Questions about the Start4Life Information Service for Parents

The Service offers a series of emails for mums, dads and partners. You can also join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Once you've signed up, you'll receive regular emails tailored to your stage of pregnancy or child's age. They cover a range of topics, including your baby's development, preparing for labour, coping with sleepless nights, looking after your own health, choosing childcare, making sure you get the benefits you're entitled to, and who's there to support you.

The emails link to trusted, regularly updated sources of NHS-accredited health information, such as the pregnancy and baby guide on NHS Choices and also link to other useful sources of information about parenting, money and rights. The NHS Choices guide was originally based on the Department of Health's Pregnancy and Birth to Five books.

The Start4Life Information Service for Parents was launched in 2012 as a joint initiative by the NHS, Department of Health and Department for Education and is run by Public Health England. The aim is to make it easier for parents-to-be and mums and dads to access reliable information about pregnancy and bringing up a child in a healthy way.

Start4Life is the sister brand of Change4Life, Public Health England’s healthy living initiative. Start4Life aims to improve the health of babies and children under five in England by encouraging a healthy lifestyle – helping parents-to-be and mums and dads to give their children the best possible start.

We link to a wide range of websites in these emails. All links have to meet our key criteria for website links. Read our website linking policy (PDF, 97kb) and if you think your website content meets our key criteria, email us and we’ll get back to you.

Yes, we welcome all feedback. Simply email us to tell us what you think of the emails.

From time to time, we will invite users to participate in surveys to find out what you like and dislike about the emails, and what you think could be improved.

You can translate our emails, using Google Translate, into 12 languages by clicking on the language links at the top of any email you receive. You will need Javascript enabled for this to work.

The translation is done by Google Translate, which is a ‘machine translation’ engine that uses mathematical algorithms when translating. As a result, the translated text is not of the same quality as if it had been translated by a human translator. This also means that there is a difference in quality of translation between the languages. You may wish to seek further advice from your GP, midwife or health visitor before relying on information translated by Google Translate.

Email questions

Yes, the emails are free.

To unsubscribe from the emails, click on the ‘Unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of any email you receive from us.

If you want to update any of the information you provided when you signed up, click on the ‘Manage settings’ link in the footer of any email you receive from us.

Mums and dads expecting a baby, their partners, or parents who have a child up to four years old can sign up for emails.

At the moment, the service provides information and advice on pregnancy, babies and children up to four years old.

However, we are gradually extending the service to include older children. When the extended service becomes available, parents will also be able to sign up to receive emails for older children.

No, the emails won’t just stop when your child is four years old. We are gradually extending the service, so you can expect to receive follow-on emails.

The emails are weekly during pregnancy and until your baby is three months old. When your baby is three to nine months old, you’ll receive emails every two weeks. Once your child is 10 months old, you’ll receive monthly emails. Then, once your child is four years old, you’ll receive emails every two months.

For health professionals

Support for parents from early pregnancy onwards is important for parents themselves and for their children’s future outcomes. This digital service will complement your face-to-face consultations with parents and give them trusted advice on issues that they can discuss in more depth with you at their next appointment.

It will also offer a new way to support vulnerable parents and minority groups, directing them to information that is available when they need it, in accessible formats including video, and in translation.

The content library has links to all the emails so you can see exactly what parents will receive.

Tell them about the service at the earliest contact in pregnancy - the booking-in appointment or first visit to the GP – and continue to remind parents to sign up if they haven’t already, including at health visitor appointments after the baby is born.

Contact our helpdesk on 0845 458 0159. You will need to know each parent’s email address and mobile phone number to unsubscribe them.

The service will only signpost clinical information that is quality assured and regularly checked.

Health professionals and parents along with key organisations such as Royal College of Midwives, Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association, Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and others have been involved in developing and user testing the service.

Parents can opt out of the service at any time.

As a government department, we do not share data with other organisations unless the law permits us to do so. We do not sell individuals’ information. We will share it only with our authorised Data Processors, who must act at all times on our instructions as the Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Yes, we welcome all feedback. It will help us improve the service and keep it up to date. Simply send us an email.

Email us your question. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

If you are concerned about your health or the health of your child you should contact your health professional or call NHS 111.

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