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Evaluation of the 'Welcome to the World' Antenatal Programme (Jones, Jomeen & Wadephul, 2016)

Welcome to the World is an 8-week antenatal programme, which aims to support expectant parents by improving parental wellbeing, increasing attunement and bonding to their baby, and developing knowledge and skills in breastfeeding and practical care.

This report outlines the findings from an evaluation of the Welcome to the World programme, conducted in partnership with researchers from the University of Hull.

Results showed that there was a statistically significant reduction in Maternal/Partner Infant Bonding Scale (MIBS) scores, showing parents were displaying a more positive attitude to their baby. There was also a significant increase in perceived coping, and women showed a significant decrease in their Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) scores, indicating improvements in psychological wellbeing. There were no significant changes in Pictorial Representation of Attachment Measure (PRAM) scores.

Findings from the focus groups suggest the programme was perceived as positive and helpful by parents, who commented that it provided them with a safe, non-judgemental space to discuss concerns and ask questions. Parents felt the programme had a positive impact on their interaction with their babies, their relationship with their partner, their post-natal coping, and on their emotional wellbeing. Interviews with the training facilitators suggest they are enthusiastic and committed to the programme, and are ensuring effective recruitment, and inclusive and engaging delivery.

Authors: Catriona Jones (Senior Research Fellow), Julie Jomeen (Professor of Midwifery) & Franziska Wadephul (Postdoctoral Research Assistant) Department of Midwifery and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull.


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