Getting Ready for Baby Programme


The South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust has launched a brand new programme 'Getting Ready for Baby' in the Downe Midwifery Led Unit.


‘Getting Ready for Baby’ is a new way of delivering antenatal care linking clinical appointments with parenting education within Northern Ireland. It was launched in September 2016 in Lagan Valley Midwifery Led Unit, and is now available Trust-wide in a variety of venues. The Solihull evidence-based programme supports first time parents through pregnancy, labour, birth and the early days of a baby’s life.

All low risk first time parents in the South Eastern Trust  area, are being offered six group-based combined antenatal clinical care and education sessions led  by midwives. These sessions start much earlier than traditional antenatal programmes at 16 weeks and  provide continuity of care. Women recruited onto the programme will be reviewed regularly throughout pregnancy and have their combined care and education sessions delivered at 16, 25, 28, 31, 31 and 36 week’s gestation, which will provide a strong foundation for bonding, attachment and emotional health and wellbeing, overall promoting positive mental health.

The first programme that commenced in the Downe Midwifery Led Unit on 17 April 2018 was extremely popular and was fully booked.  Further dates for the programme (within the Downpatrick Midwifery Led Unit), are now available for any mums interested in attending on the 12 June 2018, 19 July 2018, 13 September 2018, 8 November 2018, 5 February 2019 and 21 March 2019.

Jackie O’Neill, Early Intervention Transformation Programme Manager says “Getting Ready for Baby is part of the Northern Ireland Government Early Intervention Transformation Programme which aims to improve outcomes for children by supporting parents to understand, develop and fulfil the critical role they play in their children’s early years. “Getting Ready for Baby “ is about transforming antenatal care and parent education.  Prospective parents are  considered  partners in maternity care and given all relevant information, in appropriate formats, to make informed choices about what is best for them and their baby.”

The Early Intervention Transformation Programme (EITP) is a Northern Ireland Executive/Atlantic Philanthropies Delivering Social Change Signature Programme, funded jointly by the Delivering Social Change fund, DoH, DE, DoJ, DfC, DfE and The Atlantic Philanthropies.  EITP aims to improve outcomes for children and young people across Northern Ireland through embedding early intervention approaches.

If you are interested in attending any of these sessions, please contact Jackie O’Neill, Early Intervention Transformation Programme Manager:  email to confirm which date you will be attending.  Jackie can also be contacted on  (07712) 550 685 if you require further information on the programme.

A short video on the programme is also available by clicking here


Jackie O’Neill (pictured centre) with midwives Lisa Hannah, Sarah Wynne, Danielle Wilson (Midwifery Student), Lynn Halliday (Health Visitor) along with expectant mums and their partners at the recent programme in Downe Midwifery Led Unit