INFORMED & ADVOCACY SUPPORT
Helping healthcare professionals provide support and advice to their patients
Our referral process at Mummy’s Star is very straightforward. Simply fill in the referral form here and one of our Information and Support Workers will then get in touch to get more details and take it from there. Make a referral
Our leaflets are now available in many hospitals and cancer centres around the UK and Ireland and we have supported many healthcare professionals caring for women however there are always more we need to reach. If you can help by having our leaflets at your place of work or would like us to come in and deliver an information session then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Common signs and symptoms
Due to the many body changes experienced over the course of a pregnancy and in the post-partum period, it is sadly common that some of the early signs of cancers can be mistaken for being pregnancy related. We refer to this as symptom shielding. It is correct to not wish to alarm women into thinking that everything they feel could be the sign of something far more sinister but nonetheless, body awareness is key.
The issue is twofold. Firstly, the mother can put a symptom down to pregnancy and not seek follow up, but secondly, she can seek follow up and her symptoms are dismissed without further checking.
The message in the MBBRACE report 2018 Section 7 ndph.ox.ac.uk was clear in that women should be leaving medical checks with a diagnosis of what their symptom likely is, rather than a diagnosis of what it isn’t.
Treatment knowledge and involvement
If you are a healthcare professional, you may well be aware of the content below, however if not you may find it a useful overview.
Depending on the stage of a pregnancy and any other health conditions that a woman or her baby may have, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery are all options that may be considered by specialist team. They will explain the treatment options and if there are any risks involved.
The family should be part of this discussion and have opportunity to ask any questions that they need. They have the right to decline or accept treatment or to ask for a second opinion.
When making treatment recommendations for cancer during pregnancy, the consultant considers the best treatment options for the mother and the possible risks to the developing baby. The type of treatment chosen depends on many factors, including the gestational age of the baby; the type, location, size, and stage of the cancer; and the wishes of the expectant mother and her family. As some cancer treatments may harm the baby, especially during the first trimester, treatment may be delayed until the second or third trimesters.
When cancer is diagnosed later in pregnancy, doctors may wait to start treatment until after the baby is born, or they may consider offering an early induction of labour.
To support both you and our families we offer one to one support with a named Information and Support Worker for as long as you wish. We can offer regular check ins either by text, email or phone where you can talk about anything you are worried about or would like further information and support for.