Pregnancy and early years

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As soon as you think you’re pregnant, make an appointment to see your GP or midwife to find out about antenatal (pregnancy) care in Waltham Forest.

NHS Choices has information on pregnancy, the different stages and the support you can expect.

We run a Family Nurse Partnership programme to support first time mums under 20 and help them become confident parents. To contact the service, visit the NELFT website.

If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some foods from retailers in your area. Find out if you qualify on the Healthy Start websiteapply online or ask your midwife or health visitor for an application form.

In Waltham Forest, we also provide free bottles of vitamins through our Healthy Start vitamin coupons.

You can qualify if you:

  • are pregnant
  • have a baby under one year old
  • have children six months to four years old on Healthy Start vouchers

We will send these to you every eight weeks along with your Healthy Start vouchers.

Health visitors Click to get info

Every pregnant women and new mother will be assigned a health visitor to provide advice and support, and to give health and development reviews at important stages of your child’s early life.

They also run child health clinics where families can drop in for support and guidance. 

Please talk to your health visitor if you have any concerns, especially if you feel anxious, depressed or worried.

Download this helpful guide for parents to learn how to care for your child at home, when to seek advice from a health visitor, doctor or the emergency services.

Infant feeding Click to get info

The national recommendation is that babies should ideally only have breast milk for the first six months of their life, and then combine breast milk with solid foods afterwards.

Breastfeeding has clear health benefits for both baby and mother.

However, we know that not every mother is able to breastfeed, and the most important thing is to ensure that babies are well fed.

We have an infant feeding service in Waltham Forest, that helps to support all mothers using bottle or breast.

You can get more information about this service on the Henry website, by calling 020 8496 5222 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or by attending one of our many support clinics hosted across the borough. 

Children's centres Click to get info

Children’s centres provide support to families which include, integrated early learning and full-day or temporary care for children from birth to five years. They also offer advice and information for parents on issues such as family health, effective parenting, training and employment opportunities.

Every family with children under five in Waltham Forest is invited to register at a children's centre to take advantage of the many services and activities being offered. Find your nearest children's centre

Best Start with Henry will be working alongside families in Waltham Forest to get children fit and healthy and ready for school. 

We will be holding workshops and drop-ins, and giving direct support to families with children under the age of five in four key areas:

  • Infant feeding – Whether you are breast or bottle feeding, we can support you to nurture your baby
  • Healthy weight – Helping families keep fit and healthy with menu ideas, active play suggestions, portion guidelines and support for fussy eaters
  • Oral health – Ideas and support for clean and healthy teeth
  • Speech and language – Supporting you to make the most of everyday opportunities to develop your child’s communication skills through talking, sharing and playing together.

Tel: 020 8496 5223

Here in Waltham Forest we have a number of resources to support parents and families lead a healthy wholesome life.

Download this parent's guide app to find out what to do when your baby or child is ill.