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Resources for Infant mental health

Our Infant mental health resource section provides links to a variety of resources, reports and websites for evidence-based informed decision-making.

The 1001 Critical Days Manifesto

The relaunch of this key policy commitment in Dec 2015 is to achieve better perinatal mental health and stronger attachment between babies and their parents right from the start. The ‘1001 Critical Days Manifesto’ was originally launched in the last Parliament to persuade all political parties to incorporate these measures into their election manifestos.

Building Great Britons Report

The report is the result of an inquiry conducted by the APPG for Conception to Age 2 – The First 1001 Days into perinatal mental health and child maltreatment which suggests that the cost of failing to deal with these issues is estimated to be £23billion (about half of the annual defence spending of £43billion), and that poor parental-child attachment can be passed down from one generation to the next, creating a vicious cycle and damaging environment in which to grow up.

Conception to age 2 - the age of opportunity report

The focus of this report is the period from conception to the child’s second birthday.  The ‘Age of opportunity’ report provides many of those evidence-based answers as to how we can practically implement support for women and families, and promote a generation of improved infant mental health.

In Brief: The Science of Neglect

This video explains why significant deprivation is so harmful in the earliest years of life and why effective interventions are likely to pay significant dividends in better long-term outcomes in learning, health, and parenting of the next generation.

The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain

This 6-minute video provides an overview of The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain.

Getting to Know Your Baby (in development)

This mobile phone ‘app’ is aimed at helping parents to Bond with their unborn baby among other things. There is a linked webpage for health professionals.

Prenatal maternal depression symptoms, prenatal nutrition and child cognitive function.

The study provides evidence that prenatal maternal depression symptoms relate to both increased unhealthy and decreased healthy prenatal diets, which in turn, is associated with reduced child cognitive function.

Association of Infant Mental Health

A wonderful source of up to date resources and training on infant mental health for health visitors.

The Social Baby Project

Helping to understand infant communication and promote child centred parenting.

Massage for promoting mental and physical health in typically developing infants under the age of six months

These findings do not currently support the use of infant massage with low-risk groups of parents and infants. Available evidence is of poor quality, and many studies do not address the biological plausibility of the outcomes being measured, or the mechanisms by which change might be achieved. Future research should focus on the impact of infant massage in higher-risk groups (for example, demographically and socially deprived parent-infant dyads), where there may be more potential for change.

Parent-infant relationships

This article draws on current research, highlighting the importance of parents being able to ‘mentalise’ — to make sense of their own and their child’s mental state. Parents who ‘hold their child in mind’ are likely to be able to interpret behaviour in terms of his or her underlying feeling states.

A realist evaluation of the processes and outcomes of infant massage programmes

This study’s findings suggest that infant massage programs should be targeted at parents experiencing moderate problems in terms of parent-infant interaction.

Interventions to support early relationships

This paper reports the findings with regard to the mechanisms that were identified to be necessary for the successful delivery of infant massage programmes

Brazelton - UK

The Brazelton Centre UK- Understanding Baby Behaviour

Universal screening and early intervention for maternal mental health and attachment difficulties

Universal screening and early intervention for maternal mental health and attachment difficulties.. (Milford, Oates Community Practitioner, Aug 2009, Volume 82 Number 8) >The Free Library. (2014). Retrieved Jan 26 2016

Early intervention for increased antenatal anxiety associated with foetal development risk

Early intervention for increased antenatal anxiety associated with foetal development risk.

(Balakrishna R, Teixeira M. Community Practitioner, Apr 2015, Volume 88/4)

Mums and Babies in Mind (MABIM) Tools and Resources

The following tools have been developed by the Mums and Babies in Mind team for leaders working in perinatal mental health including: maternity services and GPs, commissioning, health visiting, midwifery, FNP, specialist perinatal mental health services, community and children’s services, adult mental health services, CAMHS and third sector:

  • MABIM Masterclass Leaders’ Top Tips 3: Midwives and health visitors in perinatal mental health
  • Tackling Stigma: postcards and posters
  • Twitter Tutorial: Using Twitter for Perinatal Mental Health
  • MABIM Masterclass Leaders’ Top Tips 2: Commissioning Perinatal Mental Health Services
  • Toolkit 1: Developing a Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Community Service
  • MABIM Masterclass Leaders’ Top Tips 1: Developing a Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Community Service
  • MABIM Baby Scenarios
  • MABIM Perinatal Mental Health Mapping Tool