Support for new dads and partners in Leeds
Partners and dads are encouraged to attend the following groups and one-to-one services:
- Preparation for Birth and Beyond (PBB) is Leeds' antenatal education course. It has been designed to support parents-to-be during pregnancy and the early days of their baby's lives. It is run by health visitors and local Children's Centre staff. The programme involves six sessions before the birth and one after the baby is born. The course is delivered in local Children's Centres so that parents have a chance to find out about local services and groups before their baby is born and to meet other parents who live in their area. Sometimes it is necessary to travel to another children's centre if your local one is fully booked. Ask your midwife about how you can attend. More info here
- Baby Steps is a group-based support service for families who need some extra support on top of the Preparation for Birth and Beyond course. Baby Steps helps mums-to-be and their partners prepare for being a parent. Baby Steps can help you get ready for your new life with your baby. Welcoming your baby into the world can be very exciting, but it also has its challenges. Baby Steps aims to help you cope with all the new experiences that will come your way. A health worker can refer you to this.
- Pregnancy in Mind is a four-week group to support parents-to-be who are feeling depressed or anxious, or who may be at risk of developing emotional health problems. This could be people who have experienced mental health problems before, for example, or may be having an unplanned pregnancy. It covers skills like mindfulness, relaxation and how to 'tune-in' to your baby. You will also be offered support from volunteers during your pregnancy and over the first year after the birth. You can attend this NSPCC group during the middle three months of pregnancy (middle trimester). Ask a health professional to refer you or you can refer yourself by calling 0113 2172200.
- Best Start Peer Support Project offers a free course (with creche) to people who live in South or East Leeds. If you're a parent/carer of children under the age of two this project can help you to cope better and meet other new parents so you can support each other. The course runs for two hours per week for six weeks. At the end of the course there are opportunities to join in with future Best Start Peer Support groups, events and new projects. You can find out where and when courses will be running and complete a referral form on the website. You can also ring either of the organisations who run the project to find out more: Touchstone 0113 271 8277 or Women's Health Matters 0113 276 2851.
- Children's Centres run groups for new parents and parents-to-be. They are a great place to meet other parents and share experiences. They also run groups for after the baby is born including Incredible Babies (a six session course to support parents learn to understand their baby's needs), Baby Massage and Stay and Play sessions. If you're feeling low you may feel anxious about going to a group. You can ring the Children's Centre and explain your worries so they can support you. Click here to find your nearest Children's Centre.
- Gingerbread provides expert advice and practical support to single parents. Call the free helpline on 0808 802 0925 or join a friendship group.
- Home-Start is a family support charity that helps families with young children deal with the challenges they face. Home-Start volunteers support families struggling with postnatal depression, isolation, physical health problems, bereavement and many other problems. Homes-Start also run groups for friendship and support - find out more about Home-Start Leeds or call 0113 244 2419.
- Wave is a parent peer support group based in North Leeds. The group is primarily for mums, but they support all parents, whether struggling with mental illness, or just going through a hard time. They meet weekly on Friday mornings - see their website for details.
- A Home-Start volunteer can visit you in your home and offer their support, friendship and practical help (such as help to attend appointments or do the shopping). They can also listen and encourage. Some of the volunteers have personal experience of mental health difficulties. You can phone Home-Start to find out more at 0113 244 2419, or find more info here.
- Early Start Counselling (run by the charity Northpoint and funded by Leeds City Council) is available for anyone in the Leeds area who is pregnant (or whose partner is pregnant) or is a parent or carer of a child under the age of five. Appointments are held in local Children's Centres. You can ask a health professional to refer you or you can find contacts to refer yourself here.
- The Teenage Pregnancy and Parenting Team offers one-to-one support to help young people develop as parents.