Press release

Top tips for when you’re expecting!

Campaign joins forces with new Hollywood film to support healthier starts for mother and baby Hollywood blockbuster ‘What to Expect When You…

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Campaign joins forces with new Hollywood film to support healthier starts for mother and baby

Hollywood blockbuster ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ is teaming up with the little sister of Change4Life - Start4Life - to help mothers-to-be to have healthier pregnancies, Public Health Minister Anne Milton announced today.

As stars Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison, Chace Crawford, Anna Kendrick and Cheryl Cole gather on the red carpet for the premiere of the film, the new Start4Life ad will also be unveiled.

The campaign focuses on mothers cutting out risky health behaviours like smoking and drinking too much during pregnancy. It follows figures that reveal in some areas of the country more than 30 per cent of women continue to smoke when they are pregnant. 

Jennifer Lopez, star of ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ and mother of twins said of her pregnancy:

“For me the whole thing that there was another body inside me, was really weird. It was that part like, wow there’s a baby inside me and then watching and getting so big. All you really do care about is not messing up the baby part.

“As long as they’re ok that’s all that really matters, that comes first to me.  And then everything else kind of falls into line after that. It’s just an amazing miracle for childbirth and being pregnant it’s just an amazing thing”

The film partnership with Start4Life explores many of the issues parents-to-be experience and encourages them to protect the health of their baby during pregnancy by maintaining a healthy lifestyle themselves.  Figures show that:

  • one in 10 continue to smoke throughout pregnancy - though it significantly increases the risk of stillbirth, cot death or lung problems;
  • almost one in 10 drink more than the recommended lower-risk pregnancy guidelines - increasing the risk of miscarriage or still birth and stunting growth; and
  • one in six are obese - despite potential for a more difficult pregnancy, riskier birth and a less healthy baby.

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said:

“There is a large amount of information and advice around and it can be difficult for parents to know what to do for the best.

“That’s why we’re re-launching Start4Life, to give useful and simple tips to help all new parents give their babies the best possible start.

“Parents-to-be and new parents can now also sign up for free emails and text messages from the new NHS Information Service for Parents to give them regular extra information they can trust.

“With the focus on different experiences during pregnancy in ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’, we’ve got a great opportunity to talk to parents about how to adopt a healthy lifestyle that will stay with you and your child for life.” 
Start4Life ambassador, Dr Dawn Harper, GP and television presenter said:

“Just like in the movie, everyone’s experience of pregnancy is different. But what’s universal is that everyone wants to do the best for their babies. The two most important things you can do are to look after your health and the health of your baby and the best way to do this is to stay a healthy weight, stop drinking or stay within the recommended guidelines and quit smoking.

“With so much information around when you’re pregnant, it’s hard to work out what’s right. Start4Life helps by giving simple tips, like not eating for two during pregnancy, which will give your baby the best start in life.”

Chris Rock, star of ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ and father of two daughters said:

“It’s rough having a baby. My wife was pretty cool. But just imagine carrying around a seven or eight-pound ham for nine months. Forget it even being in your body - just have it in a bag that you can’t put down - and you’ve got to sleep with that ham and swim with the ham and take a bath with the ham.  No matter where you go, you’ve got to carry this ham.  So, you know what? You’re allowed to complain.”

The Start4Life campaign will run throughout England from May onwards.

For more information, tips and advice, search Start4Life online

Start4Life will work together with the NHS Information Service for Parents that gives mothers and fathers timely advice they can trust, via e-mail and SMS, on a wide range of issues related to staying healthy in pregnancy, preparing for birth and looking after their baby.  

Notes to editors

1. For further information, supportive quotes or to view a copy of the TV advert please contact the Department of Health press office on 020 7210 5281.

2. The partnership with ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ will see new Start4Life adverts running alongside across all cinema outlets where the film is being aired and an informative website that hosts support for parents-to-be. This will provide advice about keeping healthy for all mums and dads throughout pregnancy and beyond whatever their experiences.

There are tips and ideas for:
• being active in pregnancy
• healthy eating
• stopping smoking
• avoiding alcohol
• managing weight gain
• the importance of vitamins and supplements

3. For case studies and expert commentary, please contact Hannah Berry on 020 3003 6593 /

4.  The NHS Information Service for Parents gives mums and dads advice they can trust covering a wide range of issues related to staying healthy in pregnancy, preparing for birth and looking after their baby. 

Those signing up to the service will no longer be faced with information overload while surfing the internet, but will have relevant, timely NHS approved advice sent directly to their phones and inboxes. This includes links to specially commissioned videos showing midwives demonstrating practical advice such as bathing your baby and parents discussing issues that affected them and how they supported each other. NHS Information Service for Parents website

Published 23 May 2012