Direct access to advice from a GP and a breastfeeding expert will be part of Horizon Leisure’s new Baby and Parent Group.
The weekly drop-in sessions will run on Friday mornings during term times, where local GP Rosemary Dudson from the Vine Medical Group and Ginny Dupont from the Breastfeeding Network UK will attend on alternate weeks. There will be an opportunity for new parents to weigh their babies and ask the experts for guidance and support.
Mike Lyons, CEO of Horizon Leisure, a charitable trust that manages the facilities on behalf of Havant Council and uses any profits and assets for community benefit, said: “We were committed to creating a safe and welcoming space for parents and their young babies to come and meet other families and access expert help from health care professionals. Having a baby can sometimes feel very lonely and overwhelming, and having a team of experts on hand will help new parents navigate this big life change.
“It is unfortunate that baby weighing services in the area have massively reduced, and we welcome parents to come and weigh their babies to ensure they are growing properly. Having experts on site really makes this baby and parent group a unique provision for families in the area.”
The baby and parent group is very informal; there is no need to book and baby toys and play mats are available. Both mums and dads are welcome, as well as older siblings. Horizon Leisure hopes the group will be a great opportunity to meet other local families and make new friends too.
Mike added: “Horizon Leisure is passionate about the health and wellbeing of our community, from newborn babies to those in their twilight years. Our services really are cradle-to-grave.
“Health and wellbeing starts from the moment you are born, and these kinds of community initiatives are great foundations for a long, healthy and happy life.
“We want to help our community and new families get off to the best start, and these sessions will familiarise parents with our facilities and what offers we provide for children as they grow, including the creche, swimming, trampolining, gymnastics, soft play and holiday camps.”
Ginny Dupont, Service Manager, Breastfeeding Network South and East Hampshire and The Isle of Wight says: “The Breastfeeding Network has been supporting families within Havant and Waterlooville for over eight years, and we are thrilled to be on hand at Horizon Leisure’s Baby and Parent Group to offer non-judgmental help and guidance to new parents. We know how challenging breastfeeding can be, and we are here to help families make informed decisions about breastfeeding, to offer assistance when needed and to support parents to become confident in their choices.”
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