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In the News

NBO/NBAS International news

A new NBAS trainer for Australia and New Zealand

Occupational Therapist Danielle Atkins from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand is the new NBAS trainer for Australia and New Zealand.  She joins Beulah Warren who has been the lead NBAS trainer in Australia for many decades.  Indeed, it was Beulah and her colleagues who invited Berry Brazelton to Sydney in 1984 to introduce the NBAS to Australia in the first place.  Beulah has taught the NBAS to infant mental health workers and post graduate students at the New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry over the years, where Danielle was enrolled.  Danielle completed her NBAS training at the Brazelton Centre in the UK under Betty Hutchon and is now ready to join Beulah as an NBAS Trainer for Australia and New Zealand. (Photo below, taken during Danielle's training with Beulah, shows Danielle interacting with a 5 week-old-baby during the NBAS).

Danielle has already participated in an Orientation to the NBAS training weekend conducted by Beulah in April 2016 and they are planning to present NBAS training in Aukland in 2017.  Danielle is also preparing to become an NBO trainer and joined Campbell Paul and Susan Nicolson in delivering NBO training in Christchurch this year.  She also joined Beulah, Campbell and Susan for NBO training at the Tresillian Family Care Centre in Sydney in November of this year.

Norway NBO E-Learning Platform

The Norwegian NBO trainers team (Kari Slinning, Unni Tranaas Vannebo, Inger-Pauline Landsem, Nina Cheetham and Hege Sandtrø) recently gathered for a 4-day workshop to continue their work on the development of an E-learning platform for the NBO, an initiative by NBO trainer, Rakel Greve.  They spent the first two days in the office in Oslo and then moved on to the Norwegian mountains for "walking and talking". (From left: Hege Sandtrø, Nina Cheetham Bøhle, Kari Slinning & Unni Tranaas Vannebo)

The E-learning platform will feature the core NBO training topics, such as "The language of the baby", "The NBO - Step by Step" etc..  For each segment, there will be a short introduction by the NBO trainer outlining the learning goals and featuring an oral presentation with short video clips, text, practice supported by video-clips and pictures. The learning objectives will be structured into three categories: "need to know"; "good to know"; "nice to know".  The content of the platform will be in Norwegian in this first version. However, the Norway trainers hope to share their experiences with the International NBO network and will welcome feedback as they hope to develop a product that could be valuable across many countries. 

A second major goal of the Norway NBO team is refine their NBO at-risk training program curriculum. Several NICUs in Norway have requested training in NBO to meet their goals for more family-centered care.  This work has high priority in the National Network for Infant Mental Health in Norway, but the Norway group believe that the NBO training curriculum needs some significant adjustments to meet the needs of high-risk infants and families in neonatal units. Since the members of Norway trainers team have extensive experience working in Norwegian NICUs and work with high-risk infants and parents, they are are enthusiastic and excited to proceed with this work and will test out these adjustments in Norwegian NICUS in close collaboration with the staff members who work in these units. 

The Norway group have also developed a leaflet for parents describing infant states, which has been very well received by parents and professionals alike in Norway. Working along with Australia NBO trainer, Susan Nicolson, the Norway group have now translated the leaflet into English and Susan is working on translating it into other languages.  This will be made available for all NBO trainers upon request.

The Newsletter from the Norwegian NBO trainers team, Autumn 2016, describes the goals and progress of their discussions. Click here to read the full newsletter: The Newsletter from the Norwegian NBO trainers team, Autumn 2016

NBO Training in Norway November 2016 

NBO trainers Unni Tranaas Vannebo and Rakel Aasheim Greve presented NBO training to nurses in the district of Romsdal area on the north west coast of Norway. The NBO training was covered by the Romsdals Budstikke newspaper.  Click here to see November 10th 2016 edition and to see additional photos in the same newspaper click here: (Romsdals Budstikke) NBO report.

NBO Training was also presented in Norway by Unni Tranaas Vannebo and Hege Sandtrø - photo shows Hege and Unni with the group of new NBO trainees on the left, and Hege and Unni with two very responsive Norwegian newborn participants on the right. 

Two New NBO trainers in Japan

An initiative by Professor Shohei Ohgi, Director of NBAS and NBO training in Japan, has led to Dr. Eiko Saito and Dr. Mariko Iwayama being trained and installed as the first NBO trainers for Japan. Congratulations!  Eiko was first trained on the NBO in Boston and Mariko was trained in the UK and both have been using the NBO for a number of years.  Eiko is a nurse midwife and is an Associate Professor in the graduate School of Nursing at the Japanese Red Cross College of Nursing.  Mariko Iwayama is a clinical psychologist and teaches at Kyushu University and is a member of the Japan Association of Perinatal Mental Health.  The NBO program was established by and is under the direction of Professor Shohei Ohgi, Director of NBAS training in Japan. The new program, NBOJapan, (see was inaugurated on the occasion of the first NBO training to be offered in Japan in September 2016.  Along with Professors Campbell Paul and Kevin Nugent, Eiko and Mariko assisted in the delivery of NBO training in Tokyo and in Nagoya.  They provided translation and demonstrated the NBO in live sessions during the training and offered supervision during the virtual NBO sessions.   

New Japan Trainers: Mariko Iwayama and Eiko Saito sitting to Campbell Paul's left in the front row.

The Sixty-three trainees, included Nurses, Midwives, Psychologists, Physical Therapists, Child Workers, Speech Therapists and pediatricians participated in two trainings.  The first was held a the Red Cross Hospital in Tokyo and there second at the Red Cross Hospital at the University of Nagoya.  Drs. Iwayama and Saito are providing the mentoring, assisted by Drs. Paul and Nugent, via Skype. Many of the participants had already been trained in the NBAS by Dr. Ohgi, Dr. Masako Nagato and Yukiyo Nagai.  NBAS training has been offered in Japan by Dr. Ohgi and his colleagues since the 1980s.  

First NBO Training in Hong Kong

The first NBO training to take place in Hong Kong was organized by Joyce MOK, President of the Hong Kong Association for Infant Mental Health and KH Chung who is also on th executive Committee for the HKAIMH.  Thirty midwives, psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, social workers, physical therapists & occupational therapists took part in the training in September 2016.

Joyce MOK stands beside NBO trainers Campbell Paul and Kevin Nugent in the Hong Kong group photo.  See News from Around the World for more details.

The NBO and NBAS at the 15th World Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health in Prague

Among the 1600 delegates who attended the 15th World Association for Infant Mental Health Congress in the historic city of Prague - "the city of a hundred spires" - from May 29th to June 3rd., 2016, were over 70 NBO and NBAS Trainers and personnel, from 18 different countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America. Two symposia, one poster workshop, a series of individual posters and oral presentations featured work with the NBO and NBAS, while Kevin Nugent delivered a Master Lecture.  Our colleague, Campbell Paul, served as Chair of the Scientific Committee and reiterated the consensus view that it was a most successful and inspiring meeting and that the NBONBASInternational papers made a notable contribution to the Congress. 

A meeting of NBAS and NBO trainers was held at the WAIMH Conference Hotel on Sunday morning, May 29th.  The meeting was co-chaired by Kevin Nugent and Joanna Hawthorne and moderated by Susan Nicolson.  Conference presenters discussed their WAIMH presentations and this was followed by NBO and NBAS trainers discussing their training programs, followed by reports on on-going or planned research studies. Brief reports on a number of randomized controlled trials on the effects of the NBO on a range of outcomes, postpartum depression in particular, were presented: 

  • Denmark (Hanne Kronberg and Merethe Winter) 
  • Norway (Kair Slinning and colleagues) 
  • US (Beth McManus and Kevin Nugent with Yvette Blanchard and Jayne Singer)
  • Australia (Susan Nicolson and colleagues) 
  • South Africa (Katherine Frost, Nicky Dawson and Jade Richards) 
  • Brazil (Livia Magalhaes & Claudia Lindgren Alves). 

There was further discussion on the importance of reviewing NBO training and the critical role of mentoring and reflective practice.  A range of training models are in place, so that there was a strong recommendation that provision be made for further on-going on-line discussions on both training and on research.  This site will provide a forum for these discussions. 

On the same Sunday night, fifty-one NBAS and NBO trainers and friends gathered for dinner at the Francouzská Restaurace Art Nouveau in the old city. Trainers and future trainers from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden (represented by future Sweden trainer, Johanna Mansson), Switzerland, UK and USA were represented. Guests included, Bob Emde, Honorary President of WAIMH, Linda Gilkerson and her colleagues Mary Claire Hefron and Alison Steier, Roseanne Clark and Jeff, Linda Tuchman and Alan (US), Alex Harrison (US) and her colleagues, Alayne Stieglitz (US) and Neena Lyall (India), Patricia O'Rourke and Chris Rawlinson (Australia), Susanne Malcherek (Germany), Hanne Braarud (Norway), Dorith Wieczorek-Deering (Ireland) and Lynn Pridis (Australia).  A message from Joao Gomes-Pedro was read to all and greetings were sent to Berry Brazelton in Cape Cod and to Joao in Portugal and to other absent friends. 

The following are the NBO and NBAS related presentations featured at the conference:

Master Classes:

"The Newborn Period - the intervention points par excellence?" was presented by Kevin Nugent and another Master Class was presented by Eva Cignacco (Switzerland) entitled: Consequences of pain in preterm infants hospitalized in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.


An international symposium entitled, The Newborn Behavioural Observations (NBO): Focussing on community-based promotion of the parent infant relationship was convened by Susan Nicolson, while Kevin Nugent served as discussant.  It consisted of the following papers: 

NBO with premature infants and their parents in a home-based hospital setting; strengths, challenges and potential for further development by Kari SlinningUnni Vannebo & Frances Drozd (Norway).

The NBO at Ububele – “Uyazi! My baby knows me!” by Katherine Frost (South Africa).


NBO as a universal intervention in a Danish community-based population of parents and their newborn babies offered by 

Health Visitors. A pilot project by Merethe Vinter & Inge Nickell (Denmark)

NBO: 'Playing a small part at the start' for Koori families and their workers by Susan Nicolson, Campbell Paul & Danielle Dougherty (Australia).


A second NBO symposium, “Meeting the very sick baby in NICU and beyond: applying the Newborn Behavioural Observation (NBO) in supporting vulnerable relationships between the baby and her parents, from diverse international settings”, was moderated by Campbell Paul. Papers included: 

The newborn behavioural observation system (NBO) with high risk infants in the home setting in the USA by Yvette Blanchard, Beth McManus, Jayne Singer & Kevin Nugent (USA)

Promoting the parent-infant relationship: Using NBO in the neonatal unit to improve infant communication and parent understanding by Deanna Gibbs & Emily Hills (UK)


The Newborn Behavioral Observation as relationships building tool In Brazil: the perspective of mothers and professionals by Livia Magalhaes, E. Dittz, M. Guimaraes & Claudia Lindgren Alves (Brazil).

(Photo shows Livia Magalhaes presenting her paper at the conference, with Campbell Paul as Chair)

Enhancing the relationship between very sick newborn babies and traumatized parents using the Newborn Behavioural Observation by Megan Chapman & Campbell Paul (Australia)

Poster Workshop:

Implementing the NBO in home visiting for practitioners and parents: Facilitators: Joanna Hawthorne, (United Kingdom) & Susan Nicolson (Australia)

Evaluating the benefits of pre-NBO course preparation on health visitors' future practice by Jeanette Appleton & Inge Nickell (Denmark).

Bringing the baby back to the centre: incorporating the NBO into the Ububele Mother-Baby Home-Visiting Project by Katherine Frost, Nicky Dawson and Jade Richards (South Africa)

Factors affecting practitioners' ongoing use of the NBO six months after the NBO training course by Joanna Hawthorne (UK)

Use of the "consoling maneuvers" from the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale (NBAS) when home visiting with "irritable babies" by Betty Hutchon and Susana Nicolau (UK) 

Selected individual NBO and NBAS related presentations:

Implementation of the Newborn Behavioral Observation (NBO) system to promote sensitive parenting and infant self-regulation skills in families with mothers at risk for postnatal depression: A pilot project by Rakel Greve, Hanne Braarud & Kari Slinning (Norway).

Improvement of NBO model early intervention on mother-newborn interactions with prenatal anxiety and depression by Zhang, H. P., Zu, S.E., Sun, H. L., Duan, X. F., Zeng, J. A., Zhang, H. F., Sheresta, A., Zhu, Z.L., Li, H. (China) 

Introducing a relationship-based tool, the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) system to relieve parental stress and prepare families for discharge from neonatal intensive care by Natalie M. Duffy, Campbell Paul & Susan Nicolson (Australia)

A baby needs his father, especially when the baby is sick: going out of our way to include the potentially excluded father by Campbell Paul (Australia).

Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) training in Sydney, Australia, to keep place with rapid change in a large geographical area by Beulah Warren and M. Birch (Australia)

The Usefulness of the presentation of T. B. Brazelton's Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale in various clinical and research fields by R.A. Belot, A Caron, S. Richard and D. Vennat  (France and Belgium)

Integrating the Touchpoints Model into parenting support in a changing Portuguese society by M. Barbosa, Anna-Terese Brito & Joao Gomes-Pedro (Portugal)

Pregnancy to parenthood: training psychologists in perinatal and infant mental health by Lynn Priddis (Australia)

Born near the limit of viability - developmental outcomes during preschool years by Johanna Mansson & Karin Stjernqvist (Sweden)

Mindful self-regulation: a professional competency and learned skill by Linda Gilkerson (US).

Deepening our clinical practice in solidarity for social justice: diversity-informed infant mental health tenets by K. A. Frankel, Carmen Norona, K. Thomas & M. St. John (USA)

Using the PDI in Neonatal Intensive Care by Megan Chapman and Campbell Paul (Australia)

The grieving process in the loss of a twin or a triplet during the perinatal period by Marie-Paule Durieux and A. B. Johansson (Belgium)

Early discharge and follow-up strategies after childbirth by H. Verpe, S. Skotheim, M. Søvik, M. K. Malde, K. M. Stormark, U. Vannebo, L. Smith, V. Moe (Norway) 

20 years of cross-discipline shared learning: the evolution of university masters level training in infant mental health by Campbell Paul (Australia)

How to use the maternal looking guide (neonates): A training video for midwives by Patricia O'Rourke (Australia)

Supporting the development of reflective capacities: the integration of mindfulness meditation in a university-based infant, early childhood and family mental health certificate program by Roseanne Clark (USA)

Intensive mini course in infant parent mental health for caregivers in a developing country by Alexanda Harrison, Alayne Stieglitz, N. Lyall (USA and India)

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