6. Themed Days

6.12. Day 12: Mother and Baby

Preparatory work

In preparation students should have:

  • Read or reviewed the recommended resources, including taking a look at the Birth to Five book; this book was until recently give to all new parents in the UK and it is still available as a PDF from the Northern Ireland Public Health Agency.  In England and Wales, it has been superseded by the NHS conditions website pages, particularly the information under the ‘newborn’ and ‘babies and toddlers’ tabs. Both resources provide information for parents on all aspects of caring for a new baby and both include the voices of new parents.
  • Looked at some of the information on the Mumsnet website. It hosts many discussion threads and enables you to see some of the concerns both new parents, and more experienced ones, have about caring for their children.
  • Reviewed the current UK routine child immunisation schedule. Researched the recent fall in uptake of these routine immunisations and considered why this might be.
  • Prepared some questions for their meeting with a mother and her baby.



To give students an opportunity to meet with and talk to a mother and her baby. To gain an understanding of the health monitoring and health promotion provided for babies and young children by the primary health care team.


Learning Outcomes

 By the end of the day, students should be able to:

  • Describe the daily routine for one mother and baby or young child that they have met
  • List some of the health promotion services provided by the practice for mothers and their babies
  • Describe in detail one health promotion intervention provided for babies or young children
  • Describe some of their experiences communicating and engaging with the children
  • Discuss the most significant changes parents have to deal with after the birth of a child
  • Practise interview skills, and communication through play


Example timetable

9.30 – 10.30

Tutorial on mother and baby


10.30 – 10.45


Tea break

10.45 – 11.45

Prepare for patient encounters

  • Plan questions and observations


Patient encounters

  • Interview a mother (or other parent/caregiver) and their baby/child
  • Sit in with a GP for the 6-8 week mother and baby check and/or with the practice nurse for infant/child immunisations
  • Meet with someone involved in providing care to parent/s and their babies e.g. health visitor, family support worker, person working for local voluntary organisation


11.45 – 12.30

Students feedback to group on their patient, or other, encounters


12.30 – 13.30



13.30 – 15.30

1:1 student feedback with GP tutor


These student-led activities running alongside 1:1 feedback meetings:


Vaccination controversies:

Breakout task -role play scenarios

Student-led research, followed by group discussion focussing on these questions

  • Why is uptake of routine child vaccination dropping?
  • What could we do, both locally and nationally, to increase child vaccination rates?
  • Are mandates, legislation or sanctions a good idea? (or this could be a debate)


Tea break


Brief student feedback (individual & anonymous)

  • What were your favourite MedSoc experiences and why?
  • What learning need/s have you identified to take forward and develop in next year’s primary care placement? (GP2)


15.30 – 16.00

Final group debrief



Suggested Activities

  • Tutorial on mother and baby – could include health promotion services for mothers and babies; discuss 6-8 week postnatal and baby check-up (look at red book); role of other healthcare professionals e.g. health visitors; hot topics e.g. effect of COVID-19 on vaccination uptake.
  • Role play scenarios tackling parental concerns about immunisations and misinformation e.g. about MMR.
  • Debate e.g. Is breastfeeding the best way of feeding an infant? Are mandates, legislation or sanctions a good way to increase uptake of routine childhood immunisations?
  • Prepare for meeting a mother and her baby; plan questions for parent/s e.g. daily routine, changes parents deal with after the birth of a child, what questions/concerns they have for GP or other healthcare professionals e.g. feeding. Interview a mother/family and their baby.
  • Sit in with a GP for the 6-8 week mother and baby check and/or with the practice nurse for infant/child immunisations.
  • Meet with practice nurse/health visitor to discuss their role in caring for mothers and their babies and young children.
  • Research into and/or visit to a local voluntary agency providing support to parents and their babies/children e.g. local NCT group, feeding café, children’s centre; meet with a person who delivers this support.
  • Final feedback meeting with GP tutor.


  Questions for students to consider

  • Did anything surprise you about your meeting with a mother or parent/s and their baby/young child?  What sort of support do you think new parents might need from health care professionals?
  • There have been some well–documented controversies around vaccination of children.  What do you think the role of the GP/Health visitor is in this area?  How would you deal with patients whose views conflicted with the advice you were giving to them?