I remember the day we brought Harrison home from the hospital. It was one of the most daunting experiences of my life. I had changed a nappy for the first time two days previously, and now they were letting me take this tiny little baby, who depended on me for everything!
For those first few months, we were absolutely bombarded with well meaning ‘advice’ and information – not all of it particularly helpful. It’s no wonder that as many as 20% of new mums in the UK suffer from some sort of psychological issues in the first year of parenthood. This is where the care from a supportive health visitor, nurse or family doctor can make all the difference.
The Real World Parenting Awards were launched in July and have two separate categories: one for health professionals, which has been developed by the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology, and one for supportive family and friends. Both awards are supported by an educational grant from Infacol.
The health professional category will recognise the dedication, compassion and hard work of health professionals across the UK. Whether they are advising on trouble with latching, helping with colic or supporting new parents with mental health issues, they are a valuable resource for mums and dads across the country.
The second category for family and friends will highlight the importance of listening and providing love and encouragement. “Having a baby is a life changing experience and an incredible one, but it can be stressful” says Dr Hilary Jones, who will be part of the judging panel. “If you’re lucky enough to have a wonderful family around you or great friends, it can make a huge difference.”
Unfortunately, my experiences of health professionals after having the kids hasn’t been particularly positive, which is why it is all the more important to celebrate the many great ones that are out there. However, I know that without the support of my family and friends, particularly my mum, I would have found being a new mum much, much harder.
The Real World Parenting Awards were launched in July and there is a presentation in November. They are open to nominations from appreciative parents, colleagues, or the individuals themselves. The entry criteria are simple – an individual who has demonstrated the ability to go above and beyond. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them the name, workplace (if nominating a health professional) and why you want to nominate them. The closing date for nominations is 31st August 2016.
The winning health professional receive an educational grant of £1000 from the PCSG to further their career or chosen area of research. Those who nominate their superstar health professional will also be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a short break at Knoll House*, Britain’s original family friendly hotel.
*Terms and conditions apply. This does not apply to health care professionals.