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Glossop charity Mummy's Star shines a light on cancer and pregnancy awareness week

Be Body Aware in Pregnancy & Beyond: Cancer and Pregnancy Awareness Week will launch on Monday, June 24.

Next week, June 24, 2024 marks the beginning of the annual Cancer and Pregnancy Awareness Week. This year, Mummy’s Star is launching "Be Body Aware in Pregnancy & Beyond" , a dedicated campaign to educate and empower expectant and new parents about the importance of body awareness during and after pregnancy.

The week-long event will provide valuable insights and practical tips to help individuals recognise potential cancer symptoms that may be masked by the natural changes occurring in their bodies during pregnancy and beyond.

The pregnancy and the postpartum period can bring about significant physical and emotional changes for mums and birthing parents. While often normal, they can sometimes obscure symptoms of more serious conditions, including cancer. Data shows that one in 1,000 pregnancies in the UK are affected by cancer each year.

The goal of the awareness week is to encourage body awareness as a proactive measure to support mums and birthing parents to trust their bodies, with the message being that if it doesn’t feel or function right, get it checked.

Sarah, mum to a three-year-old son and pregnant with her second child, was on holiday abroad and applying suncream when she noticed dimpling on the skin of her left breast. Despite having had a lump in that same breast checked the year before, she knew it was important to have this new development looked at. Her awareness of her body’s changes meant her breast cancer was diagnosed early and she is currently cancer free and looking forward to her breast reconstruction later this year.

Nicola was attending her routine whooping cough vaccination when five months pregnant with her third child, when her nurse pointed out a large mole on her arm. By listening to her nurse and recognising the potential risk in the change to her skin, Nicola is now free of cancer.

Throughout the Be Body Aware in Pregnancy & Beyond: Cancer and Pregnancy Awareness week, Mummy’s Star will focus on different aspects of body awareness, offering daily themes, expert advice, and personal stories to guide and support new and expectant parents:

• Monday - Touch Your Body: Explore the importance of touching your body to notice any unusual changes early.

• Tuesday - Hear Your Body: Listen to your body’s signals, such as persistent pain and mood changes.

• Wednesday - See Your Body: Monitor visual signals like changes in skin condition and bleeding.

• Thursday - Move Your Body: Learn about staying active during and post-pregnancy.

• Friday - Share Your Worries: Emphasising the importance of reporting concerns to healthcare professionals.

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