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:
- Immunisation advice
- Healthy eating, stop-smoking services, and other lifestyle choices
- Readiness for school
- Emotional health and wellbeing
- Breastfeeding support
Any identified additional needs or support will be assessed and supported by a named health visitor.
The Chat Health texting service is available for young people aged 11-19 looking for confidential support and advice. Text 07507 332 532 or visit chathealth.nhs.uk
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
The National Childhood Measurement Programme is delivered in reception and year 6, further information can be found below.
Vision screening is also offered to reception age children, further details 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 aged 5-19 text 07480 635 908
Help and advice for your growing family
- Little Orange Book - expert advice on helping babies and young children when they're poorly
- Building a happy baby - a guide for parents
- Caring for your baby at night - a guide for parents
- Childhool immunications
- Healthy Start Vouchers
- Register the birth of your baby
- Safer sleep for babies
- Top tips for parents - Institute of Health Visiting iHV
- Tummy time
- Managing common childhood illnesses
- Safe at home - tips for under 5's
- UNICEF Breastfeeding Support for Parents
- Infant crying and how to cope (leaflet)
- Infant crying and how to cope website
- Food for Thought - help parents, children and young people learn all about food
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 human milk provides protection against many illnesses and diseases. Breastfeeding helps reduce your risk of breast and ovarian cancers and cardiovascular disease in later life. The value of breastfeeding on your baby’s health and wellbeing is huge, not only does breastmilk provide the perfect nutrition for your baby, it changes as your baby grows and develops. 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.
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 nutrition for your baby and provides 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 it can offer, either by breastfeeding or hand expressing it for them and offering it via spoon or syringe.
- 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.
- 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.
Videos from the 0-19 team
- 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.
Peer supporters are mams that have breastfed their own children then received training to support other mams and babies on their feeding journey. Our peer support groups can offer support for breastfeeding issues or you can come along for a chat and to meet other mams and babies. Information on our groups is posted on the 0-19 Children’s Public Health Service Facebook page.
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.
Help and support
Help and support is available from your midwife or members of the health visiting team, they can also refer to additional support from the infant feeding coordinator. It is really important to ask for help if you need it. Information on common breastfeeding challenges 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.
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.
Introducing solid foods
Introducing solid foods, sometimes known as weaning or complementary feeding, should start when your baby is 6 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 6 months up to 1 year which can be found here.
Infant feeding support - virtual sessions
Health visitors in North Tyneside are available to support families virtually with children aged between 0-5 years.
There are virtual infant feeding support sessions on a range of topics for pregnant women and parents.
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.