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

Health information for parents

  • Health visitors

    • 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

  • Alive N Kicking is an exercise and wellbeing programme for children and young people. ​

  • 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. 

  • DadPad a free app for dads-to-be and dads with new babies. Select “Surrey Heartlands” when asked for a Trust to get the most relevant local information for you. 

  • "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. 

  • If you have served in the Armed Forces, or you are part of a current Armed Forces family, please find further information on our Support for Military Veterans Page. . 

Immunisation and medication information

  • Flu Vaccine for children:

The new vaccine with no needle

Which is the right vaccine for my child?

  • Medicines for children is a practical and reliable advice about giving medicine to your child and answer your questions about how and when to give the medicine, what to do if you forget to give the medicine or give it twice and any possible side effects. 

Emotional wellbeing for your child

  • Free online parenting guides is available to help you understand your child’s emotional development to improve your relationship.

    • It’s for children of all ages ​from pregnancy to teenage years is, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

    • Their Advice Line on 01883 340 922 8am – 5pm, Mon-Fri provides support on all aspects of your children’s health, development and parenting. 

  • Young Minds has tips, advice and can signpost you for your child’s mental health.

    • Their free Parents Helpline offers confidential advice via phone, email or webchat to parents and carers who are concern about their child’s mental health up to the age of 25.

    • If English is not your first language, they can arrange for an interpreter. 

  • Surrey Wellbeing Parenting Facebook Page is a new resource specifically to help parents weather the COVID-19 storm with ideas and tips to help you meet the emotional and developmental needs of your children right now.

  • Happy Maps has information, resources and signposting appropriate for children of different ages (pre-school, primary school, and secondary school & young adult) for a wide range of topics such as behavioural problems, food, crying, coping with death or loss, toileting, gender identity, internet safety and gaming and more. 

  • We have more information on our Youth Page.  

Your emotional wellbeing

  • Baby Buddy is a free interactive pregnancy and parenting guide with over 300 short video clips from parents and professionals sharing useful advice including looking after your emotional wellbeing. 

  • Home Start

    • Home-start can work with you and your family to access your local services, and offer group support, home visiting, and financial advice. 

    • Virtual postnatal peer support group are relaxed and informal with support from a counsellor and child care professional and four other families over the course of five sessions. Email to sign up. 

  • Surrey Sands can offer support for anyone affected by the death of a baby. All the volunteers are all bereaved parents themselves, which enable them to offer empathic support.

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