Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999

We offer tailored content specific to your area. Check below to find your local area.

Choose your location for articles and services where your live:

Prepare for parenthood

Becoming parents is an exciting and special time.  When your baby arrives you may find it difficult to adjust to being parents so make sure that you take the opportunity now to really look after yourselves.

Sleep easy

Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference to how you feel.

  • Try to make your bedroom a calm space that you want to spend time in.
  • Get your body clock into a good routine by going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time each day. Over time it will help you fall asleep more easily and sleep better.
  • Avoid using technology like computers, tablets or your phone immediately prior to bedtime as the light they give out can interfere with your natural sleep pattern. Switching off technology will help you start to unwind and relax.

Once you have a newborn, you may want to read this advice from the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) on coping with tiredness as a new parent.

Pregnant mother resting

Getting out and about

Gentle exercise is good for you throughout your pregnancy. Going out for a walk every day is a good habit to get into now and to maintain when your baby arrives.

Your local children’s centre will run a number of local baby groups. Find out about them now, while you have time. Joining groups not only gets you out of the house, but is a great opportunity to meet other parents with little ones.

Find your local Children’s Centre.

“Me” time

It’s very easy as a new parent to leave your own needs to the bottom of the list. But if you’re exhausted and stressed, it’ll be much harder to enjoy parenthood and family life. Make sure you:

  • Make time for rest and relaxation – even half an hour to read a magazine or soak in the bath will make all the difference.
  • Once the baby arrives, ask your family, friends or partner to support you so that you can book a regular time each week to enjoy some of the things you enjoyed before becoming a parent – an evening class or a coffee with friends.

For further tips, read these five steps to mental wellbeing from NHS Choices.

Pregnant mother exercising in a pool

Your relationship

Finding time for each other is more important than ever when you have a new baby. Communication is crucial – tell each other how you’re feeling. Remember, being aware of your own feelings and accepting all of them (even the difficult ones) is a positive and healthy thing to do. Feelings in themselves are never bad – it’s how we deal with them that counts. If you feel overwhelmed, or need support with your emotional wellbeing, do speak to your health visitor or your GP.

The Institute of Health Visiting has more top tips for parents.

Family life is like a treasure hunt, with plenty of adventures, hazards, and discoveries to make along the way. Look after yourself so you can enjoy the ride!

Expectant parents talking to bump

For further support and advice:

Page last reviewed: 27-09-2023

Next review due: 27-09-2026