The family coaching intended for first-time mothers in Helsinki consists of a physiotherapy group and family coaching arranged at the maternity clinics before the birth, and activities for families with babies held at playgrounds after the birth.
First-time mothers can make a booking for the physiotherapy group between gestation weeks 15 and 25. You will receive information about the physical changes and exercise during pregnancy, how to relax your back muscles, how the pelvic floor functions and how to stay fit. You can find more information on the physiotherapy groups from your own maternity and child health clinic , and on the physiotherapy units' webpage (in Finnish). Information about childbirth and arranging a visit to a maternity hospital can also be found in HUS’s Baby journey guide.
First-time parents can also book a free appointment with a dental hygienist to receive guidance on dental care. This appointment is not intended for an oral health check-up but to discuss dental care and the development of a child’s teeth.
Some of the family coaching takes place online, and the material dealing with the relationship between the parents can be found in the section Parenthood and parents’ relationship. The services described above are collectively called family coaching, which is intended for all families in Helsinki expecting their first child. The aim of family coaching is to support new parents in their rewarding yet demanding task of caring for and raising a child. The coaching reinforces the parents’ knowledge and skills in order to ensure that their everyday life with a new baby will go as smoothly as possible. The intention is that every family can identify their own strengths and approaches.
Family coaching in Helsinki (pdf, in Finnish)
Maternity and child health clinic family coaching
Registration for the family coaching sessions held at maternity and child health clinics takes place at the mother's public health nurse appointments. Family coaching is an interactive and resource-based group activity; every family has expertise in their own lives. The family coaching groups meet twice before the birth of the baby.
- Watch the breastfeeding videos before the first session.
- Watch the childbirth videos (HUS) before the second session.
At the clinic's first family coaching sessionhalfway through the pregnancy (approx. week 25-28), topics discussed include memories of participants' own childhood, and envisioning the baby growing in the womb. Additionally, breastfeeding and other practical matters relating to caring for the baby are also covered. A family with a baby will come to visit the family coaching group. During the family's visit the group will go through matters relating to care for the baby and parenthood.
At the clinic's second family coaching session the theme is birth. The group will discuss
- the signs that labour is approaching and going to the hospital
- relaxing and exercise
- pain relief
- the different stages of birth
- meeting the baby for the first time and skin contact
- and the first attempt at breastfeeding, and care.
At the clinic's second family coaching session the theme is birth. The group will discuss the signs that labour is approaching, going to the hospital, relaxing, exercise, pain relief, the different stages of birth, meeting the baby for the first time, skin contact and the first attempt at breastfeeding, and care. During the coaching session the group will also discuss caesarean sections and other abnormal births. The post-partum period and related matters will also be discussed. The mother's physical recovery, mood swings, feeling down, and depression, as well as participation of the father or partner and support from friends and relatives, are topics that are dealt with in the group. Material dealing with relationships has been compiled on these pages, with the intention that couples familiarise themselves with the information independently. The family can take a virtual tour of the maternity hospital.
Infant family activities
Playgrounds and family houses of Helsinki organise infant family activities as a continuation of the child health clinic's family training for first-born babies families of Helsinki. The infant family activities include four themes, which have the same contents at all locations.
The themes are:
- Being with the baby - what is early interaction?
- Coping in everyday life, being a parent
- The baby’s daytime and sleep rhythm
- Services for families with children: presentation of day care and dental care twice a year.
The activities are voluntary and free of charge for families.
You can select any theme you like or all of them and you can attend them in the order of your choosing and at any location. The locations would like you to register by e-mail or phone no later than the day before the event.