Information for parents and parents-to-be
From finding out if you are pregnant to antenatal care and your baby's development, this section has information on health care and all you need to know about pregnancy, birth and looking after yourself and your baby.
These are the advice and information sources that local parents and health professionals have told us are helpful. If you have any concerns during your pregnancy or just after you have your baby, you can always talk to your midwife or GP. From two weeks after giving birth onwards, speak to your Health visitor or GP if you have any problems.
Pregnancy and caring for my baby
- Baby Buddy app is a free multi award winning mobile phone app for parents and parents-to-be with personalised content approved by doctors and midwives that spans from pregnancy right through to the first six months after birth. The features of Baby Buddy include daily, personalised notifications, the ability to find local services, set goals and appointments, search parenting and pregnancy terminology, find answers to questions and save questions to ask your healthcare professional at your next appointment. If you use the app when you're pregnant, then use 'Bump Buddy' - helping you with pregnancy development. This is produced by a charity called Best Beginnings, which is dedicated to giving every baby the healthiest possible start in life.
- Start4Life gives trusted NHS help and advice on all aspects of pregnancy. You can sign up to Start 4 Life weekly emails about pregnancy from NHS experts.
Feeding my baby and what to eat when pregnant
- The Start4Life website has lots of advice on healthy eating during pregnancy, and advice on feeding your baby from birth to 5 years old. This includes recipes and meal ideas for your baby.
- For more information on breastfeeding support, local and national, visit the breastfeeding section on Swindon Borough Council’s website.
- For a guide to formula feeding, watch this short video with impartial advice from the Great Western Hospital in Swindon on making up a bottle and then feeding your baby.
- Breastfeeding Welcome- If you're out and about with your baby, and you need to stop and breastfeed, then it's not always easy to find somewhere convenient. Of course, you should be welcome to feed in public anywhere (in fact your right to do so is protected by law), but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way of knowing that a cafe, restaurant or other venue really welcomed breastfeeding mothers? The good news is that this is exactly what the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme is all about. You can look up breastfeeding welcome venues by postcode or place.
- Healthy Start- If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods and you can receive free vitamins for you and your child. This is a means tested scheme.
Babies need a lot of sleep during the first few months of their lives so it’s important to ensure that they are sleeping as safely as possible. For more information on safer sleep for your baby, please see the resources below.
- The Baby Sleep Info Source (BASIS) website provides information for a) parents who wish to make informed choices about infant sleep and night-time care and b) health practitioners who wish to share evidence-based information with parents about infant sleep.
- The Lullaby Trust provides specialist support for bereaved families, promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep and raises awareness on sudden infant death (also referred to as 'cot death').
If you or your partner smokes in pregnancy and would like support in quitting, please speak to your midwife. Most GP practices and pharmacies also offer services on stopping smoking, during or after your baby’s birth.
If you or your partner smoke, your baby will be exposed to second hand smoke, which harms their health in a number of ways including increasing the risk of sudden infant death. It is important to try to limit their exposure to second hand smoke – there are a number of steps you can take to do this, including going outside to smoke, wearing a jacket, and washing your hands afterwards. It is important to note that it is illegal to smoke in a vehicle with children present.
Drugs and Alcohol
Speak to your midwife or GP, if you would like help with your drug and alcohol intake. You can also contact Impact substance misuse treatment service provided by Turning Point or visit their website with advice and guidance.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
- The charity Best Beginnings has developed some Mental Health support videos.
- Pregnancy in Mind is a new, preventative mental health service in Swindon for parents-to-be that has been developed based on the latest evidence. The service is designed to support parents who are at risk of, or experiencing mild to moderate anxiety and depression during pregnancy and the first year after birth. This links well with the Baby Steps programme in Swindon, which begins at or after 28 weeks gestation, so that parents can get high quality support with their mental health as well as preparing for parenthood. Pregnancy in Mind; Baby Steps.
- Shine provide post-natal support for women experiencing poor mental health in Swindon. They can be accessed by emailing Lauraine.email@example.com.
Bonding with your baby
- As part of their Baby Friendly Initiative, Unicef has developed a parent’s guide to developing good relationships with your baby, ‘Building a Happy Baby’.
- Getting to Know Your Baby is an online resource with videos and information and an app to help parents and health professionals learn about how the emotional wellbeing of babies develops within close relationships.
The Lullaby Trust provides specialist support for bereaved families, promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep and raises awareness on sudden infant death (also referred to as 'cot death').
We’re Baby Friendly! Swindon Borough Council Children’s services have Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) accreditation. BFI is an international programme developed by UNICEF/World Health Organisation, which enables public services to provide better support to families with feeding and developing close loving relationships. This is done through setting quality standards, staff training and audits for a local area. External assessors ascertain if an area meets the BFI standards in order to be accredited.