The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has welcomed its first new arrivals from its ‘Getting Ready for Baby’ programme.

The programme for first time parents was launched in September 2016 and links antenatal care with parenting group support. So far 220 first time parents are taking part in the programme and 55 babies have now been born across the Southern Trust area.

Congratulating the new parents Paula Boyle, EITP Implementation Manager for the programme says: “Having a baby is a very exciting time. Along with the physical changes the mother will experience, there is also a lot of new information for parents to absorb in preparation for their new arrival.


“Attending your antenatal care is very important for the physical health and wellbeing of both mum and baby. However, we also now know that antenatal education classes are just as important in supporting parents to cope with pregnancy, birth and right through to the early days with their new baby.

“The programme includes all the same information as our traditional ‘Parentcraft’ approach but also emphasises the importance of emotional health and wellbeing, helping parents to get to develop relationships with their baby and equipping them to give their child the best start in life.

“We are delighted with the positive response to the programme and feedback from parents who are finding that having their antenatal check-ups combined with group education is much more convenient for them to attend.

“We congratulate all of our new mums and dads on the safe arrival of their beautiful babies and wish them all the very best for the future.”

Targeted at first time mothers

The programme is currently targeted at first time mothers with no health or pregnancy complications. Your midwife will advise at your booking appointment if you are eligible to take part in the programme and explain what is involved before you choose this option.

Getting Ready For Baby has been introduced through the Early Intervention Transformation Programme (EITP) a Northern Ireland Executive/Atlantic Philanthropies Delivering Social Change Signature Programme, funded jointly by the Delivering Social Change fund, DoH, DE, DoJ, DfC, DfE and The Atlantic Philanthropies.  EITP aims to improve outcomes for children and young people across Northern Ireland through embedding early intervention approaches.