Help with their new baby and all it entails is on offer to young mums and dads in Doncaster by way of a new antenatal course.
This is the first such course in the town and aims to give all-round support to young parents-to-be and their families.
Over five weeks, it helps guide them through pregnancy stages, labour and birth, but with a focus on the emotional impact of pregnancy on parents.
Health Visitors and midwives who run the course relay the importance of creating a close bond with the baby in the womb, how the baby brain develops, and also the roles of the medical professionals they may meet on their pregnancy journey.
In the final week of the course parents focus on the post-natal period, looking at the emotional and physical needs of a new born baby, safe sleeping, safe feeding and the huge emotional impact on parents.
Families are reminded of the support that is there for them from the maternity staff, community midwives, midwife support workers and health visitors both during and after pregnancy.
Ricky Hurley, positive start midwife at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “I have really enjoyed being part of the first Young Parents To Be Ante Natal Solihull course.
“It was a lovely group who bonded together and shared some of their experiences of being pregnant. They really supported each other.
“Our involvement as professionals with pregnant women and their families has significant impact on how parents feel about pregnancy, labour, birth and the first few months with their baby.
“These early experiences are crucial in building healthy long term relationships.”
Nine ladies attended the course, all aged 16 and 19, and brought along partners, parents and friends for support.
Jackie Whitaker, 19, attended with her partner Jamie Burland.
She said: “We think pregnancy is harder for teenagers as we’re still going through hormonal changes ourselves and this can lead to mixed emotions.
It’s been great to get support along with people our own age. I did a childcare course at college so I thought I was prepared but I definitely learnt a lot more here.”
Iona King brought along her partner Tommy and mother Sally Hunter. Sally said: “I think it’s been good for them to come to a supportive environment with people of a similar age who probably had the same concerns and anxieties.
“It’s been great to see them work through these together. Learning it was exclusive to young families encouraged Iona to come along.”
The course is supported by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust and forms part of a national approach to pregnancy and parenthood.