Being active has many benefits for your health including:
- Helping maintain a healthy weight,
- Improving sleep,
- Helping to manage stress,
- Reducing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, depression, joint and back pain, and cancer.
It's recommended that adults have at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise per week, but every minute counts!
For general information and tips on how to eat well and move more you can visit the NHS Better Health, Healthier Families website. To find local activities and clubs you can visit the Staffordshire Connects or Stoke City Council - Libraries, sports and leisure websites.
Exercise after having a baby
After giving birth your ligaments are soft so it may be best to avoid high impact sports for the first 6 weeks, but you can begin gentle exercise such as walking or yoga as soon as you feel up to it.
It's important to continue pelvic floor exercises as soon as possible after giving birth. Pelvic Floor Exercises strengthen the muscles that help you control your bladder and bowel, and support your pelvic organs, helping to prevent incontinence and prolapse.
If you're worried about your pelvic floor and have pain, discomfort and/ or incontinence please speak to your Midwife or Health Visitor.
The Specialist Pelvic Health team at MPFT bring you a detailed video guide on how to do effective pelvic floor exercises, and give you some tips for fitting them into your daily routine.
Breast Self-Examination is a simple procedure which only takes ten minutes of your time. You should get to know your breasts – how they normally look and feel – so that you can detect any recent changes. For further information visit the NHS webpages 'How should I check my breasts?'
If you’re male and aged 15+, a simple monthly self-check will give you the best chance of noticing any problems early and of beating testicular cancer, should it ever happen to you. For further information check out the webpages 'What should my testicles look and feel like? or 'it's in the bag'.
We provide a range of sexual health services for people living in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, including free condoms, contraception sexual health testing and more. Follow the links below for services in your area:
Domestic abuse is common in the UK and anyone can be a victim, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background. Visit our Safeguarding Team site for further information and support.
We all go through ups and downs in life. The experiences we have can affect our mental health. Every Mind Matters can help you to manage and maintain your mental health. Good mental health makes such a difference. It helps us to relax more, achieve more and enjoy our children and family more.
NHS Every Mind Matters gives you simple and practical advice to get a healthier mind and get more out of life – from how to deal with stress and anxiety, to boosting our mood or sleeping better. It will help you spot the signs of common mental health conditions, get personalised practical self-care tips and information on further support. You'll also learn about what you can do to help others.
Ask for help and support, you are not alone. Your family GP, Health Visitor / School Nurse are there for you and can provide help and support. Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Talking Therapies provide one easy point of access. They offer help with anxiety, low mood and coping with physical health conditions - you can self refer either online or by telephoning 0300 3030 923.
Perinatal Mental Health
Expectations regarding pregnancy and the birth of a baby suggest that it should be a positive and happy experience. For many women this isn't always the case. Please seek help and support, you are not alone.
Having a new baby can be an exciting time for new parents, but it can also be extremely hard. It is natural to experience a range of emotions. However if you are feeling sad and anxious and it is starting to affect your relationship with your partner, family and baby, the Health Visiting Team can help you.
1 in 5 women experience depression and anxiety during pregnancy and in the year after birth... Father’s and partners can experience this too.
Feeling anxious or depressed can affect your enjoyment of life, your relationship with your baby and your family. Parents of all ages, from all backgrounds and ethnic groups can be affected.
Thinking about the last 2 - 4 weeks, have you often felt:
- Nervous, anxious or on edge and unable to stop or control your worrying ?
- Down, low in mood or have little or no hope that life can feel better than it does at the moment?
- Little interest or pleasure in doing things that you have previously enjoyed?
Lots of parents may feel this way, you are not alone.
If you have experienced any of these, please contact us for a chat or to arrange an appointment with one of our team. We are specially trained to help you and to find the support or treatment you may need. Our contact details are at the bottom of this page.
Self help tips
- Make time for rest and relaxation.
- Take regular gentle exercise.
- Remember to eat regularly as low blood sugars can make you feel worse.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs.
- Reach out to friends and family for support.
- Sleep when you can.
- Engage in social activities with your baby and meet with other mothers, perhaps a walk in the park or a virtual meet up.
- Talk about how you feel to someone you can trust, a partner, relative, friend or health professional.
- Don’t try and do everything at once, make a list of things to do and set realistic goals.
- Be honest with health professionals about how you feel.
We have produced a leaflet which includes the information from above and links to other helpful resources and support services:
- Maternal Mental Health Alliance
- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Talking Therapies
- Every Mind Matters - NHS
- BBC Tiny Happy People - New dads
- PANDAS - PND awareness and support
- Best Beginnings
You are not alone...
This interactive factographic has been developed by Dads and Health Visitors. It contains a video in which a Health Visitor explains her role in terms of perinatal mental health and the importance of supporting both parents. There are videos in which Dads share their experiences and struggles as well as lots of information about the support that is available. To find out more just click on the factograhic image below and then click on the different sections to access the information. If you are struggling please contact us we are specially trained to help you find the help and support you need.
- PATH - Looking after yourself - dads, co-parents and partners - website/information for new parents
- Understanding your mental health and emotional wellbeing following the birth of your baby (fathers) - an information leaflet from the Institute of Health Visiting
The DadPad® app is easy-to-use and free to download. The app is available for new dads and dads-to-be in the Stoke-on-Trent area. DadPad® is packed with relevant information, as well as details on local support groups and services.
The app aims to help new dads develop their confidence and practical skills needed to meet their babies’ physical and emotional needs. Building a strong attachment will help dads enjoy their new role but will also contribute towards positive long-term social, health and educational outcomes for their babies.
Crucially, the app also provides dads with guidance on how to support and seek help (when needed) for their partners and themselves as they adjust to their new role, and cope with the physical and emotional strains that this can place on individuals and relationships.
The app covers topics such as:
- Feeding, holding, changing and cleaning your baby.
- Surviving without sleep and coping with crying
- Getting to know your baby
- Home safety and first aid
- Looking after yourself and supporting your partner
For more information and to download the app follow the link: https://thedadpad.co.uk/app/
Activities and well-being sessions:
Whether it’s to discuss everything football and Stoke City related or simply to just grab a cuppa and listen in to the conversation you can stay connected to Stoke City and your team, with these Let’s Talk Football sessions. The sessions run on Thursday’s 14:00-15:30 at the bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent.
The Potters Well-being Hub offers an opportunity to come into a safe place and speak about your mental well-being. The hub is open Thursday evening, 1700 to 19.00 at the bet365 Stadium. To find out more about the well-being hub and the Let's Talk Football sessions email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The focus of the Mental Well-being Football sessions aims to boost mental well-being and aid anyone that may be worrying about their mental health. Welcoming male and females who want to turn up and play! The sessions cost £3 and take place each Friday, 15.30 - 16.30 at the Academy Dome. Telephone 01782 592 252 or email email@example.com for more information.
You’re more likely to stop smoking with the right support. Find the combination of support that’s right for you and your family. NHS Better Health - Quit smoking are here to support you and provide a personal plan to help you along the way.
We've included some links and resources from trusted organisations and websites to offer support during a COVID-19 pandemic.
The Maternal Mental Health Alliance have produced information and resources for whilst you are pregnant and after the birth of your baby COVID-19: Looking after your mental health during pregnancy and after birth - Maternal Mental Health
The iHV is dedicated to supporting the health and wellbeing of all families - take a look at their information Parenting through Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Institute for Health Visiting
The Lullaby Trust and Public Health England have teamed up to produce a short animation to help families who are caring for a baby during a pandemic:
Visit Coronavirus (COVID‑19) - GOV.UK for the most up to date advice.