‘Preparation for Birth and Beyond: a resource pack for leaders of community groups and activities’, which aims to help the NHS, local authorities and the voluntary sector in planning or running groups for expectant and new parents, has been published today.
The pack is a practical tool that aims to improve outcomes for babies and parents through a refreshed approach to antenatal education that moves beyond traditional models.
It covers the physiological aspects of pregnancy and birth, but also addresses the emotional transition to parenthood in greater depth and recognises the need to include fathers and other partners in groups and activities.
Linked to the Government’s policy relating to ‘Supporting Families in the Foundation Years’, the resource pack has been co-developed with experts from the Department of Health and the Department for Education, health professions and health services, academia, and parenting organisations. It also includes parents’ views and learning from the Family Nurse Partnership programme.
Many parents feel that while most practical and emotional support is available from family and friends, learning with other expectant parents is highly valued. Evidence suggests that parents need help to make sense of the emotional as well as the physical changes, the recognition of new responsibilities and implications for their relationships. This is particularly true when this is their first pregnancy.
‘Preparation for Birth and Beyond: a resource pack for leaders of community groups and activities’ is aimed at anyone involved in planning or running groups for expectant or new parents, such as midwives, health visitors, children’s centre staff and voluntary organisations.