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HAPPY (Healthy and Active Parenting Programme for Early Years)

HAPPY (Healthy and Active Parenting Programme for Early Years)

HAPPY is a free and friendly 12-week antenatal and post-natal programme for pregnant women with a BMI (Body Mass Index) greater than 25.

HAPPY is a free and friendly 12-week antenatal (before birth) and post-natal (after your baby has been born) project for pregnant women with a BMI greater than 25 referred through the NHS. BMI is a measure of weight relative to height. A BMI of over 25 can increase the risk of diseases that are related to being overweight. HAPPY is a programme developed by Born In Bradford and Family Links and is being delivered by Barnardo’s.

Through 12 sessions, participants will be given the confidence and information to make healthy food choices for themselves and increase appropriate physical activity during and after pregnancy.

HAPPY will be delivered with the aim of reducing the number of overweight and obese children living in the Better Start Bradford area. In common with the Bradford District and the UK, more than 20% of children in the Better Start Bradford area are overweight or obese when they enter school, rising to 30% of Year 6 children compared to 18% nationally.

The 12-week programme includes:

  • Week 1         Brain science and bonding (woman approx. 26 weeks pregnant)
  • Week 2         A celebration of birth
  • Week 3         Personal power, self-esteem and healthy choices about food
  • Week 4         Boundaries, beliefs and values
  • Week 5         Feelings and how we communicate
  • Week 6         Beyond labour day
  • Week 7         A celebration of birth (baby approx. 6 weeks)
  • Week 8         Bringing structure to your life (baby approx. 9 weeks)
  • Week 9         Feeding and feelings (baby approx. 12 weeks)
  • Week 10       Families and food (baby approx. 5 months)
  • Week 11        Making the most of your day (baby approx. 7 months)
  • Week 12       Continuing the HAPPY journey (baby approx. 9 months)

Who’s it for? Pregnant women living in the Better Start Bradford area (Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton) who are aged 18 years or over and have a BMI of over 25 at the time of registering their pregnancy.

Where and when is it delivered? HAPPY is being delivered by Barnardo’s in children’s centres and community centres across the Better Start Bradford area by trained and experienced Family Links practitioners who have completed additional HAPPY training. The programme consists of 12 group sessions (six antenatal sessions and six post-natal sessions).

How do families register? Pregnant women will be offered the programme during their pregnancy. Pregnant women cannot register directly.

Find out more about Barnardos in the local area


HAPPY is one of more than 20 projects being provided by Better Start Bradford for pregnant women and families with children under four in Little Horton, Bowling and Barkerend and Bradford Moor.