Health Visiting

health visitor with mum and baby

Our health visitors help to keep babies and children healthy from 0-5 years old. We work closely with Public Health England and Sheffield City Council to make sure that families are able to access the best local and national support.

Like all health visiting teams we follow the national Healthy Child Programme which is a plan to help give children the best start in life.

This means that all new mums get home visits and regular catch ups with health visitors at local clinics held at GP surgeries, council buildings and health centres across Sheffield.

Find out more about the four levels of service offered by health visiting teams in England.

What to do if you’re worried about your baby

If you are concerned about your baby’s health and can’t wait to speak to your health visitor or GP, the NHS Choose Well guidance can help you decide on where to go for advice, or you can call 111 at any time.

Your Red Book contains lots of information about common health problems and NHS Choices has advice on how to tell if your child has a serious illness.

How a health visitor will support you

Our health visitors will give you information and guidance on looking after your baby and adjusting to the changes in your household. This includes:

  • health and wellbeing
  • immunisations
  • help to stop smoking
  • diet and physical activity
  • feeding your baby and healthy weaning
  • prevention of sudden infant death
  • dental health
  • child development
  • mental and emotional health needs
  • preparing you for the transition to parenthood and family relationships

We also offer specific additional support for infant feeding, speech and language development, parenting support, accident prevention and postnatal depression.

Remember that we’re here to support the health and wellbeing of everyone in your family so if you have any concerns about yourself, your partner or your other children, please talk to us.

Healthy Start vitamins

If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods. Find out if you are entitled to Healthy Start vouchers.

Women and children getting Healthy Start food vouchers also get vitamin coupons to swap for free Healthy Start vitamins. Healthy Start vitamins are specifically designed for pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children.

If you get Healthy Start vouchers you will also be sent a green coupon, every eight weeks, which you can swap for free Healthy Start vitamins.

To pick up your vitamins just take your green vitamin coupon along to your local distribution point where you can exchange it.

Ask your health visitor if you need any further advice or visit the Healthy Start website.

Further support

There are many useful sources of information for new parents. Here are some of the websites and other resources we recommend:

Baby Buddy – a free app which has been designed to guide you through pregnancy and the first six months of your baby’s life

Birth to Five – a comprehensive guidebook on caring for children from birth to five years old

Community Continence Team – see children from age four who have problems with toileting or continence

Dads: Little Sheffield – there are a handful of baby groups aimed at dads in Sheffield – the Little Sheffield website lists these

Does your baby have a serious illness? – from NHS Choices

ERIC – national childhood continence charity, provides support and equipment for potty training, bedwetting and other continence problems

First Steps Nutrition Trust – information about eating well in pregnancy, breastfeeding, infant milk and weaning

Forging Families – provides support to, a voice for and protection of Sheffield families during the perinatal period (pre-conception, pregnancy and baby’s first year)

Free childcare – information about free childcare, play and learning places offered by Sheffield City Council for 2, 3 and 4 years olds

Getting to know your baby – this website was created by Warwick Medical School and contains useful information on bonding, early interactions, baby states, sleeping and soothing

Institute of Health Visiting – the professional association for health visitors – includes information for families on what to expect from your health visitor and ‘top tips’ for mums

National Childbirth Trustnational childbirth and parenting charity provides information on pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and parenthood

Out of the Blue – mental health support for new mums

Sheffield Light – a small charity providing support to families in Sheffield affected by perinatal mental heath illnesses, including postnatal depression and anxiety

Start4Life – NHS website providing information and advice for mums, dads and babies – also includes a weekly email/text tips service

The Children’s Sleep Charity – support for parents and professionals to help children get a good night’s sleep

The Fatherhood Institute – registered charity and lobby group which collates and publishes research on a range of topics related to fatherhood

The Lullaby Trust – provides specialist support for bereaved parents and expert advice on safer sleep

Tips for new parents – from NHS Choices

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