Preparing for your baby

We support families during pregnancy and with a new baby or a child until the age of 19 years. We work with you to support you and your family to be healthy, providing health advice, support, drop in clinics, health checks and screening surveillance.

We may work within GP surgeries, community clinics, schools, community settings and people’s homes. Some of our work will be with individual young people and their families, some may be within groups. We work with other agencies such as Children’s Centre staff, GPs, Midwives, Early Years’ settings, Voluntary and Community groups and Children’s Services.

Health Visitors are qualified midwives or nurses with specialist training in Public Health. Someone from our team will contact you when you are pregnant see you and your child for routine health checks and advice until around the time your child starts school. We work with other health professionals and agencies to promote health and wellbeing for the family as part of the Healthy Child Programme 0-5.

We have many services to support you with your new baby. These include visits from one of our health professionals, our My developing baby group, child health clinic, baby massage and lots more.

All our health professional visits are face to face unless you would prefer a virtual contact or you have Covid symptoms. Child health clinics and developmental clinics are by appointment. If you are concerned about your baby’s health or development or would like to talk to someone please give us a call on 0300 333 5352 and we will get the right person to call you back.

You can also click on the links in any of our sections to take you to lots of helpful websites.

Health visitor antenatal visit

Health Visitor Antenatal Visit (between 28 and 32 weeks of pregnancy)

A 0 to 19 Specialist Public Health Nurse who specialises in Health Visiting, will receive information about your pregnancy from your midwife. For your first baby you will be visited at your home and we will discuss the support we can offer you.

Personal Child Health Record Book (also known as the ‘Red Book’)

Your red book

All pregnant women will receive a personal child health record (PCHR), also known as the ‘red book’, and our antenatal pack. This details the support we can provide you and useful information before your child is born along with how to get in touch with us. You can use your red book to record your child’s weight and height, vaccinations and other important information. If you have given us your email address we will send you information and advice to support you and your partner while you are pregnant.

Equipment hire

Image: 0 to 19 logo

Tens machine hire

The children’s centres loan out TENS machines for £10 per hire with £10 refundable deposit, or free to those families on a low income. The machines are loaned out to expectant mothers who are more than 37 weeks pregnant.

TENS machine is cleaned after each hire to prevent cross contamination. The self-adhesive pads are non-returnable and are to be disposed of before return. Registration is completed (if required) before each hire. Liability form is completed for each hire, to cover non-returned or damaged TENS.

A TENS machine can help with

  • Pain relief from back pain from 37 weeks gestation.
  • Pain relief from Braxton hick’s contractions.
  • Pain relief from contractions whilst in established labour.
  • A reduction in medical intervention during labour.

Call 01803 210200 or email

Breast Pump Hire

Torbay children’s centres loan out electronic breast pumps free to low income parents or £30 per month including a £10 refundable deposit.

Breast pumps can:

  • Support and sustain breastfeeding.
  • Encourage breastfeeding for more than 6 months.
  • Support bonding between infants and mothers.
  • Improve the health of mothers and infants.

Loaning out the breast pumps; includes pump and a non-returnable collection set. Each pump is cleaned after each hire to prevent cross contamination. Registration is completed (if required) before each hire. Liability form is completed for each hire, to cover non-returned or damaged pumps.

Call 01803 210200 or email

Information, advice and support for dads

Dads Matter UK

Dads Matter UK is here to provide support for dads worried about or suffering from Depression, Anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Dads Pad

What is the DadPad?
It’s the essential guide for new dads, developed with the NHS.

Why do you need it?
As a new dad you will feel excited, but you may also feel left out, unsure or overwhelmed. The DadPad can help by giving you the knowledge and practical skills that you need.  The resource will support you and your partner to give your baby the best possible start in life.

Fatherhood Institute

The UK’s fatherhood think-and-do tank

Frequently asked questions

Will I meet my health visitor before the birth?

Your midwife will get in touch with your health visiting team and let them know you’re expecting a baby.

Between 28 and 36 weeks of pregnancy you will be sent a letter explaining how to access your antenatal support and visit you at home to discuss the arrival of your new baby and offer additional support.

When do I need to let my GP know?

Make an appointment with your GP as soon as you know that you are pregnant, ideally this should be by 10 weeks to ensure that you receive all the care you require. The care that you will receive during your pregnancy is known as antenatal care. Your antenatal appointments will be with the community midwives and are held at a GP surgery, children’s centre or hospital.

Where can I find an antenatal class?

You can access our Soilhull online antenatal courses here, just enter the code TAMAR and it’s free for you and your partner. Visit Solihull antenatal course

Telling people you are pregnant

You may want to tell your family and friends immediately, or wait a while until you know how you feel. Or you may want to wait until you have had your first ultrasound scan, when you’re around 12 weeks pregnant, before you tell people.

Some of your family or friends may have mixed feelings or react in unexpected ways to your news. You may wish to discuss this with a midwife.

When do I need to tell my work that I am pregnant?

If you’re entitled to paid maternity leave, you must tell your employer you’re pregnant no later than the 15th week before your baby is due.

You must tell them:

  • You’re pregnant
  • The date of the week your baby is due (your employer can ask to see a medical certificate or ‘MAT B1 form’ – you get this from your doctor or midwife once you’re 20 weeks’ pregnant)
  • The date you want to start maternity leave

Maternity and paternity benefits and leave

This page lists the benefits you’re entitled to when you’re pregnant, and has information on maternity, paternity and shared parental leave.

It also lists other benefits you might be able to receive, depending on your circumstances.

What can I expect to find out when I first visit my doctor?

They should give you information about:

  • Folic acid supplements
  • Nutrition, diet and food hygiene
  • Lifestyle factors – such as smoking, drinking and recreational drug use
  • Antenatal screening tests – you should be told about the risks, benefits and limits of these tests

Screening for sickle cell disease and thalassaemia should be offered before 10 weeks. This is so you can find out about all your options and make an informed decision if your baby has a chance of inheriting these conditions.

It’s also important to tell your midwife or doctor if:

  • There were any complications or infections in a previous pregnancy or delivery, such as pre-eclampsia or premature birth
  • You’re being treated for a long-term condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure
  • You or anyone in your family has previously had a baby with a health condition (for example, spina bifida)
  • There’s a family history of an inherited condition (for example, sickle cell or cystic fibrosis)
  • You know that you’re a genetic carrier of an inherited condition such as sickle cell or thalassaemia – you should also tell the midwife if you know the baby’s biological father is a genetic carrier of these conditions
  • You have had fertility treatment and either a donor egg or donor sperm

If you choose to have your baby at home, the community midwifery service offers a service that supports this. Please discuss further with your midwife.

When will I have my antenatal appointments?

It’s essential not to miss any of your antenatal appointments as tests and checks are done to ensure the health of you and your baby. They are also planned at particular times of your pregnancy to be able to spot any problems or anomalies.

8-14 weeks dating scan – this is the ultrasound scan to estimate when your baby is due, check the physical development of your baby, and screen for possible conditions, including Down’s syndrome.

At 16 weeks pregnant – your midwife or doctor will give you information about the ultrasound scan you’ll be offered at 18 to 20 weeks

18 to 20 weeks – you’ll be offered an ultrasound scan to check the physical development of your baby. This is also known as the 20-week scan.

25, 28, 31 weeks pregnant – these check-ups will be to measure the size of your uterus, your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

34 weeks  as well as the same checks you had at 25, 28 and 31 weeks;  Your midwife or doctor should give you information about preparing for labour and birth, including how to recognise active labour, ways of coping with pain in labour, and your birth plan.

36 weeks – as well as the same checks you had at 34 weeks; Your midwife or doctor should also give you information on breastfeeding, caring for your newborn baby, tell you about vitamin K and screening tests for your newborn baby, discuss your own health after your baby is born and advise you about the “baby blues” and postnatal depression

38 weeks –  as well as the same checks you had at 36 weeks; Your midwife or doctor will discuss options and choices about what happens if your pregnancy lasts longer than 41 weeks

40 weeks – as well as the same checks you had at 38 weeks; Your midwife or doctor will discuss options and choices about what happens if your pregnancy lasts longer than 41 weeks

41 weeks – as well as the same checks you had at 40 weeks; Your midwife or doctor will offer a membrane sweep and discuss the options and choices for induction of labour

If you have not had your baby by 42 weeks and have chosen not to have an induction, you should be offered increased monitoring of the baby.

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