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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. ​

  • 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. 

  • Little Orange Book is a PDF booklet packed full of advice on common childhood illnesses and answers your questions on how to care for your child at home, when to seek help and when to be off school/nursery. 

  • "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. 

  • Crying and Sleepless Babies

    • Babies can cry a lot and this can be really hard to manage, especially on top of exhaustion and lack of sleep!

    • There are organisations that offer support and advice for managing crying babies and safe sleeping.

    • ICON has a lot of advice on crying and how to cope with it

    • CRY-SIS has a helpline and advice for crying​

    • The lullaby trust can give advice on safer sleep for babies

  • 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. 

Drug and Syringe
Emotional wellbeing for your child

  • Health and Emotional Wellbeing Support for Children in Surrey

    • As we adjust to the latest national COVID-19 rules, it is important that you know how to access the right advice, guidance and support for your family.

    • This information leaflet is a brief guide and summary of helpful resources to help maintain your child’s wellbeing, address any emotional needs, as well as guidance to help you spot early signs.

  • 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. 

  • Bereavement

    • The Good Grief Trust brings all bereavement services together to ensure that everyone in every circumstance receives the support they need after a loss.

    • Jigsaw South East can support for those facing loss of a loved one. ​

We have more information on our Youth Page.  

Happy Kids
Father and daughter at computer
Friends Playing Video Games
Digital wellbeing

The internet and technology offer an amazing resource for children and is such a huge part of their lives today. But this access to online content could mean they are at risk of seeing inappropriate, worrying or upsetting content on their phones, games, tablets and TVs which could impact on their wellbeing. 


It's very important that we talk to them about how to use it safely, sensibly and with an awareness of how it can impact on them. Here are some tips and conversation starters.

   Discuss how using the internet makes us feel

What things make you happy/sad when you’re online?

What’s your favorite thing to do online?

What’s your favourite site/services?

What happens to your body/mood and others around you when you’ve used it for too long?

   Having boundaries

How long do you think we should spend using the internet/games?

What is/isn’t ok to share online?

How do we keep information about us safe?

Do we need a family email address to use when signing up to new accounts?

When is it ok to download things, click on a link or open messages? 

   Be supportive

Has anything online made you feel uncomfortable, worried or upset?

Do you know who to trust online?

Who can help you?

What should we do if someone we only know online asks us for photos, to meet up, to share personal information?

Do we know where the report/block buttons are?

   Look out for warning signs

Messages to/from a stranger

Changes to their eating or sleeping habits

Wearing long-sleeved loose clothing to hide things

Taking photos of activities and sending them to a strangers

We are here and we want to support you, so please call the surgery (01483 415 115) if you would like to speak to a doctor about your concerns. You could also utilise the organisations below for information and support. 

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. 

  • The Birth Trauma Association is a charity that supports parents who suffered birth trauma. Their website has information on talking therapy, online support group, guide to understanding your notes and more.

  • Bliss is a charity that offers support (via email or video call) and practical advice for parents who have premature babies from hospital, going home from the neonatal unit to growing up and more.

  • 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.

Young Dad
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

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