions about pregnancy.

To promote the service, Start4Life has drawn together a panel of experts to answer questions on some of the most asked about topics. The panel is made up of:

  • Janet Fyle - Professional Policy Advisor for the Royal College of Midwives and also a registered practising midwife
  • Amanda Ursell - Qualified nutritionist and author of The Baby and Toddler Food Bible
  • Deborah Sugden – Nurse, Health Visitor and Managing Director of SavvyTotSleep. Expert on managing sleep difficulties
  • Laura Williams - Fitness expert with knowledge on exercise and staying active in pregnancy and after a baby

The panel will be answering women’s questions on social media at launch to promote the service and the wide range of specialist knowledge that people can access through the service.

Panel member and Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, Janet Fyle, commented:

As a midwife, you find women come to you with the same questions time and again and it is important that we provide consistent, reassuring and good information that makes sense to women.

One source of information that they can rely on will cut through all the advice available, and make it easier for women who don’t know where to start find the right information for them.


Notes to editors:

Top 20 questions identified:

  1. How will I know I am in labour? What are the signs of labour?
  2. What pain relief options are available?
  3. How do I know s/he is getting enough milk?
  4. How will I cope with labour?
  5. How long will labour last?
  6. How will I cope with being a parent? Looking after a newborn?
  7. How often/when will I see my midwife?
  8. How much milk does s/he need? (when weaning)?
  9. How many weeks pregnant am I?
  10. How do I deal with morning sickness? Morning sickness remedies?
  11. Best way to wean/how?
  12. How can I get the baby to latch on?
  13. Will the birth hurt?
  14. Will I be able to breastfeed?
  15. Breastfeeding: How do I do it?
  16. When will morning sickness end? When do I stop feeling sick?
  17. Should I sleep on a particular side? How do I sleep with a bump?
  18. When/how should I contact my midwife or GP?
  19. How can I cope with no sleep?
  20. What exercise can I do?

Public Health England’s mission is to protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities through working with national and local government, the NHS, industry and the voluntary and community sector. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. Follow us on Twitter @PHE_uk

Public Health England press office

Published 27 February 2014