Getting to know your baby

Being a parent or carer will not come easily to everyone. It is common to feel overwhelmed, feel a dip in confidence, and struggle with new responsibilities. You may also have challenging feelings about yourself, your partner or even your child. There are things that can sometimes make this feel harder such as your own emotional wellbeing or feeling isolated.

It’s normal to experience different emotions and feelings and it can help to talk about how you’re feeling. You are not alone.

Getting advice

  • You have no current concerns about your relationship with or enjoyment of your baby
  • You would like to learn more about getting to know and building a positive relationship with your baby

You can find out more about getting to know and building a relationship with your baby, and the range of support available on our Family Assist Pages:

Or you can talk to your health visitor or midwife.

Family Hubs

Meeting and talking to other new parents, and finding they share similar anxieties and frustrations, can be reassuring. It can be a chance to talk about experiences and realise that you are not alone. Family hubs are a ‘one stop shop’ within your community – providing information, signposting and a variety of free services, activities and support for families with children up to 25 years, in one place. Take a look at their timetables of activities.

Solihull Approach courses

We run a range of courses at our family hubs for expectant and new parents, that dads, partners and co parents are welcome to attend including:

Understanding pregnancy, labour and birth (A Solihull Approach Antenatal Group)

Delivered by Home-Start Portsmouth and Health Professionals from Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth Hospital Trust.

This session is for anyone 20+ weeks pregnant. It is a ‘Solihull Approach’ antenatal group that will help you to understand your pregnancy, labour and giving birth including emotional changes.

Find out more at Portsmouth Family Hubs and book your place by emailing the Family Hub Champions.

Understanding Your Baby (A Solihull Approach Postnatal Group)

Delivered by Home-Start Portsmouth and Health Professionals from Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth Hospital Trust.

This session is for families with a baby up to 9 months old.  Understanding your baby is a ‘Solihull Approach’ postnatal group helping you to get to know and care for you new baby in a supportive environment, where you can meet other new parents too.

Find out more at Portsmouth Family Hubs and book your place by emailing the Family Hub Champions.

Newborn Behaviour Observation

The Newborn Behaviour Observation (NBO) supports you to explore and interpret your baby’s behaviour and gives you the opportunity to consider how your baby is communicating with you.

The NBO is not a test, and your baby can not pass or fail. It offers individualised information about your baby. Together, we explore what your baby likes and dislikes and how we can understand his/her signals. To understand your baby’s style and temperament in order to develop ways to support and look after your baby.

Talk to your health visitor or book an appointment in our Family Hub.

Getting help

  • You are not feeling confident as a parent
  • You are not enjoying being a new parent
  • You are finding it hard to get to know your baby and how they are communicating with you
  • You are worried about your relationship with your baby
  • You are worried about your baby or child’s emotional wellbeing
  • You are currently experiencing no or mild – moderate mental health difficulties

Families in Mind

Families in Mind aims to support parents in the transition to parenthood, improve parents’ emotional wellbeing and early relationships. The service supports families experiencing mild to moderate difficulties who would like to improve coping and overcome challenges.

The team includes Specialist Health Visitors, Community Nursery Nurses and a Mental Health Nurse who aim to deliver evidence-based support in a flexible and adaptable way. They offer a range of evidence-based support interventions, delivered flexibly, both individually and via group and in family hubs, your own home or other community site.

You can find out more and self-refer or attend one of our Chat and play sessions, every Tuesday, 9.30-11.30am, at Somerstown Family Hub.

Getting more help

  • You are feeling persistently incompetent (not confident) or estranged from (not connected to) your unborn or new baby
  • You are worried about your relationship with your baby AND are experiencing a moderate to severe mental health difficulty

Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service

The Perinatal Mental Health Service is a specialist service for women and birthing parents who are planning a pregnancy, are pregnant or have had a baby who are experiencing severe or complex mental health needs and / or where this is impacting on or there are difficulties in the parent – infant relationship.  The multi-professional team consists of consultant perinatal psychiatrists, mental health nurses, psychologists and assistant psychologists, nursery nurses, peer support and carer support workers, occupational therapists, social workers, and an administration team. They work together to provide specialist care and interventions, in the community.  You cannot current self- refer to the service; talk to your GP, midwife, health visitor or mental health professional who can support your with a referral.

You can find out more information on the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust website.

Urgent help

  • You are experiencing intense emotional distress that is difficult to bear
  • You are experiencing thoughts and / or plans of violent self-harm and suicide
  • You feel unable to keep yourself or others safe
  • You are feeling hopeless for the future
  • You or your family/friends have noticed changes to your behaviour and thoughts such as hallucinations, delusions or paranoia
  • You are experiencing frightening intrusive thoughts about yourself or others such as your baby

If you need emergency medical help immediately, call 999.

If you need urgent help for something that’s not life-threatening, you can call 111. They have specialist nurses who can support both adults and young people with the mental health and connect you with local CRISIS services. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and is from any phone. You can also visit NHS 111 online.

If you are currently under the Community Mental Health or Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Teams, you can call the CRISIS team direct on the number provided.

If you are worried about caring for your baby or child, you can call the Multiagency Safeguarding Hub on 023 9268 8793, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm or 0300 555 1372 out of hours.

If you need urgent help, are feeling unable to keep yourself or others safe, please call 999 immediately.