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by Catherine Mee,
Parenting Facilitator, Tameside and Glossop Community Healthcare (a Business Group of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust), Selbourne House, Union Street, Hyde SK14 1NG
Tameside and Glossop Community Healthcare is in northwest England, and provides community NHS services to approximately ¼ million people in the area. There is a high level of deprivation, and teenage pregnancy rates are amongst the highest in the country.
A range of support is available to promote early attachment. All new parents are given a booklet and DVD called Getting it Right from the Start, which was filmed with local families, and is based on Brazelton principles and promotes early attachment. Moreover, all our Health Visitors and Community Midwives have been trained in NBO. They are supported by a NBAS Health Visitor (who is also a generic Health Visitor) in each locality. A small, specialized Early Attachment Service, which is jointly provided with Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, (local provider of mental health services), also supports NBO / NBAS provision. This is our service delivery model:
See Maureen Lancaster’s description of her use of the NBAS in her work with infants and families In Situ. Maureen is a member of the Early Attachment Team, a service which is jointly provided with Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.
by Charlotte Allen, Clinical Psychologist, Brazelton Centre, UK
(l. to r.): Betty Hutchon, Inga Warren, Maggie Redshaw, Joanna Hawthorne
A Special Symposium with Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, hosted by the Brazelton Centre in Great Britain, was held at the Royal Society of Medicine, London on Thursday, 8th March, 2012. The Symposium started off with a warm welcome from Dr Joanna Hawthorne, Director of the Brazelton Centre in Great Britain, and Betty Hutchon, Co-founder and Trainer. A short clip from the new DVD from the Brazelton Centre ‘The First Relationship’ showed work using the NBAS and NBO with parents and babies.
Dr. Brazelton spoke alongside Dr. Joshua Sparrow, who later answered questions about early intervention and the Touchpoints program. Dr Brazelton provided an exciting overview for how he came to learn about the importance of observing newborns. Indeed he talked about how he noticed the clear difference in young children’s personalities/temperaments around the age of five years at a hospital in Boston. It was here that he began to see how each child was unique and needed parents who were sensitive to the child’s strengths and weaknesses. Dr. Brazelton realized parents needed to understand their baby at the earliest opportunity so to avoid years of parenting that was mismatched to the needs of the child.
Eileen Hayes (London) explained how she found stark differences between the childcare books available in the US and in the UK in the seventies. Specifically she found much more parenting advice available in the US. This led to discussion about how to best distribute good parenting advice so that it is not only available to a privileged few.
Eileen Hayes spoke about the wide spread influence of the television and internet. Specifically her example of the ‘naughty step’ was enlightening. She observed that many parents know about the ‘naughty step’ from television and attempt to use it in disciplining their children, even though she questioned how many professionals would advocate this. Eileen Hayes also gave examples of questions parents had asked her in her magazine columns. These illustrated how overwhelmed some parents are feeling in their attempts to manage their children.
Dr Susan Pawlby (Institute of Psychiatry) spoke next and described her work using the NBAS. Specifically, she talked about her research where she investigated how depression in pregnancy impacts the newborn. She showed some initial data to suggest that depression in pregnancy does affect the newborn and provided further support for the emphasis on a two -way relationship between child and mother, and how both parties have an important role to play in its success.
Professor Vasudevi Reddy (University of Portsmouth) spoke about mutuality in early parent-infant engagements. This was a lovely illustration of how babies are more competent and understanding than we have given them credit for in the past. For example, Professor Reddy showed how babies knew when their caregiver was going to pick them up in their anticipatory body movements. She also showed video footage of babies’ reaction to seeing themselves in a mirror, at age 3 months. Until more recently we have assumed that babies do not recognize themselves in a mirror until they are much older. Some babies in her video clips showed what seemed to be coyness or embarrassment when looking in the mirror.
The next presentations were from practitioners who have set up NBAS and NBO programs in their communities or hospitals. Dr Magdalena Stawicka, (Poznan, Poland) reflected on how her 0-5 intervention service uses the NBAS as a port of entry into their service which supports parent/baby attachment. Margaret Wood, introduced the Baby Star Programme in Teeside, where parents are met antenatally, and an NBAS is carried out postnatally, focusing on the baby’s likes and dislikes. Recently, other practitioners have been trained in the NBO, who refer babies for an NBAS if there are concerns. Catherine Mee, (Tameside and Glossop), talked about integrating the NBAS and NBO in the same way with over 140 practitioners trained in the NBO or NBAS. Rita Al-Minyawi (Cambridge) described the use of the NBAS in a neonatal unit where the baby had a very poor prognosis and was being rejected by her mother. The NBAS highlighted Daisy’s strengths and abilities, despite her diagnosis, which enabled the mother to accept her. The NBAS therefore facilitated a dramatic change in the mother’s emotions towards her daughter. All these presentations illustrated that the Brazelton approach has been adopted in each area to suit the needs of the families within it, and provided a very positive influence for the practitioners and parents alike. Great enthusiasm about their programs was conveyed by each practitioner.
In summary, the day was a comprehensive overview of how Dr Brazelton has provided different professional backgrounds with an ethos and tool in which to help babies and their families. Not only to help families in the immediate term, but provide them with a framework from which to cope with difficulties in the future.
Rita Al-Minyawi, Senior Sister, Neonatal Unit, Rosie Hospital, Addenbrookes NHS Trust, Cambridge
Dr T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Emeritus Harvard Medical School and Founder, Brazelton Touchpoints Center, Boston
Dr. Joanna Hawthorne, Ph.D., Psychologist, Director, Trainer and Co-founder, Brazelton Centre in Great Britain, Cambridge
Eileen Hayes, MBE, M.Sc. Health Promotion; Parenting Consultant; Trustee of the Brazelton Centre in Great Britain, Best Beginnings; Patron of Parenting UK; Parenting Adviser to NSPCC for 20 years; writer and broadcaster
Betty Hutchon, Trainer and Co-founder, Brazelton Centre in Great Britain; Consultant Occupational Therapist North Central London Perinatal Network, Hon. Lecturer, Instituate of Child Health, University College London (UCL), Head Paediatric Occupational Therapist Royal Free London
Catherine Mee, Parenting Facilitator, Tameside and Glossop Community Healthcare
Susan Pawlby, Ph.D., Section of Perinatal Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London
Professor Vasudevi Reddy, Developmental Psychologist, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth
Dr Joshua Sparrow, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor, Harvard Medical School and Director, Strategy, Planning and Program Development, Brazelton Touchpoints Center
Magdalena Stawicka, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Director, ZERO-FIVE. The Foundation for Infant Mental Health Poznan, Poland
Margaret M Wood, Health Visitor/Practice Teacher, Division of Community Services, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Maggie Redshaw, Ph.D., Social Scientist, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Oxford
Professor Dieter Wolke, Professor of Developmental Psychology and Individual Differences, The University of Warwick Department of Psychology and Division of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Warwick Medical School UK
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”