A recently developed support scheme for new parents and babies is set to launch in Northampton and Daventry after being awarded £500,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, it was announced today.
The ‘Flourishing Babies’ programme will work with parents and their babies during pregnancy two-years-old, working closely with Northampton General Hospital and Danetre Hospital’s health visiting and midwifery teams to identify mums and dads most in need of extra help to get their family life off to a great start.
The programme will run in partnership with family therapy charity, the ‘Northamptonshire Parent Infant Partnership’ and family support charity, ‘Family Action and Before Baby,’ which aims to generate better outcomes for 300 vulnerable babies and families over the next three years.
Lucy Dolly, Director at Engage Antenatal C.I.C.and Before Baby programme lead said: “We are very excited and thankful to the Lottery for providing us with the opportunity to educate and support pregnant vulnerable families alongside NorPIP and Family Action.”
‘Flourishing Babies’ will aid families to recover from post-traumatic stress, withdrawal from the world, and not feeling like you love your baby or like the baby doesn’t belong to you.
It is understood that being a parent should be a happy time, but the reality is that around 40 percent of parents struggle to form a loving bond with their child.
The programme offers a free antenatal programme for new parents across Northampton and Daventry, targeting new mums and dads who might need extra support with the emotional transition to parenting as a result of mental health issues or other complicated risk factors.
Julie Smith, of the National Perinatal Lead at Family Action added: “The first 1001 days of a baby’s life is a critical time for his or her development and we are very grateful to the Big Lottery for funding this important programme.
“It will enable us to help families at this very crucial time and give parents and their babies the support they need to flourish and thrive. This will include peer support through our positively evaluated volunteer befrienders’ model.
“We are very much looking forward to working with our partners to help ensure parents and their babies get the best start possible to their new lives as a family.”
Parents experiencing postnatal depression often feel isolated, so the programme will also offer a perinatal peer support home visiting service where volunteer befrienders will provide families with support and advice.
Additionally, intensive therapeutic support will be provided to parents when they are finding it difficult to bond with their babies or are finding parenting particularly tough.