New Facebook group launched during Baby Week in Leeds

An innovative new Facebook group for mums-to-be to be in Leeds has been launched in Baby Week.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 10:31 am

An innovative new Facebook group for mums-to-be to be in Leeds has been launched in Baby Week.

The new group called Facemums offers help and advice from midwives and support from other expectant mums.

It has been launched as Baby Week returns to Leeds this week with more than 100 special events.

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Lord Mayor of Leeds Coun Eileen Taylor (centre) at the Baby Week launch.

The Facemums initiative is a pilot project funded by Health Education England which is open to pregnant women with a due date in May, June, or July 2020.

Laura Walton,lead midwife in maternity strategy at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS trust, said: "Facemums is a fantastic initiative to empower mothers.

"Through the Facebook group women can gain valuable insights from registered midwives and form a network of peer support.

"Our aim is to develop a community of mothers who will act as health champions of the future, both in their families and the wider community."

From baby raves to dads' breakfast clubs and Opera North coaching for tiny singers, Baby Week Leeds showcases a wide range of local services, groups and activities on offer for parents, carers and babies in the city.

The first Baby Week event was held at the monthly Leeds Dads peer support group breakfast club meeting at Aireborough Children's Centre in Guiseley on Saturday morning.

Leeds Dads was founded by Errol Murray of Oakwood eight years ago after he couldn't find a support group for new dads following the birth of his daughter Rayya, now aged nine.

The group holds breakfast clubs at Aireborough Children's Centre on the first Saturday every month and at Holbeck Working Men's Club on the third Sunday every month.

During Baby Week, carers can enjoy free taster sessions of baby swimming, arts and crafts, bonfire night messy play, meet-ups, and a whole host of child-friendly activities on the theme of 'Making connections: Bonding, healthy brains and wellbeing for all'.

Popular teenager died after taking drugs at Leeds nightclubThere are also special events tailored specifically to foster families and kinship carers, and a free conference for professionals.

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said the local authority is committed to making the city the most child friendly place to grow up in the UK.

Leeds was the first city in the UK to adopt the UNICEF supported 'Semana Do Bebe' concept from Brazil, with other Yorkshire cities, including Bradford and Hull, since following suit.

The fourth annual Baby Week Leeds is supported by Leeds City Council and partners across the city, including Child Friendly Leeds, NHS Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

Coun Fiona Venner, Leeds City Council's executive member for children and families, said: "We have a bold ambition to make Leeds the best city for children and young people to grow up in and are working incredibly hard with our valued partners to drive this ambition forward.

"Ensuring every child in Leeds has the best start in life is a key element of our ambition, as it plays a vital role in making sure our youngest residents are better equipped to grow up happy, healthy and ready to learn.

"Baby Week Leeds is just one example of the fantastic work going on in our city – it really reflects the commitment of the council and our dedicated partners to building a child friendly city."

Baby Week Leeds launched in September 2016 and is an initiative aimed at bringing sectors and services together to promote the Best Start in life.

Last year's Leeds Baby Week saw the launch of the '50 things to do before you're five' app, which offers experiences to build skills and language, supports brain development in young children.

How Leeds has celebrated Bonfire Night down the yearsBaby Week Leeds supporter White Rose Shopping Centre will also be marking the occasion with a special tree-planting ceremony.

On November 14, the centre team and Nurture Landscapes will plant a tree for every baby born in Leeds during Baby Week.

Baby Week Leeds is now a registered charity sharing best practice around the country.

For more information, go to www.babyweek.co.uk