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Are you a first-time parent? New programme launched by Southern Trust

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The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has launched a new programme for first time parents.

Getting Ready for Baby is a new way of delivering care and supporting parents through pregnancy, preparing for labour and the early days of baby’s life.

The programme, for the first time in Northern Ireland, links antenatal appointments with parenting group support as Patricia McStay, Head of Midwifery and Gynaecology for the Southern Trust explains: “Having a baby is a very exciting time. Along with the physical changes the mother will experience, there is also a lot of new information for parents to absorb in preparation for their new arrival.

“Attending your antenatal care is very important for the physical health and wellbeing of both mum and baby. However, we also now know that antenatal education classes are just as important in supporting parents to cope with pregnancy, birth and right through to the early days with their new arrival.

“We are delighted to introduce ‘Getting Ready for Baby’ to the Southern Trust. By combining both antenatal check-ups with group education we hope to make it much more convenient for parents. The programme includes all the same information as our traditional ‘Parentcraft’ approach but also emphasises the importance of emotional health and wellbeing, helping parents to get to develop relationships with their baby and equipping them to give their child the best start in life.”

Parents get all their appointment dates at their first visit so they can make arrangements well in advance and will see the same midwife for both their education and care, allowing them to build up a relationship.

The programme is currently targeted at first time mothers with no health or pregnancy complications. Your midwife will advise at your booking appointment if you are eligible to take part in the programme and explain what is involved before you choose this option.

Getting Ready For Baby has been introduced through the Early Intervention Transformation Programme (EITP) a Northern Ireland Executive/Atlantic Philanthropies Delivering Social Change Signature Programme, funded jointly by the Delivering Social Change fund, DoH, DE, DoJ, DfC, DfE and The Atlantic Philanthropies. EITP aims to improve outcomes for children and young people across Northern Ireland through embedding early intervention approaches.

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