Support for new parents

Becoming a parent, either for the first time or again, can be exciting and overwhelming. It’s also a big adjustment.

There is support available for new parents. It can be helpful to know how to look after yourself, what support you can get, and where to find extra support. 

Mum hugging newborn baby

What is 'normal' and when to seek support

You may experience the ‘baby blues’. This is common in the first few weeks after birth. It might mean: 

  • Feeling emotional and irrational. 
  • Crying for no obvious reason. 
  • Being irritable. 
  • Feeling anxious or depressed.

This usually stops by the time your baby is about 10 days old. Having the baby blues is not the same as experiencing postnatal depression.

If you are still experiencing these symptoms after a couple of weeks, talk to your GP or health visitor. You may need some more support. 

You might be anxious about taking your baby to routine appointments. This is understandable. But it is important to keep to these appointments. Get to know your midwife, GP or health visitor, so you can speak to them about any worries.

Where to access support

You should have at least three postnatal appointments with your community midwife. These are usually on your first day at home, day five and day 10. Your first appointment should be face-to-face at your home. But the rest may be a mixture of at home, in a clinic or on the phone. 

After day 10, you will be transferred to your health visiting team. They will continue to be a source of support until your child is five years old or school age. A lot of these appointments are currently by telephone. 

 You can check in with your health visitor and doctor as often as you need to. Newborn screening appointments allow you to understand how your child is progressing.  

While the pandemic is ongoing, things may be a bit different to the usual timetable of support. For example, you may have your six-week checks and eight-week vaccination appointments combined.  

If your baby has not had their six-to-eight week health visitor check, the Institute of Health Visiting has some guidance on what you should do. 

Looking after yourself

There are lots of things you can do to support yourself, too. It can help to: 

  • Talk to people around you, be honest, and ask for support if you need it.  
  • Ask your friends and family to bring food round – it’s easy to lose healthy eating habits during this time.
  • Find time to be alone – a walk, a bath, or sitting down on your own. 
  • Try to get out of the house every day for fresh air and a change of scenery.  
  • Do things that make you feel like ‘you’, outside of your role as parent.  
  • Sleep when the baby sleeps when possible (even if you have unfinished chores).
  • Get into a routine and plan visits or trips out, to help give you a sense of stability.  
  • Join a local Facebook group for parents or find local meet-ups. 
  • Search online for services providing sessions or classes in your area.

We also have advice if you’re feeling burnout or feel like you can’t cope. 

Want more support? For advice on your specific issue, speak to one of our parenting coaches.  

Go back

How can I cope with feelings of parental loneliness?

Read

Self-care ideas for parents

Read

How do I deal with parental burnout?

Read

I’m struggling to cope as a parent

Read

Talk to us

Free and confidential live chat with parenting staff. Chat online or request a call back when it’s convenient for you.

Chat icon on mobile phone