The NHS Information Service for Parents is being launched in May to help with pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Those who sign up will receive regular free emails and SMS messages offering high-quality NHS advice in bite size chunks.
It is being launched for fear that many struggle with conflicting advice and ‘information overload’ on the internet.
The service will provide tailored information to mothers and fathers and offer them up-to-date material from NHS Choices, the Pregnancy Care Planner and the Birth to Five guide.
It will cover a wide range of issues, including: how a baby develops and finding antenatal preparation programmes and classes.
It will provide information on how parents can improve their own health, breastfeeding and immunisation.
The service will also signpost to wider information about parenting, such as relationship support and benefits advice, from appropriate sources.
It is designed to complement face-to-face consultations with health professionals, including midwives, and reinforce health messages.
Most new parents will be able to access the service using either ‘smart’ phones or standard mobile phones.
Midwives, along with other health professionals that support parents through pregnancy or early years, will be asked to encourage parents to sign up to the service.
‘Wallet cards’ will be available to inform parents about the service at booking-in and other appropriate points of contact.
Midwives will also be able to access the service and provide feedback.
The RCM is a member of the advisory group and, along with other key health professional organisations, was consulted by the Department of Health on developing this service.
A factsheet for healthcare professionals can be downloaded here and further information will be available before the service goes live.