Congratulations - you are having a baby!
The early days and weeks with a new baby are exciting but they can also be challenging and confusing.
Health visitors can offer support and information to support all aspects of you and your baby’s health during pregnancy and in their first few weeks.
If you are having your first baby and live in Milton Keynes, the midwife may invite you to attend antenatal classes during the final trimester of your pregnancy. The subjects covered include preparation for labour and childbirth, pain relief options, feeding your baby and bringing your baby home.
A health visitor will contact you after 28 weeks of your pregnancy to provide information and support for health promotion, including infant feeding. This service will look at how the health visiting team can help you and talk through any questions you may have. We work in partnership with midwives and GPs and you will be able to see us in a variety of settings including your home, clinics and children’s centres. If there have been any complications of difficulties during your pregnancy the 0-19 Team may work alongside other professionals to ensure you, your family and developing baby receive all the services, care and support you need/ There are many choices to make and information you will need to keep you and your baby healthy and safe. Your midwife, or health visitor can give you all this information, but you may also want to read about it yourself.
Giving birth is a momentous experience in a person’s life. When a child is born, a family is also born, and a new journey creating lasting relationships begins. This precious time deserves calm and respect. Your midwife will encourage you to start skin to skin with your baby when he or she is born and this will help regulate temperature, breathing and blood sugar. It also helps with the beginnings of a strong attachment. Both dad and mum can do skin to skin. We encourage plenty of skin to skin contact whenever you can with your newborn.
First visit to you and your new baby
Your health visitor will make an appointment to visit you and your baby at home between 10-14 days after your baby is born, so that the transition from midwife to health visitor is seamless. You don’t need to do anything to arrange this as the health visitor is automatically notified about your baby’s birth and will contact you. The visit will take around an hour to complete and is an opportunity for you to talk about your experiences and day to day life with your baby. Further home visits may be offered if you need any extra help or support. This visit is an ideal opportunity for you to ask your health visitor anything you would like to know about feeding, attachment or any other concerns you may have around yourself and your baby.
Your health visitor will also ask you if you are sleeping, whether you are starting to feel more like yourself again and about your physical and mental health. The health visitor will ask you if you need support with any aspects of your life as a new parent and will signpost you to advice and help if required.
Looking after a baby is tiring, especially in the first few months after the birth when your child is likely to wake several times during the night. Waking is normal and keeps babies safe and healthy. It would be expected that as your baby gets older, they may sleep for longer periods of time and wake up less often. It also means that you should try to rest during the day when your baby sleeps.
At this visit you will also be given information and encouraged to attend baby clinic to have your baby weighed. We will give you support with breastfeeding, safety, safer sleep for baby and immunisations.
Six to eight week check
Between six and eight weeks, you and your baby need a routine appointment with your GP. Surgeries vary with their booking procedures so please check how this works with your GP. Your baby will have a full health review similar to the one that was carried out soon after birth to ensure that any health issues that have developed since they were born are picked up early.
The health visitor will also come and see you between six and eight weeks. We will discuss your baby’s development, growth and feeding; the health visitor will also ask how you are feeling and how you are adapting as a family.