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Flourishing Communities,
Healthier Lives

Virtual Baby Group Supports New Parents

Published: | Children and Families

With the outbreak of COVID 19, Glasgow City HSCP’s Children and Families Health Visiting Teams in South Glasgow have adapted practice to meet the needs of families. This has included new and innovative ways of working.

When Scotland was put into lock down, new mums and new-borns had limited contact with the outside world. The teams worried that the lack of support for families may lead to feelings of isolation, potentially increasing mental health problems for new mothers which has a negative impact on infant health.

The nursery nurses in Pollok and Thornliebank decided to use IT solutions to allow face to face contact with families, by running a virtual baby group, to support new mums and babies living in their areas. 

The group was trialled over eight weeks to ensure families engaged and felt that it was of benefit. The virtual baby group provided training on baby massage and other health promotion topics, adapting as the weeks went on to ensure that needs of the families were met.

Nursery Nurses Kirsty Burns and Charlotte Muir have shared their experiences and thoughts setting up the virtual baby group.

Kirsty said: ‘’Charlotte and I have delivered a face to face baby club in Pollok consisting of an 8 week programme of baby massage and weekly talks for some time. When this group stopped during the pandemic we spoke about implementing this group in a virtual setting. Invitations were all sent to the families of babies of a suitable age via email.

“We had to embark on a steep learning curve to get the virtual group up and running. We had to learn how to use Microsoft Teams which was our platform for delivering the group. Simple things that we had never thought of before were challenging. We had to learn how to convert our current slides for the group to Microsoft word so they could be added to the files section on the Team app. Sorting and adding evaluation forms so parents could access these and replies could be added to the baby club team. We had to learn how to invite parents so they could access the live stream with links. We had to carry out practise sessions on positioning of baby for baby massage so parents could see strokes clearly.

“We also set about getting more staff on board to deliver other topics that mothers told us they wanted. We approached the team that had been working with us previously including our dental health support worker and health visitor to deliver some sessions. They were happy to be involved.

“We have received extremely positive feedback about the group. Mothers have told us that they would never have attended a baby massage group due to issues with travelling, older child care and anxiety issues.”

Karin O’Hagan, Service Manager and the teams at Pollok and Thornliebank are proud of how Kirsty and Charlotte have adapted their practice during very challenging times to meet the needs of their families and look forward to seeing this virtual group being rolled out throughout the South of Glasgow.

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