Wednesday 12 October 2016

Protecting your baby’s heart

Many of us associate the 20-week scan with either finding out whether we are having a boy or girl, or getting a new scan picture. But it’s also the most in-depth health check a baby will have during pregnancy. And it’s the very best opportunity to spot defects before birth.

Think 20. Think heart. is a new campaign that helps expectant and new parents to protect their baby’s heart – starting with the 20- week pregnancy scan.

The majority of babies are born with a healthy heart. However, unbeknown to most of us, heart defects are the most common birth defects in babies. They are also one of the least talked about.

One in every 125 babies is born with a heart problem – that’s more than 5,000 newborns each year in the UK. The baby heart’s charity, Tiny Tickers, wants to make sure that every baby’s heart is given the best possible start by increasing understanding of the real purpose of the 20-week scan.

Early diagnosis of heart defects gives babies a better chance of survival and long term quality of life. Detection during pregnancy means the right medical experts can be on hand at birth, treatment can begin as soon as possible and parents can start getting the support they need – from the start.

Think 20. Think heart. is aiming to give parents-to-be all the information and advice they need to give their ‘tiny ticker’ the best possible start! The online quiz – – gives information and guidance on the 20-week scan, and mums-to-be can request free information about how to protect their baby’s heart at every stage of pregnancy.

Jake was born with a CHD (chronic heart disease) in October 2013. Thankfully it was detected during newborn tests so his condition was monitored closely. Jake had open heart surgery at 18 weeks old. 

Lauren, Jake’s mum’ says: “I wish I’d known more before Jake was born. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to me to hear that heart defects are the most common defects babies are born with, but it was.”

Thankfully Jake is now a happy and healthy two-year-old.

Please take a moment to take part in the Think 20. Think HEART quiz. It will help Tiny Tickers build vital awareness and help babies get the best start. Share it on your social media or blog about it! The more we can share this message, the more babies with heart defects can get the support they need.

It's lifesaving stuff. 

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