Who are we?
bumps is provided by the UK Teratology Information Service (UKTIS). UKTIS is a not-for-profit organisation funded by Public Health England on behalf of the UK Health Departments. UKTIS (previously the National Teratology Information Service, NTIS) has been providing scientific information to health care providers since 1983 on the effects that use of medicines, recreational drugs and chemicals during pregnancy may have on the unborn baby.
The UK Teratology Information Service was one of the first services of this type in the world. It became a founder member of the European Network of Teratology Information Services (ENTIS) in 1990.
What do we do?
UKTIS answers enquiries from health professionals (e.g. doctors, nurses, midwives) on the effects on the unborn baby of medicines and other chemicals that the mother may use or otherwise be exposed to. After these enquiries have been answered, UKTIS collects information on what happens to the mothers and babies so that we have more information on which to base our advice in the future.
When we have collected information from a sufficient number of women, this can be summarised in documents that we provide to health professionals. This updated information is useful in helping them provide advice to pregnant women in the future. We also publish information in scientific journals and present it at scientific meetings. The information is also used to update the bumps leaflets that we provide for the general public. None of the information we publish identifies any of the pregnant women or babies involved.
Who do we work with?
In addition to providing advice and information to healthcare professionals throughout the UK, UKTIS also provides advice on drug and chemical exposure during pregnancy on request to official organisations such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Commission for Human Medicines (CHM), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the British National Formulary (BNF) and the Neonatal Formulary.
UKTIS works closely with other international teratology services such as the European Network of Teratology Information Services (ENTIS) and the Organisation of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS).
Why has UKTIS created bumps?
1. To make reliable and accurate information openly available to women and their partners
UKTIS is often asked by healthcare providers and members of the public for information leaflets that summarise the available scientific information in a way that is understandable to everyone. We hope that our freely available bumps information leaflets will provide women and their partners with the facts that they need to make informed decisions, in conjunction with their healthcare provider, about use of a medicine (or medicines) in pregnancy.
2. To enable women to provide information directly to UKTIS
Information on the use of medicines in human pregnancy is generally lacking, especially for new or infrequently used products. Over the years pregnant women have asked to report their details to UKTIS directly so that this information is available to other pregnant women who may need to consider whether or not to take a certain medicine in the future. Our new bumps website offers all pregnant women (not just those taking certain medicines or whose pregnancies did not result in a healthy baby) the option to create their own password protected ‘my bump’s record’. The information entered into these records is stored anonymously by UKTIS and reviewed periodically to help better understand how the effects that medicines, a woman’s lifestyle or the illness for which she was taking the medicine, may affect her baby’s development in the womb.