Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the Start for Life 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 the NHS website and also link to other useful sources of information about parenting, money and rights.

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

Start for Life is the sister brand of Healthier Families, the Department of Health and Social Care's healthy living initiative. Start for Life 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. If you would like to enquire about linking to your web content, 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 preferences' link in the footer of any email you receive from us.

Mums, dads and partners expecting a baby, 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.

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.

Please email us at . You will need to know the parent's email address and their due date, or their child's date of birth 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.

Sign up now for our pregnancy, baby and toddler guide

Get personalised emails for trusted NHS advice, videos and tips on your pregnancy week by week, birth and parenthood.

Get weekly emails