Get in touch
Beginning in the antenatal period and continuing until the age of 19, the Children's Public Health Service includes health visitors, public health school nurses, staff nurses/midwives, and community nursery nurses.
The team is available via telephone Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm. Contact details are below:
- Shiremoor, Killingworth, Dudley, Longbenton or surrounding areas: 0191 643 8297
- North Shields, Preston, Chirton or surrounding areas: 0191 643 8241
- Wallsend, Howdon, Battle Hill or surrounding areas: 0191 643 8861
- Whitley Bay, Tynemouth, or surrounding areas: 0191 643 8808
The team also have a Facebook page for parents and carers of children and young people in the borough, which you can find here.
All families have universal contact from the Health Visiting team, including:
- Antenatal contact
- New baby visit/primary visit
- Assessment at six/eight weeks
- One-year-old assessment
- 24 -28 month assessment
Teams can offer help, advice and support on:
- Emotional health and wellbeing
- Infant feeding
- Healthy eating
- Stop-smoking services
- Readiness for school
Any identified additional needs or support will be assessed and supported by a named health visitor.
ChatHealth is a texting service is available for young people aged 11-19 looking for confidential support and advice. The number to text is: 07507 332 532
The school nursing team can be contacted via telephone Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm on 0191 643 8251.
Public Health School Nurses provide support in and out of school, with issues such as:
- Emotional health and wellbeing
- Keeping healthy and weight management
- Enuresis (bed wetting)
- Sexual health
- Smoking, drugs and alcohol
National Childhood Measurement Programme
The National Childhood Measurement Programme is delivered in reception and year 6, further information can be found below.
Vision screening is offered to reception age children, further details on the test and results is available below.
ParentLine is a confidential text service for parents and carers living in North Tyneside.
Caring for a child can come with its worries and concerns about their health and wellbeing, leaving parents feeling overwhelmed and looking for answers. ParentLine is an anonymous texting service you can use to ask questions to qualified nurses. You may have queries about feeding and nutrition or need advice about development and behaviour issues.
The texting service offers an informal and quick way to communicate with health professionals about any issues that may come your way.
Friendly teams will answer your queries or point you in the right direction to find additional help.
Talking to a professional can help you to feel less anxious and worried and identify the best way forward. Our teams will do their best to provide you with up to date information and support.
The service is available Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm (excluding Bank Holidays). Any enquiries sent outside of these hours will be answered as soon as possible.
- For parents and carers of children aged 0-5 text 07480 635 592
- For parents and carers of children and young people aged 5-19 text 07480 635 908
Baby clinics give parents an opportunity to review and monitor the growth and development of their baby and ask questions about anything baby related!
Those eligible for the NHS Healthy Start scheme can also collect their vitamins at baby clinics, just bring your Health Start card.
Details of where and when the drop-in clinics take place is available below.
Deciding how to feed your baby is a very personal decision. As a UNICEF Baby Friendly Accredited service, we are committed to promoting and protecting breastfeeding however, as a service we support all parents to feed their baby however they choose.
We have plenty of information about your options and there is always help and support available from the health visiting team. If you would like further information on infant feeding speak to your midwife or health visitor.
Providing your baby with your milk provides protection against many illnesses and diseases. Breastfeeding helps reduce your risk of getting breast and ovarian cancers and heart disease. Breastfeeding has lots of health benefits for your baby, your milk changes as your baby grows and supports their development. Your milk changes if your baby is unwell to help them fight infections, it can also reduce the risk of them developing chest infections, asthma, eczema, gastroenteritis and diabetes later in life. Watch this video on human milk and how amazing it is.
This video gives you lots of information on breastfeeding; from building a relationship with your unborn, the importance of colostrum and colostrum harvesting, positioning and attachment, breastfeeding expectations (such as cluster feeding), responsive feeding, recognising problems and normal baby behaviour.
Information on common breastfeeding challenges can be found here.
Breastfeeding is a skill that is learnt by both you and your baby. Don’t be worried if it takes a little time to get the hang of. Here’s the headlines:
- Skin to skin contact
Having skin to skin contact immediately after birth helps with bonding and getting feeding off to a good start, it helps to calm and relax you and baby, gives baby an interest in feeding and helps to protect them against infections. More information on the importance of skin to skin contact can be found here.
Skin to skin is also great for older babies as it promotes the hormones needed for relaxation, bonding and feeding, if your baby is unsettled or you are having breastfeeding problems try having some skin to skin.
- First milk
The first milk you produce when your baby is born is called colostrum, it is thick and yellow in colour. It is very concentrated, so you only produce tiny amounts, colostrum is full of essential nutrients for your baby and provides lots of protection against infection.
If you are thinking of formula feeding you may want to think about giving your baby colostrum to ensure they don’t miss out on the protection colostrum can offer, either by breastfeeding or hand expressing it for them and offering it via spoon or syringe.
Some people collect their colostrum while they are pregnant you can find out more about that here (speak to your midwife to check it is safe for you to collect colostrum during pregnancy). Information on hand expressing your milk can be found here.
- Knowing your baby is feeding well
Positioning and attaching your baby to breastfeed successfully is important. Baby must be attached well to be able to feed effectively and for you to be comfortable.
Information on positioning and attaching your baby at the breast can be found here.
- Responsive feeding
Breastfeeding is not just about giving your baby food, breastfeeding also provides your baby with comfort and helps them feel safe and secure. Being responsive to your baby’s cues to feed is essential, it will help your milk production and will help with baby’s growth and brain development. You may offer baby the breast if they are hungry, tired, unsettled, teething or if you feel your breasts are full, for convenience or just because you want to, this is responsive feeding. There is more information on responsive feeding here.
Expressing and storing milk
Information on breastfeeding and expressing for premature or sick babies can be found here.
Infant feeding videos
- Antenatal infant feeding
Everything from building a relationship with your unborn, the importance of colostrum and colostrum harvesting, positioning and attachment, breastfeeding expectations (such as cluster feeding), responsive feeding, recognising problems and normal baby behaviour. Find the video here.
- Breastfeeding principles
Positioning and attachment, here.
Recognising baby is feeding well, here.
Responsive feeding and parenting, here.
Returning to work or study
Legislation offers protection to breastfeeding mothers who return to work or study and some employers have developed policies to support staff.
Your employer of place of education should be able to give you more details, but you can also get more information here.
Responsive formula feeding
Keeping your baby close, enjoying skin to skin contact and responsive feeding will help you and your baby develop a close and loving relationship. It is important to limit the number of people who feed your baby in the early days to help them develop a close and loving bond, more information on responsive feeding can be found here.
If you decide to give your baby formula milk your midwife and health visitor will provide you with information on what milk to use, how to make up feeds safely, how to feed your baby and how to safely sterilise equipment. Information on formula feeding can be found here.
Introducing solid foods
Introducing solid foods, should start when your baby is six months old. Information on signs of readiness, getting started, recipes and meals and safety can be found here.
First Steps Nutrition also provide advice and information on introducing solid foods for babies between six months up to one year which can be found here.
Help and support
Help and support is available from your midwife or members of the health visiting team, they can also refer you to additional support from the infant feeding coordinator. It is really important to ask for help if you need it.
Infant feeding support
Health visitors in North Tyneside are available to support families via virtual infant feeding support sessions.
You can find out when sessions are available and book online here.
If you have any questions or queries, email InfantFeedingSessions@northtyneside.gov.uk
Best Start Peer Support groups
Would you like the chance to discuss your parenting challenges in a supportive and friendly environment with other parents?
There are free sessions each week for parents of babies and young children:
- 12.30pm-2.30pm: Whitley Bay Big Local, 158 Whitley Road, NE26 2LY
- 10am-12pm: Hello World, Royal Quays Outlet, NE29 6DW
- 12.30pm-2.30pm: Westmoor Community Centre, Benton Lane, West Moor, NE12 7NP
The sessions are focused on breastfeeding support, safe sleep, coping with crying, mental health, infant feeding, and responsive parenting.
If you would like to volunteer to be a Best Start Peer Supporter, find out more information here.
Safer sleep and coping with infant crying
Safer sleep guidance gives simple steps for how you can sleep your baby to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) which is sometimes known as cot death. You should follow safer sleep advice for all sleep whether it's day or night. Find out more about safer sleep for babies here.
ICON is all about helping people who care for babies to cope with crying. Baby’s cry and it is normal, ICON has lots of information on why babies cry, comfort methods to help you cope with crying and where to find more support. Click here for more information from ICON.
If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk. If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. You can find out more about the scheme and how to apply here.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women and young children may not get enough vitamins even if they are eating well. You can use your Healthy Start card to get these important vitamins for free. These come as NHS Healthy Start tablets and drops for children. You can get healthy start vitamins from your health visitor or at one of our baby clinics. More information about healthy start vitamins is available here.
Fathers in North Tyneside can access the DadPad app which provides new dads (and dads-to-be!) with practical skills and information to manage and become confident in the transition to fatherhood.
The app gives access to knowledge and support on a range of key subjects, as well as providing signposting to both local and national services, groups, and organisations.
Examples of the subjects covered include:
- basic baby care skills (such as holding, cleaning, nappy changing and sleep)
- coping with a crying baby
- supporting mam with breastfeeding
- home safety and first aid
- information on child development milestones (from birth to 18 months)
- forming a secure bond with baby
- advice on how to navigate the challenging days of new parenthood
You can download DadPad here, or by searching ‘DadPad’ in your app store. You can access content for free by completing the short registration form.
Active Bump, Birth, Baby
Antenatal and postnatal support for a healthier lifestyle
Looking to enjoy the benefits of movement during pregnancy? Has the arrival of your baby inspired a lifestyle change? Do you want to ease yourself back into an exercise routine postpartum?
The Active North Tyneside team deliver a range of programmes, classes and sessions designed for expectant mams.
- Aqua Mams: a low impact, low intensity water based exercise class with qualified instructors
- New Mams: a programme for expectant and new mams wanting to introduce physical activity and learn about a healthier lifestyle.
- Active Mams: ideal for new mams, parents and carers to exercise with their baby.
You can find out more about each programme, including the dates, times and locations of sessions, here.
More help and advice for your growing family
Parents emotional and mental wellbeing
Every person’s experience as a parent is different.
With the highs that come from becoming and being a parent, it’s also important to recognise the potential overwhelming feelings that can be experienced.
Parents can suffer from a low mood, anxiety and depression and feel irritable, detached, helpless or worried.
If you need help or support, you can contact School Nurses, Health Visitors or your GP.
There is further information, support and guidance
Domestic abuse comes in many forms, including but not limited to, controlling behaviour, threatening behaviour, and physical violence. Adults and children have a right to live free from fear.
The 0-19 Children’s Public Health Service can provide confidential support and advice on the wide range of support services available for both adults and children.
You can find more information and the different types of support available from various organisations here.