Pregnancy, breastfeeding and early parenthood
Pregnancy and early parenthood is a period of great change that can impact on the short and long-term health and well being of the mother and baby. Parents are faced with many new challenges during this time. Easy access to quality information and support during pregnancy and after the baby is born is important to help make the process as smooth as possible.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
If you are not sure if you are pregnant or not, free pregnancy testing is available through your GP or you can buy a test at your local pharmacy.
If you're under 24 years old you can also access testing through a No Worries pharmacy.
As soon as you know you are pregnant contact your GP via your local surgery to plan your pregnancy.
It's very important that you keep healthy during pregnancy by eating well, keeping active, taking the recommended immunisations plus avoiding alcohol and smoking. Find out more by reading the pregnancy and baby guide on the NHS Choices website.
It is important for you and your child to receive certain immunisations during pregnancy and the early years to protect from certain diseases - see NHS - Vaccinations website. To find out why immunisations are so important, please read the information on the NHS Choices website. You can also speak to your midwife or health visitor.
The Healthy Start Scheme provides vouchers to some pregnant women and families. The vouchers can be exchanged locally for milk and vegetables and vitamins for you and your baby. To find out if you can apply for these vouchers visit the Healthy Start website.
Your pelvic floor muscles support your womb, bowels and bladder. These muscles can become weak during pregnancy.
It is important to exercise your pelvic floor muscles regularly to reduce problems such as urinary incontinence.
Find out more by reading the pelvic floor exercises guide on the Tommy's pregnancy hub and speak to your midwife if you have any questions.
We know that it can be difficult to quit smoking. But we also know that you want to give your baby the best possible start in life.
No matter what stage you're at in your pregnancy, it's never too late to stop smoking. There is specialist stop smoking support available at your local maternity unit - speak to your midwife or local maternity unit for details.
It can be daunting making the transition to parenthood. For comprehensive information on feeding and caring for your baby go to the NHS pregnancy and baby guide.
For independent, confidential, non-judgemental breastfeeding support and information contact the National breastfeeding helpline on 0300 100 0212 (Open 9.30am to 9.30pm daily).
The National Breastfeeding Helpline also provides support via National Breastfeeding Helpline – Live Chat Support or via Facebook: National Breastfeeding helpline.
Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of your baby's life, although any amount of breastfeeding has a positive effect. The longer you breastfeed the greater the benefits.
Local breastfeeding support available in Wiltshire:
- Get support from your local midwifery or health visiting team (if you are new to the area register with a local GP)
- There is a variety of breast feeding peer support available from trained volunteers who are mums with experience of breastfeeding their own children and are trained to provide breastfeeding peer support in relaxed, welcoming environments. Breast feeding peer support in Wiltshire is available via virtual and in-person groups, phone and closed Facebook groups:
|Day||Group||Time||Contact (check via contact to ensure group is running)||Age||Address||Organisation|
|Monday||Five Rivers Breastfeeding Group||12 noon to 1:email@example.com||All||Five Rivers Health & Wellbeing Centre, Hulse Rd, Salisbury, SP1 3NR||Wiltshire Breastfeeding Support / ABM|
|Monday||Chippenham Group||10am to 11.30am (not Bank Holidays)|
01249 464008 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|0 to 5||Spring Rise Children's Centre, Frogwell, Chippenham, SN14 0DH||Wiltshire Breastfeeding Support / / The Rise Trust /ABM|
|Tuesday (1st and 3rd every month)||Cricklade Breastfeeding Friends (BFFs)||1.45pm to email@example.com||Ante-natal onwards||Cricklade United Church hall, Calcutt Street, Cricklade SN6 6AZ||Wiltshire Breastfeeding Support / ABM|
|Wednesday||Downton Group||11am to 12.30pm||All|
Downton Baptist Church South Ln, Downton, Salisbury, SP5 3NA
|Wiltshire Breastfeeding Support / ABM|
|Wednesday||Calne Breast Feeding Group||1pm to firstname.lastname@example.org||All|
Calne Children's Centre, Prince Charles Drive, Calne, SN11 8TG
|Wiltshire Breastfeeding Support / ABM|
|Thursday||Salisbury Hospital Group||10am to 12 email@example.com||0 to 6 weeks (can be flexible)||Nicu Lounge, Neonatal Unit, Cafe, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury, SP2 8BJ||Salisbury District Hospital|
|Friday||Devizes Group||1pm to 2.30pm||07980 225929 or firstname.lastname@example.org||All||Optimum Corner, 50 Eastleigh Rd, Devizes SN10 3EH||Wiltshire Breastfeeding Support / ABM|
|Friday||Little Buds at Fordingbridge||9.30am - 11am (term time only)||01249 464008||0 to 5||New Life Community Centre, 1 High Street, Fordingbridge SP2 8ER||Independent / NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor in attendance|
- Local Children's Centre have electric breast pumps available for loan - contact details for Children's Centres:
- East Wiltshire 01380 739835
- South Wiltshire 01722 424301
- West Wiltshire 01225 703225
The Rise Children's Centre: North Wiltshire 01793851224
- Bath and West Wiltshire Breastfeeding peer support private Facebook group
- Swindon Breastmates (breastfeeding support) private Facebook group
- Facebook: South Wiltshire and Surrounds Breastfeeding Support
- Virtual support from the Salisbury District Hospital Infant Feeding Team
- See the Bath, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) maternity voices infant feeding web page for further breastfeeding links and videos
Women under 25 who are pregnant and interested to learn more about breastfeeding or who are mums and are breastfeeding can be paired with a Buddy - another mum who can talk to them about breastfeeding.
Wiltshire Council, including libraries and leisure centres, are showing their support for mothers to breastfeed comfortably when out and about by welcoming breastfeeding in their venues.
Remember: you have the right to breastfeed anywhere
All births, by law, must be registered within 42 days with a Registrar of Births and Deaths. You can find out more information on registering the birth of your baby in Wiltshire on our registrations page.
Whether you're a parent, or mum or dad to be, we are looking for volunteers interested in improving local maternity services and an opportunity to meet new people:
- you decide how much time you can get involved
- you help decide what matters most in maternity care
- you can make a difference
For more information or to register your interest contact Wiltshire Public Health by email - email@example.com.
The practical information within the app includes guides on:
- bottle feeding
- communicating and bonding with your baby
- how babies like to be held
- surviving without sleep
Dads can feel more confident about fatherhood and enjoy their new babies with the DadPad app. Find out more and download the DadPad App website.
The DadPad app is a new app for dads-to-be and dads with new babies. Dads in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire can download the free app to get bitesize top tips on how to care for their new baby. Babies don't come with a set of instructions and we know that dads want important information on how to care for their new baby, and what to expect.