The Trust’s health visiting and family nurse partnership teams in Barnsley are taking part in a new NSPCC ‘Coping with Crying’ pilot programme which aims to support new parents with the stress they may feel when their baby cries.
Concerns about babies’ crying are one of the most common reasons that new parents seek help from professionals. It’s common for parents to feel frustrated and the worst cases result in harm to their baby. The NSPCC estimate that around 200 babies a year in the UK suffer from serious head injuries as the result of being shaken, hit or thrown.
The innovative pilot programme will show parents-to-be and new parents a film which gives information and advice on how to soothe the baby and manage their own stress. Developed in partnership with experts at Warwick Medical School and Great Ormond Street Hospital, the programme is based on a similar project in America which reduced the number of babies who suffered from non-accidental head injuries by nearly half.
The film will be shown by the health visiting and family nurse partnership teams within the ‘Having a Baby’ programme – an antenatal and post-natal parent education programme for women and their families across Barnsley.
Alison Addy, team leader for health visiting said, “We’re really pleased to be taking part in the Coping with Crying pilot programme. It’s essential that parents-to-be and new parents are given the support and skills needed to soothe and comfort their baby when they cry. We understand that parenthood can be stressful and challenging at times, the film also addresses this and gives tips to parents on managing these feelings.”
Chris Cuthbert, Head of Strategy and Development for the NSPCC said: “This is a ground-breaking new programme based on the best international evidence. It is a relatively simple and low cost intervention, and our evaluation shows that it is helping parents to manage the pressures of new parenthood and soothe their baby. It is critically important that we support families to reduce stress during the significant life changes that accompany the birth of a new baby. “
The Coping with Crying programme will be evaluated to find out when mums and dads are most receptive to the film’s messages and where they can have most impact. Nineteen areas of the UK are involved in the project, which is estimated to reach at least 45,000 parents in the next 18 months.