Parents and Young Children

Before starting a family


There are one or two things to think about before starting to try to get pregnant. The most important thing is to be in good health. If you have a longterm condition, like diabetes, epilepsy, a thyroid condition or asthma, it is worth seeing your doctor first to review this to make sure it is as well controlled as possible.


If you are on long term medication it is worth discussing this with your doctor also - it may be best to stop some medications before getting pregnant, but always talk to your doctor about this first. For fantastic advice on the use of medicines in pregnancy there are a range of great leaflets (called BUMPS!) here.


If you smoke, deciding you'd like to get pregnant is one of the best times in your life to stop - you might do this on your own, or with help from the practice or pharmacy. It is also wise to not drink too much alcohol when you might be pregnant soon.


Folic acid - it is helpful for all women to start taking folic acid from when they first start trying to conceive, until 12 weeks of pregnancy. A pharmacist can help you with how to take this.

Vitamin D supplements are also recommended (400 units or 10 micrograms per day) from before conception, throughout pregnancy and during breast feeding, in order to protect the bones of both mother and baby.

I'm pregnant, what do I do now?

There are some do's and don'ts of early pregnancy, things to look out for and you'll need to arrange to see the midwife.


'Congratulations on your pregnancy' is a document we've produced that will hopefully be helpful at this stage.


Antenatal Timeline - what happens when in NHS care

Information for parents

When you have your first child our health visitors will be in touch and are able to help with most issues that new parents face, including issues around feeding and vaccination in particular. They can be contacted on 01483 424188


Useful leaflets, information and apps

Baby Essentials - sensible health advice for parents


A Guide to Childhood Immunisations

Flu Vaccine for children:

The new vaccine with no needle

Which is the right vaccine for my child?

Meningitis B vaccine and Paracetamol


Tuberculosis and TB vaccination

HANDi app can offer advice and support for common childhood illnesses. Available for Android and Apple and select Surrey Heartlands when asked for a Trust. 

"When should I worry?" is a PDF booklet which provides information about common childhood illnesses (not for children less than 3 months old). It's available in more than 10 languages. 

Alive N Kicking

Alive N Kicking is an exercise and wellbeing programme for children and young people - take a look for more details

Selected Blog posts relevant to families and children

Time to put infant reflux back in it's box - the overdiagnosis of reflux and potential harms of treatment


Who gave Tesco the right to shape our children? - the marketisation of gender stereotypes


Miscarriage and stillbirth - a chance to say goodbye - the excellent work done by the charity Saying Goodbye


Other posts relevant to child health