Flying Start Antenatal Programme

Working in partnership with Luton and Dunstable Hospital (LDH) and Cambridgeshire Community Services (CCS), Flying Start provides a range of antenatal groups and sessions free of charge for parents living in Luton. On booking at LDH, mums receive a letter outlining the antenatal services on offer and they can self-book on to each session.

Women-only groups:

Early on:

From 8+ weeks mums are welcome to attend an evening Pregnancy Club that runs once a month. This group is led by a midwife and also hosts a different agency speaker each month. It promotes a range of public health messages during pregnancy whilst answering general pregnancy questions. 135 mums have attended at least once since July 2017, half of whom return for more than one session. Evaluation shows that the group helps to reduce worries mum may have in pregnancy and helps counteract social isolation by providing the opportunity to meet others in the same situation.

Later on (but can be booked early):

For those mums with additional needs such as anxiety/depression or social care involvement, Think Bump is the new four week programme starting in January to help mum relax and look forward to the arrival of their baby. This programme replaces the current six-week ‘Mellow Bumps’ course, condensing the content. Think Bump should be attended between 20 and 32 weeks of pregnancy. Women can self-book but professionals can also refer by contacting Jess at the Flying Start Office (01582 548356). Since July 2017, 48 mums have attended at least one Mellow Bumps session and pre and post course scoring shows that on average there is a reduction in depression, anxiety and irritability after attending this course.

Groups women can access with a partner:

Early on:

In the early stages of pregnancy before too many purchases have been made, it is recommended for both mum and partner to attend the Choosing and Using Nursery Equipment Workshop delivered by Safe at Home, with a focus on Child Safety. There is one workshop a month and since July 2017,110 parents have attended – 68% mothers and 32% partners. Parents often express that this workshop highlights practical safety issues that they wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

Later on (but can be booked early):

Bump to Babe is the three week antenatal course provided for mum and partner to attend from 25 weeks. The course is delivered by children’s centre practitioners with a midwife and health visitor on different weeks. Content covers labour and birth, caring for the newborn in the first few weeks, brain development, child safety and local services available. The group offers an environment to ask the professionals questions and therefore ease the unknown for first time parents. Since July 2017 around 750 parents have attended, 40% of which are partners of expectant mums. Evaluation is positive that it helps parents prepare for their new arrival.

Similarly, from 24 weeks, mums-to-be and partners can attend a ‘Feeding your newborn session’ run by specialist feeding advisors in CCS. This session provides top tips, advice and support regarding feeding a newborn baby.

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