Antenatal Letter

If you have received midwifery care from Lewisham or Queen Elizabeth midwives your health visiting team will have been informed about your pregnancy. For your first pregnancy the health visiting service offers a contact with a health visitor prior to your baby being born. This is called an ‘antenatal contact’. You will receive a text message or letter (as attached) asking you to arrange a contact.

Please look through our website for information on you and your baby’s health and wellbeing.

Family diet

We have discussed how to introduce solid foods to your baby at 6 months, but what happens now?

This information is not just for children who are over weight but for all families. However, being over weight at any age is not good for you now or in the future. Overweight adults are at an increase risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes.

There is a lot you can do to help you and your child achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Remember, if you’re concerned about your child’s weight then your GP, practice nurse or health visitor for help and advice.

For children to eat healthily the family needs to adopt a healthy attitude to healthy eating.

  1. Eat as a family with no distractions e.g. TV / video games
  2. Prepare food at home, limit take-away and ready meals
  3. Regular pattern of meals to reduce snacking
  4. Cook the same food for everybody
  5. Involve your children in the cooking / preparation (being aware of safety around hot ovens, hobs and knives)

Healthy eating rules for young children

  • Base meals on starchy carbohydrates, such as pasta, rice and potatoes.
  • Eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
  • Eat lean proteins such as meat, fish, eggs, beans, pulses and lentils.
  • Cut down on saturated fat (found in processed meats, pies, cakes and biscuits).
  • Cut down on sugary foods such as biscuits, cakes and fizzy drinks.
  • Cut out sugary drinks like sweetened fruit juices and fizzy drinks, and if you give your child unsweetened fruit juice, dilute it with water. Healthy drinks for your children are water and milk, up to the age of 2, children should have full fat milk, and from 2 onwards you can gradually introduce semi-skimmed milk. For further information on drink options
  • Cut down on salt, both in cooking and at the table. Most children over the age of 4 eat too much salt. Supermarket ready meals and processed meats are often high in salt, so check food labels when you buy. Many people add salt out of habit, it is normally unnecessary and your food will taste good without it, how to reduce salt:
  • Healthy meal and snack ideas: and ‘me size meals’ information, to help provide information on portion sizes for children.
  • Join Change4life for recipe ideas, fun activities, offers and fun healthy eating tips

What a balanced meal looks like

Use the Eatwell Guide to help you get a balance of healthier and more sustainable food. It shows how much of what you eat overall should come from each food group.

How to become more active?

Once your child can walk on their own, it is recommended they are physically active for a minimum of 3 hours a day. Get involved in your local children’s centre for fun activities for you and your family .

If you are worried about your own weight and health, you can speak to your GP where if appropriate can refer you to either a weightloss programme or exercise groups, for further information:

Worried about pollution in the air?

Lewisham Air app lets you check the pollution level in Lewisham and plan low-pollution walking and cycling routes using a specially-designed map. You can download Lewisham Air from the Apple Store or Google Play. Search Lewisham Air to download the app!

Stop smoking

You will probably be aware of the effects of smoking on your own health, but do you know your children are also affected by passive smoking, when you smoke in their environment?

If your child regularly is exposed to passive smoking they are at the same risks as you in the long term including heart disease and lung cancer. In their childhood passive smoking is especially harmful as they have less well-developed airways, lungs and immune systems. Your child may suffer from illnesses including:

  • asthma
  • chest infections – like pneumonia and bronchitis
  • meningitis
  • ear infections
  • coughs and colds

Children are particularly vulnerable in the family car where second hand smoke can reach hazardous levels even with the windows open. To protect children since October 2015 it has been illegal to smoke in a private vehicle if there’s a young person under 18 present. (NHS Choices

Is it safe to drink alcohol when pregnant and breastfeeding?

Experts are still unsure exactly how much – if any – alcohol is completely safe for you to have while you’re pregnant, so the safest approach is not to drink at all while you’re expecting.
The Chief Medical Officers for the UK recommend that if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.
Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink, the greater the risk.
More information about drinking alcohol in pregnancy can be found here  on the NHS website.
Anything you eat or drink while you’re breastfeeding can find its way into your breast milk, and that includes alcohol. An occasional drink is unlikely to harm your breastfed baby.
But never share a bed or sofa with your baby if you have drunk any alcohol. Doing this has a strong association with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
More information about drinking alcohol when breastfeeding can be found here on the NHS website.

Are you planning a baby?

See for advice and support on planning your pregnancy.

Future Dads – Future Men

Future Dads is a online course for new and expectant dads:

What happens on the day?

Future Dads covers a range of topics, including:

  • Practical skills: How to hold, feed, bathe, change and bond with your baby
  • Being a dad: Why dads are important and what kind of dad you want to be
  • Relationships: How having a baby can have an impact on relationships with your partner, friends and family
  • Self-care: How to look after your physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • A midwife will also be on hand to answer your questions about the birth and beyond!* (on full one day course*)

This is a space for men to come together to share their concerns, excitement and expectations of becoming a dad.

Who is it for?

If you’re a new dad, or a dad to be, Future Dads is the course for you.

How to book

Book via the website


call: 0207 237 5353

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