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April 2023

Care in surrogacy: Practice, ethics and regulations 

Description: TSupported by some high-profile celebrity cases, and more inclusive laws, there’s growing awareness of surrogacy as a means to start and grow families. However, surrogacy remains relatively rare and is not without its controversies. This supplement of the International Journal of Birth and Parent Education aims to consider and explain some of the key practical, legal and ethical questions that arise from surrogacy and to build practitioners’ confidence to provide excellent care to surrogacy teams. 


Emma Edwards is an experienced fertility clinic Nurse Manager in the UK.

Sarah Jones is a five-time surrogate and Chief Executive Officer of SurrogacyUK.

Emma Kenwright is a surrogate and a Clinical Leader at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, UK.

Fi Hennessy is a surrogate and pregnancy and post-natal massage specialist.

Dr Kirsty Horsey is a Reader in Law at the University of Kent and a specialist in UK surrogacy law and its reform.

Zaina Mahmoud is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Birmingham and a specialist in surrogacy regulation in the UK and USA.

Dr Herjeet Marway is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Birmingham, UK, and a specialist in global bioethics.

Dr Katherine Wade is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Leicester and a specialist in children’s rights.

April 2022

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in pregnacy

Authors: Rania Mansour, Mohammad S. Razai,  Fatima Husain,  Azeem Majeed,  Pippa Oakeshott

Description: The health risks for pregnant women who contract COVID-19 disease are concerning.  Unvaccinated pregnant women are more likely to require hospitalisation and treatment for COVID-19 compared to those vaccinated. Moreover, multiple studies report higher rates of intensive care admissions, greater requirement for invasive ventilation, and higher risk of death compared to non-pregnant women who have COVID-19. Approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, necessary, and important in pregnancy. Despite the protective effects of COVID-19 vaccination, uptake is very low among pregnant women compared to non-pregnant women in the UK and globally. Causes for vaccine hesitancy include lack of long-term safety data for COVID-19 vaccines, mixed messaging from healthcare providers, and mistrust of healthcare providers and the pharmaceutical industry. Strategies to improve vaccine roll-out include transparent, empathetic dialogue with pregnant women, recommendation by trusted sources of information such as a GP or midwife, offering vaccination during routine antenatal clinics, and generally making vaccination more convenient.

Description writer: 
Rania Mansour, Graduate Medical Student, Population Health Research Institute, St George’s, University of London, UK

Mohammad S. Razai, In-Practice Fellow, Population Health Research Institute, St George’s, University of London, UK

Fatima Husain, Consultant in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Wexham Park Hospital, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, Berkshire, UK

Azeem Majeed, Professor of Primary Care & Public Health, Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London, UK

Pippa Oakeshott, Professor of General Practice, Population Health Research Institute, St George’s, University of London, UK

January 2021

Educators’ experience of facilitating antenatal education online

Author: Professor Mary Nolan

Author title: PhD, MA, BA(Hons) RGN

Description: This study explored the experience of antenatal educators of facilitating online sessions during the Covid crisis. Twenty respondents were interviewed by the author in May and June 2020. Detailed notes taken during the interviews were analysed thematically. Three themes emerged: firstly, respondents’ difficulty in understanding whether they were meeting parents’ needs in the absence of feedback from body-language and limited questioning from parents; secondly, respondents’ desire to avoid lecturing rather than facilitating, and thirdly, respondents’ sense that delivering antenatal education online did not provide them with the multi-faceted experience of facilitating groups that they enjoyed in a face-to- face situation.

Description writer: Professor of Perinatal Education at the University of Worcester and Honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham, Editor The International Journal of Birth and Parent Education

January 2021

Online Infant Mental Training Resources of Professionals
Parent Infant Foundation

Author: Parent-Infant Foundation

Description: This document describes and reviews a range of current Infant Mental Health training opportunities and materials available online as of May 2020.

Description Writer: Searching and reviews were completed by a Consultant Clinical Child Psychologist with extensive knowledge of parent-infant work.

October 2020

Vitamin B12 in vegan pregnant and lactating women and young children
Roman Pawlak, Associate Professor,
East Carolina University, USA

Breastfeeding and Allergies
Claudia L. Gray,  Paediatric Allergist, Cape Town; Associate Professor of Paediatrics, University of Cape Town, South Africa

July 2020

10 Top Tips for Early Parenting Education
Mary Nolan,  Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Birth and Parent Education; Professor of Perinatal Education, University of Worcester

Summer 2019

How parents support young children’s understanding of things, people, numbers and words

Kirsten Asmussen, Head of What Works, Child Development, The Early Intervention Foundation, UK
Children are born with a set of skills that serves as the building blocks for all future learning. These skills include the ability to track moving objects, distinguish the features of the human face, discriminate between more and less, and recognise familiar voices. During the weeks following birth, these skills rapidly evolve into a more sophisticated set of competencies that provides the basis of children’s ‘core knowledge’ of how the world works. These competencies include children’s knowledge of objects, awareness of people, understanding of number and ability to use words.

January 2019

Services to support mothers and fathers with mild to moderate perinatal mental health problems: Clinical implications and recommendations

Christine Puckering, Programme Founder, Mellow Parenting
Clare Sarah Allely, Reader in Forensic Psychology, University of Salford, England
This paper interrogates the literature on services to support mothers or fathers with perinatal mental health problems. It highlights the need for robust assessment tools, training and continuous support to empower professionals and voluntary sector workers to identify perinatal mental health problems. These problems can be overlooked when professionals are too stretched to tackle issues for which they fear they do not have adequate solutions, and when parents-to-be and new parents are wary of revealing mental health problems which they see as deviating from expectations of being a perfect parent. A second paper, to be published in a later issue of the IJBPE, will present the findings of a qualitative study of the views of parents, practitioners and commissioners on the best ways to implement perinatal mental health services.

Winter 2017


Janna van Belle, RAND Europe
This article discusses the role that early education plays in ‘breaking the cycle of disadvantage’; the role that social inequality plays in access to, and use of early education, and the ways in which attending early education in turn can help to reduce social inequality. Whilst the focus is on the situation in the UK, evidence and examples of policies and their impact from other countries are also cited.

Autumn 2017


The Relationship with the Unborn Baby: Why it Matters
Jane Barlow, Professor of Evidence-Based Intervention and Policy Evaluation in the Department of Public Health and Professorial Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford President of the Association of Infant Mental Health UK

Spring 2017


Antenatal Anxiety and Depression: What Should We Be Doing?
Jane Barlow, AIMH UK President, Professor of Public Health in the Early Years, University of Warwick

Autumn 2016


Improving Attachment in Babies: What Works?
Jane Barlow, AIMH UK President, Professor of Public Health in the Early Years, University of Warwick

Spring 2016


Improving Relationships in the Perinatal Period: What Works?
Jane Barlow, AIMH UK President, Professor of Public Health in the Early Years

March 2016

2016 Conference

Parent Education Today: Walking the Walk Practice
Pointers from the Conference Workshops

Supporting mums with learning disabilities
Fathers and breastfeeding
Helping with excessive crying
Making music with infants FAQs about home birth

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