A SCHEME which aims to widen the network of places across the district that provide a welcome for new parents and their babies is proving a huge success.

A number of businesses and public buildings in Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven have signed-up to the initiative.

Compassion for Parents and Babies Well-being is the brainchild of Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, and was launched to combat feelings of nervousness among some parents about going out to venues with their baby.

As part of the venture, participating premises display a sticker to show that everyone is welcome.

And staff are offered short training sessions to raise awareness of how they can provide compassion to mums during the often-challenging perinatal period.

Since the scheme – originally known as Compassion for Mums Well-being – was set-up last year, it has been credited with helping new parents feel less isolated.

Feedback shows that meeting-up with other parents and their babies in community settings has improved people’s confidence and self-esteem.

Lisa Milne, clinical lead for perinatal mental health at the care trust, said: “Maternal mental wellbeing is best supported by communities and services coming together to help families.

“The Compassion for Parents and Babies Well-being project has been warmly welcomed by all sorts of services and organisations.

“People are interested in understanding more about maternal mental health and are recognising the importance of treating new parents with kindness. Parents can nominate places where they feel relaxed in the local area and we will get in touch with those places to encourage them to join the scheme.”

Whilst many premises are currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, people can view details of participating venues – and learn more about the venture – at bdct.nhs.uk/compassion-for-parents-and-babies-well-being-scheme.

Among those who have benefited from the venture is mum-of-two Claire Hill. She said: “Having a baby is a complete lifestyle change and when all your friends are working and socialising, you can feel isolated. Schemes like this give reassurance to mums.”