SMA launches parenting panel

SMA Nutrition has launched SMA Every Step Panel of Experts — an independent advisory panel designed to offer much-needed support and mentorship to Irish parents across a broad range of issues at every step of the parenting journey.

Family and child psychotherapist John Sharry, midwife and ante-natal expert Susan Mac Nicholas, financial advisor John Lowe, and nutritionist Anne Sidnell have teamed up with SMA to offer support and answer parenting questions, primarily through an online forum hosted by parenting website Each Every Step expert is assigned to tackle a different aspect of the broad range of challenges experienced by new parents in Ireland.

The need for such expert support and guidance — particularly for first-time parents — was underlined by new research from SMA. The nationwide survey, hosted by, revealed that over a third of parents surveyed were surprised by just how difficult parenthood turned out to be, with 89 per cent claiming to feel completely unprepared or only quite prepared for the challenges it had presented.

When asked to describe the biggest challenge presented by parenthood, almost three-quarters of all respondents cited worries about the baby’s health and safety as their number one challenge. Financial pressures and juggling work and parenthood were also found to be significant challenges for new parents.

Every Step panel member John Sharry commented: “No matter how prepared you think you might be, first-time parenthood is an absolutely life-changing event. Every aspect of your life is turned on its head, and for some parents, the experience can feel overwhelming. The Every Step panel has been designed primarily to offer support and advice which may help to ease those concerns — a resource which parents can turn to with any question, no matter how small or silly it may seem.”

Every fortnight on, the panel will be available to answer questions online on a range of topics including nutrition, sleep, discipline, and the financial challenges experienced by many parents in today’s economic climate. The micro-site will also feature top parenting tips from the experts and frequently asked questions.


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