Leading UK charity Action for Children and Better Start Bradford today (Tuesday 1 May) are launching ‘Baby Steps’, a new group based educational programme designed to support expectant parents through the emotional and physical transition of starting a family.
Based at Action for Children’s Barkerend Children’s Centre and working across all three Better Start Bradford wards of Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton, ‘Baby Steps’ will provide important access to antenatal and postnatal care as well as information about key health issues – including mental health, physical wellbeing, relationships and social support.
Action for Children is employing one service co-ordinator Midwife, three specialist early years practitioners and two health practitioners (Midwife or Health Visitor) trained to deliver the programme, which starts from around the 26th to the 30th week of pregnancy. Initially there are two home visits prior to the course commencing to help build relationships between families and practitioners, then there are six weekly group sessions before the baby is born. After the baby is born there will be another home visit followed by three group sessions. Once registered for Baby Steps, the Action for Children practitioners will visit expectant parents to discuss the programme and encourage them to explore their hopes, dreams and worries about parenthood.
In ensuring a consistent source of support, the same practitioners will maintain contact with the family right from registration through to completion of the postnatal sessions.
Rachael Loftus, service co-ordinator at Action for Children, added: “It’s important that parents are given the best start possible, enabling them to build supportive relationships and care for their baby well.
“Our Baby Steps sessions are practical and interactive, providing an opportunity for expectant mums and partners to develop a friendship network to support each other. We’re proud to be offering such an important service with Better Start Bradford.”
Gill Thornton, programme manager at Better Start Bradford, said: “We’re really looking forward to working with Action for Children to deliver one of our newest projects across our area of Bradford. Baby Steps complements our range of antenatal projects to help support pregnant women and their partners.”
Better Start Bradford works with families to ensure all our children get the best possible start in life. Better Start Bradford is made possible thanks to a £49 million National Lottery grant from the Big Lottery Fund.