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Help When You Need It
Finding the help that you need when you need it can be easier if you know what is out there for you. There are many different supports in the community which can provide assistance on lots of issues or to just meet new people.
Find out what is happening in your area.
During your pregnancy and as your baby grows and develops your needs will be changing, so check out what services are in your area and get the help that you need. Depending on where you live there are a variety of different services provided by different agencies and groups. You might be aware of services such as Social Welfare, your GP or health centre and schools and colleges in your area. Many other services are provided by local community organisations, most of these services are free. Check if there are any services or activities especially for younger parents, these can often be advertised in your local post office or library. Have a look at Where to Go in Your Area for a list of local services.
Getting the most from services.
- Phone the place you want to go to beforehand and find out who you should ask for when you get there, opening times and where exactly you need to go.
- Try to arrange to go at a time that will be easier to manage your baby, such as when he/she might sleep or be relaxed after a feed. It might be difficult for you to focus on what is going on if your baby is upset and restless
- If you are not comfortable going to a new place on your own, bring a friend, your mum or someone else for some company.
- Its a good idea to write down questions or think about them in advance, It can sometimes be hard to remember all that you might want to find out when you are actually there.
- Some services might be by appointment only so call them to find out rather than waste a journey.
- For some services such as Social Welfare or health services you may need to give yours and your baby's PPS numbers. Your number should be on any Social Welfare card you might have, a wages slip if you are working or your medical card if you have one. If you do not know your PPS number contact your local Social Welfare office. Your baby's PPS number will normally be sent to you by post shortly after his/her birth is registered. Try to have these handy as sometimes your query cannot be handled without it.
- If you get a bit confused do not be afraid to say that you do not understand what you are being told, most people will be happy to make sure that you get the very best from their service.
- If you have made an appointment and find you cannot make it or will be late, do call to leave the service know so they can use the time for someone else and give you a new appointment.
- Some places such as libraries, swimming pools and even cinemas have special activities/time slots for parents and babies or small children, find out what these are in your area.
- If there are some activities or groups in you area which might interest you, give things a try, even once, you won't know whether you will like it until you do.