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The health visiting team is here to help you and your family

The antenatal visit is offered to all families and usually takes place in the third trimester after 28weeks pregnancy. It is an opportunity for the Health Visiting team to introduce ourselves and the service and offer advice for example around safe sleep, feeding baby, immunisations and expectations of being a parent.

Please contact your local team for further information or support and if you have not heard from our healthy visiting team to arrange an antenatal contact.

To support you during your pregnancy and prepare you for your new arrival we have put together some information and resources we hope you will find helpful before your baby/babies arrive. 

  • Healthy Child Programme - The Healthy Child Programme for the early life stages focuses on a universal preventative service, providing families with a programme of screening, immunisation, health and development reviews, supplemented by advice around health, wellbeing and parenting.
  • The NHS pregnancy guide includes all you need to know about trying for a baby, pregnancy, labour and birth.
  • The Baby Buddy app guides you through your pregnancy and the first 6 months following your baby's birth. It is designed to help you look after your baby's mental and physical health, as well as your own, and give your baby the best start in life. 

Communicating and Bonding with baby

Health Visitors as Public Health Nurses work closely with parents/carers and families to support behaviour change, recommend health protection and to keep children safe. The antenatal period is vital time to prepare for parenthood, and therefore health visitors provide support at this stage to promote positive attachment and bonding with baby, and help parents/carers to make informed and positive choices for themselves and their child.

It is important for you and your baby even before they are born to develop a relationship with them, this will help their health and development and enhance your relationship to them.

NSPCC Look, Say Sing Play

Give you some fun and easy tips to help you bring even more Look, Say, Sing and Play into your daily routine with your baby. Sending you a new tip, tailored to your child's age, each week.

Tiny Happy People

Provides fun development and bonding ideas for you and babies in pregnancy and babies, toddlers and pre-school children.

Building a happy baby

  • You can help your baby’s brain development during pregnancy by talking, reading, stroking and playing music to your baby inside the womb.
  • When you touch your stomach gently babies can reply with a wriggle or give a kick
  • At 20 weeks pregnant babies can hear your voice and other everyday sounds, including TV theme tunes, music and family fun.  This will help babies to learn the patterns of speech and language.Find out more by watching this short video Benefits of Talking to Bump (2 mins 16 seconds)

Keeping well in pregnancy

Keeping well in pregnancy is vital for baby and you.  There are things you can do and things you can avoid in pregnancy to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible. 


Please visit NHS Health things you should know in pregnancy for further information. 


A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time but is especially vital if you're pregnant or planning a pregnancy.


If you’re pregnant or have children under the age of 4 you can get free vouchers or payments every 4 weeks to spend on:

  • cow’s milk
  • fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables
  • infant formula milk
  • fresh, dried, and tinned pulses

Healthy Start Scheme

Your health visitor will supply you with one month’s supply of healthy start vitamins at your birth visit and will support you to sign up to the healthy start scheme if you are eligible. The national healthy start scheme is changing and will move away from vouchers to a prepaid debit card in October 2021 and you’ll need to re-apply online to continue to get help to buy food, milk and vitamins.


Eating healthily during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow. Please visit the NHS guidance for information on healthy eating in pregnancy and find out more about the vitamins you and your baby need and why at Start4Life (opens in a new tab).


The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into shape after the birth. The NHS has Exercise tips when you're pregnant.


The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into shape after the birth.

The NHS has Exercise tips when you're pregnant.

Healthy Relationships

Healthy relationships are also important for yours and babies well being in pregnancy.

  • Dad pad Is the essential guide for new dads, developed with the NHS.


scan image of baby in womb with message Smoking whilst pregnant puts your baby at risk for certain birth defectsSmoking whilst pregnant impacts you and your baby in many ways and puts you and your baby at risks. 

Please contact your midwife or health visitor for further information and support with stopping smoking.

Bump the habit supports pregnant women to stop smoking.



Do you know what ingredients are in a cigarette?

ingredients of a cigarette, image shows a cigarette with images of the ingredients

Barbecue starter;batteries;lighter fuel;vinegar;

methane gas; poison; automobile exhaust; nail polish remover;

rocket fuel; fuel; paint; toilet cleaner; insecticide; industrial solvent

 CYC Yorwellbeing - City of York Health Trainers who can support you to live a healthier lifestyle, including free health checks and stop smoking support


Drug and Alcohol

Experts are still unsure exactly how much (if any alcohol) is completely safe for you to have while pregnant, so the safest approach is not to drink at all NHS alcohol in pregnancy

  • Changing Lives - Changing Lives work with people who are in crisis or who need support to overcome serious challenges that can limit their opportunities. They help people to develop the skills and self-belief to move past prior experiences, change their story and achieve a better future – for themselves, their families and their communities.

Dental Health

If you are pregnant and for 12 months after your baby is born you are entitled to free NHS dental treatment.  Please review NHS website on how to obtain free NHS dental treatment and how to find a dentist.

Mental Health

Improved mental health and well being is associated with a range of better outcomes for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Find information and support for your mental health on the NHS Website and our mental wellbeing for all section. 

The healthy child service is available to support parents/Carers and children from 0-19 years of age with their mental health and can provide information on other services to support.

Please contact The Healthy Child service on 01904 555475.

Preparing for Baby

  • Lullaby Trust - The Lullaby Trust raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), provides expert advice on safer sleep for babies and offers emotional support for bereaved families
  • NHS Vaccinations - This guide can help you understand the vaccines offered in the UK and when to have them. It also explains how they work and why they're safe and important
  • Personal Child Health Record (Red book) - The Personal Child Health Record, also known as the PCHR or 'red book', is a national standard health and development record given to parents/carers at a child's birth.
  • NHS homepage - The NHS homepage has information, guidance and tools relating to all aspects of your health, including how to get medical help, where to find health related services and apps for improving health.
  • FEEDING BABY.  The healthy child service provides ongoing support for infant feeding (breast feeding, bottle feeding expressed breast milk or formula or a combination of these options) via your health visitor. Please visit our infant feeding section for further information on infant feeding.


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