NHS midwives, health visitors and family nurses
Due to Covid-19 and government restrictions, many children and family services will continue to operate but in a different way.
Please contact the individual services to find out more about the ways they are continuing to deliver support during lockdown.
NHS midwives, health visitors and family nurses work to support you through pregnancy and after the birth of your baby. They work to improve the health and wellbeing of children and families in the crucial first years of life. The service is available to all children and families in Warwickshire, with a wider service available to those with additional needs.
- More information and details of your nearest health visiting clinic
- Find out more about how the health visiting service works with expectant and new parents
- More information about the family nurse partnership
The Outcomes Parent and Baby Star is a person-centred tool used by health visitors with families as a way of plotting where you are on your journey. Health visitors and parents can sit down together and map different areas of your family life to look at strengths and what is working well as well as identifying areas where you might be experiencing difficulties and deciding how and what you want to work on. An information leaflet is given to all parents at new birth and the star is usually completed with your health visitor at your 6-week postnatal review.
Getting to know your baby - A whole series of easy to watch videos covering bonding, baby states, early interactions and sleeping and soothing.
Antenatal and postnatal guidance, information and community support is available throughout Warwickshire for all breastfeeding families.
Additionally, an early breastfeeding support service is provided in Nuneaton, Bedworth and North Warwickshire. This service offers support to breastfeeding mums on discharge from the hospital up until their baby is six to eight weeks of age. Contact the Breastfeeding Support Service for further information on 01926 626529.
Breastfeeding support is also available from Children and Family Centres. Call or drop in to find out times and venues.
The following organisations can also support you with breastfeeding:
- The National Breastfeeding helpline
- From Bump to Breastfeeding
- Mothers and others guide - This booklet is given out to families by midwives and health visitors so do ask for a copy if you don’t have one.
- Association of Breastfeeding Mothers - The ABM is a group of trained volunteers dedicated to supporting breastfeeding mums and their families.
- La Leche League offers breastfeeding support including a helpline and information on local groups.
- Start4Life Breastfeeding Friend - breastfeeding advice through Google Home, Amazon Alexa or Facebook Messenger.
Health and development
- Your baby's health and development reviews - You will be offered regular health and development reviews (health visitor checks) for your baby until they are two. These are to support you and your baby and make sure their development is on track.
- Warwickshire Health visiting TEXT Chat Service - advice and support for parents of preschool children. Text 07520 615293 anytime and messages will be responded to by a health visitor from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Note that messaging support is from UK mobile numbers only, which will be charged at your normal rate. If you need urgent medical attention, please contact your GP or call 111 or 999.
- Healthy Start - With Healthy Start, you get free vouchers every week to spend on milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables and infant formula milk. You can also get free vitamins.
- If you are breastfeeding, be sure to take your healthy start vitamins for you and your baby.
- Healthy lifestyles for children under five (HENRY) is a free 5-week programme to support the whole family make positive lifestyle changes, for a healthier, happier home environment. The HENRY programme will support your family with parenting confidence, sleep and behaviour management, fussy eaters, portion sizes, finding a balanced plate and activity ideas for the whole family. It is delivered by health visitors on a one-to-one basis.
- NHS Start4Life has loads of advice, tips and information to help with pregnancy, new baby and toddler.
- Born to Move is an NHS app to help parents and carers with their newborn babies right up to preschool. It is about encouraging daily active play and interaction to help the learning and wiring of your baby’s brain at this critical early stage. It is designed to give you friendly advice and tips to support your child to develop and build the foundations for a healthy, happy and confident baby.
- Unicef baby-friendly resources
- Baby Check App is a free downloadable app produced by the Lullaby Trust designed to help parents find answers to concerns they have about their baby’s health with advice on what to do next.
- Baby and Child First Aid App - This free app provides ‘first aid at your fingertips’. It is packed with useful tips, animations and video clips. There is also a handy device to record your child’s medication needs and any allergies.
Sleep and bedtime routine
Sleep can be a cause for concern for new parents. Midwives and health visitors will cover sleep in their face-to-face sessions but if you have any concerns please do contact them direct. For online help and advice, please see Getting to know your baby – a series of useful videos covering bonding, baby states, early interactions and sleeping and soothing.
If you see a change in your baby’s sleeping pattern ask your GP to check for any underlying concerns, for example, ear infections are a common cause of sleep disturbance.
- NHS safe sleep guidance
- NHS helping your baby to sleep – guidance on a range of sleep queries
- The Lullaby Trust safer sleep advice
Feeding and introducing solids
- Health visitors regularly run parent sessions around the introduction to solid food at around 6 months of age. Parents will receive an invitation to take part in a session when your baby reaches 4-6 months and you will be informed about where the session will be held at the same time. Parents can ring to confirm attendance.
- For NHS online advice, see NHS – Your baby’s first solid foods.
- Start4Life Weaning - From when to start, what to feed, to recipes, ideas and safe weaning. Start4Life can guide you through the weaning journey with expert information and advice on introducing your baby to solid foods.
- ifeed infant feeding
Dental care and teething
- Dental care for mother and baby
- See the NHS guide Looking after your baby’s teeth for advice on brushing teeth, taking your baby to the dentist, sugar and tooth decay and using a dummy.
- See also NHS advice on caring for Children’s Teeth
- NHS - How to potty train
- NHS - Potty training problems
- Eric The Children’s Bowel and Bladder Charity offers information and advice on potty training. Information for kids and teens can be found on the dropdown tabs. More information and advice on bowel and bladder problems can be found under the help and support tab.
Baby and toddler safety
- Baby and toddler safety - Your pregnancy and baby guide.
- Carrying Matters Guide to Slings is a site designed to help if you are considering using a baby sling. It covers understanding the basics of safe sling use and provides information on the major types of sling.
- Keeping you and your children safe - More information on safety in the home and when out and about with your children.
- Child Accident Prevention: Making every contact count - This is a fully-funded three-hour course designed by the NHS to help prevent accidents in the home. For more information, please contact [email protected] or [email protected].
Speech, language and communication
- Serve and return: the importance of interactions between parents and their infant. Take a look at this video created as part of infant mental health awareness week 2020 about how back and forth 'serve and return' interactions between parents and their infant help baby's brain development and support communication and social skills.
- Time to Talk Warwickshire has information for families on what to expect at different ages and stages, advice on dummies, bilingual support and information videos. The site also lists the main organisations to contact for support.
- Talking Point gives parents, carers and practitioners the information they need to help children develop their speech, language and communication skills. If you are concerned about your child’s speech, language and communication, you can use the Progress Checker which allows you to review their progress. There is also a database of resources and FAQ factsheets.
- Small Talk - Little ways to make a big difference.
- Hungry Little Minds - This site contains lots of ideas and activities to help light up hungry little minds from zero to five. Help to build their confidence and engage with the world around them in preparation for starting school.
- NSPCC Look Say Sing Play - Right from birth, every time you talk, sing or play with your baby, you’re not just bonding, you’re building their brain.
- Big Little Moments - Lots of ideas and tips for building young brains, from morning to bedtime, waiting for the bus to playing together. Big Little Moments shows how all these little moments you share add up to something much bigger, giving children the skills they need to develop into healthy, bright adults.
- BBC - Tiny Happy People - Help to develop your child's communication skills from the BBC. Explore simple activities and play ideas and fun activities. It has tips and advice for language learning and child development, advice on chatting with your child plus science and facts and life as a parent.
- Bookstart Baby Pack - During one of the first visits from your health visitor you should receive your free Bookstart Baby Pack. Pack contents may vary but each has everything you need to start sharing stories, rhymes and songs with your baby.
- Libraries for children and young adults - All Warwickshire libraries provide a safe, family-friendly environment. Joining is free and children can join from birth. You will find things to do with your baby and child, tips to encourage reading, free activities as well as recommended websites to develop a love of reading.
- Love My Books - This website is packed full of information and resources that run alongside recommended books for children. If you want ideas for a book to buy for your child along with recommended activities and videos or have a book you would like to explore further with your child through web and home learning links this is the place to look. Recommended books and activities for ages 0-11 years.
The integrated two-year developmental review All children are offered a two to two and a half year review as part of the Healthy Child Programme. It is a chance to discuss all areas of your child’s development and any concerns you may have and for professionals to provide early intervention to support your child’s needs if necessary. This review is usually completed by your health visiting team. If your child is in an early years setting they will also complete an Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Progress Check between two to three years of age.
In Warwickshire, the health visiting teams and early years providers work together to complete their assessments to support your child to be ready for school. By working together, they are able to provide a more complete picture of your child’s development and, if additional support is needed, ensure that this can be actioned at the time of the review. They can also provide ongoing support, help and guidance. To do this, they need your consent and you will be asked to sign a consent form to allow both teams to share information with one another. You will be able to discuss the outcomes of both reviews and any concerns you have and both teams will be able to share this information to ensure that the right support is put in place.