If you are thinking about keeping the baby, ask yourself these questions first…
- Is anybody putting pressure on me to have the baby?
- Who can give me information, help and support?
- How will I feel becoming a mother/father in a few months’ time? Is parenthood a good option for me right now? What does my partner think about us keeping the baby?
- If the baby’s mother/father and my family don’t want to be involved, how will I feel bringing the baby up on my own? How will I feel when the baby grows into a demanding toddler? Will I be able to cope with this?
- What impact will the baby have on my education or training opportunities, my social life and keeping in touch with my friends?
- Can I afford to have a baby at the moment?
- Am I ready to be a responsible parent? Do I know what is expected of me?
- Do I think I will have any regrets later; next month, next year, in five years?
If you have thought things through very carefully and you choose to continue, what happens next?
See your doctor who will make arrangements for you to see your Community Midwife. It is important to go for antenatal care regularly from the start of your pregnancy, for your own health and that of the baby. It’s also important for the partner to be involved as much as possible if you are both happy with this.
If you will have to bring up the baby on your own, Social Services can put you in touch with support and help. Contact Halton Borough Council and ask for Housing/Accommodation 0151 424 2061 or St Helens Council on 01744 676 789 (8am to 8pm weekdays, 10am to 2pm Saturdays).
If you are still at school please speak to your teachers and discuss how you plan to stay in education. If you are at college, please speak to Student Services (at College) for guidance. Some colleges even have a crèche facility for you to leave your child in whilst you are studying. See the ‘Young Addaction Halton‘ or ‘TAZ Outreach St Helens’ services for further information.
Most infections can be treated very easily but some can be serious and harm you or your unborn baby’s health if it’s not treated. You can get tested at a GUM Clinic which are based at Halton General Hospital or St Helens Hospital. Please see the STI section of this website for contact details and more information.
Breastfeeding is free and often more convenient and practical than bottle-feeding. If you want to get more information and advice, speak to your midwife.
Here are a few tips to get you started;
- Face your baby towards your breast and move them towards you.
- Touch around the edge of your baby’s mouth with your nipple to encourage them to latch on.
- Wait until your baby’s mouth opens wide and aim your nipple to the roof of their mouth.
- Make sure your baby’s mouth covers the whole nipple, covering some of the dark area around the nipple too.
- Your baby’s mouth should be open and the bottom lip curled back onto its chin.
- As your baby breastfeeds, hold them close.
- If you need to stop them feeding, break the suction by sliding a finger into the corner of the baby’s mouth.
- Make sure you are getting all the financial help you are entitled to.
- Deal with any money that you owe as quickly as you can because babies are expensive. Visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) for some advice.
- Avoid getting (further) into debt by saying no credit cards. Talk to services such as Connexions, Sure Start, CAB or Job Centre Plus for advice.
- Make sure you are living in suitable accommodation for you and your child.
- Be sensible with your money – try to make it stretch as much as you can by buying things that you really need rather than things that you want! Try to save a little bit of money and treat yourself later on. Keep a record of the money you spend so you know where you’re up to.
- Budget. A budget is when you write down how much money you can spend each week and how you are going to spend it.
- Get help. There are so many people out there who want to help you and make life as easy as possible, so look through this website to find the people or services you want and if you can’t find them all – look through the yellow pages, search via the web or call Halton Borough Council; 0151 4242061; St Helens Council 01744 676789
Their main work is with families and young children but they can also offer advice on all sorts of problems or issues. They will contact you as a soon as the baby is born and arrange to visit.
Health visitors are not just there for the baby’s health and development but are there to support the parents or carers. They will offer support to mums and families if a mum has postnatal depression.
For some help and support regarding Postnatal Depression, speak to your Health Visitor or GP.
You can access midwives directly though Community Sexual Health Clinics such as the HCRC in Widnes, or through referral by other agencies. You usually get referred to your local Community Midwife via your GP and they are usually assigned to a GP Surgery where your appointments are likely to take place. They monitor your pregnancy and will refer you to specialist services if there are any problems or concerns for you / your baby’s health during your pregnancy.
Appointments usually include:
- Testing your urine (you will do a sample every time) to rule out any risk of infection.
- Taking your blood pressure.
- Checking the baby’s heart beat.
- Checking the size and position of the baby.
- Watch where you’re putting your feet to avoid trips and falls with the baby.
- Hold on to the hand rail when you’re going down stairs with the baby.
- Change baby’s nappy on the floor rather than on the bed or anywhere where he / she could roll off and fall on to the floor.
- Don’t hold your hot drink and the baby at the same time.
- Test the bath water with your elbow before you put the baby in.
- Keep a close eye on hot pans / frying pans / woks as they could catch fire if unattended.
- Stub your cigarette out properly, don’t hold your cigarette if you’re feeling sleepy and sat down / relaxing.
- Get smoke alarms fitted to the ceilings upstairs and downstairs in your home.
Getting in to trouble:
- Hold baby’s bottle for them in an upright position whilst they’re drinking to avoid choking.
- Don’t leave the baby unattended in the bath as they could drown – even in a tiny bit of water.
Riding in the car:
- Use a car seat every time you take the baby out in the car. Fit the seat properly using the seat belt and do up all the straps. Some services will check the car seat fits your car before you buy it so it’s worth asking for this.