A GROUP of Tidworth mums are among the first in England to complete a pioneering new antenatal programme aimed at helping new parents cope with the pressures of having a baby.

The Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond course is being run by the NSPCC from the Ashdown Family Centre, and aims to help new parents set a pattern of good parenting for life.

The programme, which saw its first group start this January, comprises six antenatal sessions, a post-birth home visit and two postnatal sessions.

The course covers subjects such as infant development, how parenting can affect relationships, health and wellbeing and practical lessons on how to care for a baby and where to get support after birth.

NSPCC practitioner Karen Tyrkot, who runs the course along with fellow NSPCC practitioner Michelle Lindup and midwife Julie Williamson, said: “Antenatal classes in the UK tend to focus on the actual birth rather than teach parents about the impact that a baby will have on their lives.”

“Supporting parents who want that extra little bit of help to prepare for the roles and responsibilities of parenthood is one of the best ways to get families off to the best possible start.”