IN THIS ISSUE:
Author: Jane Svensson
Author title: Dr
Description: Breastfeeding is an unparalleled way of providing the ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants (World Health Organisation 2011) and is now increasingly recognised for its protective role in the short and long-term health of the mother. With societal structure changing from extended families to that of nuclear, working families, frequently separated from their origins and extended family network, breastfeeding is a skill to be learned, not a ritual seen in daily life. When pregnancy is embraced as a remarkable experience, with many ‘teachable’ moments, it can be seen as the ideal time to prepare families for their breastfeeding experience. A recent Australian resource, ‘Breastfeeding and You: A Handbook for Antenatal Educators’, aims to offer educators research-based information and resources to capitalize on this teachable moment
Description writer: Jane Svensson, Midwifery Consultant, Royal Hospital for Women, Sydney, Australia
Author: Daphne Metland
Author title: Global Director for Maternal and Child Health, BabyCenter.com
Description: Parents use the internet but may lack the skills to determine what is accurate and what is useful from sites that scare or misinform. Educators working with parents at a key stage of their lives can help by guiding them to authoritative, accurate websites and helping them develop the skills they need to select useful evidence-based sites
Description writer: Global Director for Maternal and Child Health, BabyCenter.com
Author: Samantha Havis, Helen Darlaston
Author title: Samantha Havis, NCT Tutor, UK; Helen Darlaston, NCT Tutor, UK
Description: This article looks at some of the ways in which expectant and new parents use new media to access health information. We identify some of the benefits and risks of e-learning for parents, and explore tools and ideas that educators might find useful.
Description writer: Samantha Havis, NCT Tutor, UK; Helen Darlaston, NCT Tutor, UK
Author: Sarah B. Hrdy
Author title: Anthropologist
Description: Attachment theory grew out of the insights of psychologist, John Bowlby, into the need of primate infants to feel secure and to forge emotional attachments to a primary caretaker. This article challenges an underlying assumption about the universality of exclusive maternal care in primates. For practitioners working in the Very Early Years, it is vital to recognize the need to provide education and support to the whole family of carers who will assume responsibility for the baby, not just the mother.
Description writer: Sarah B, Hrdy, Anthropologist
Author: Anna Machin, Duncan Fisher
Author title: Anna Machin, Social and Evolutionary Research Group, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, UK; Duncan Fisher, Co-Founder of Family Included, familyincluded.com
Description: If human parenting has evolved to include both close and more distant relatives of the child, as this article argues, then it comes as no surprise that recent research has found that health and children’s services which connect with the resource that families represent for children achieve better outcomes than those which connect solely with the mother. All practitioners in the very early years who offer education and support across the transition to parenthood, need to work along the grain of human parenting, fully mobilising the children’s most valuable asset, their community of care.
Description writer: Anna Machin, Social and Evolutionary Research Group, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, UK; Duncan Fisher, Co-Founder of Family Included, familyincluded.com
Author: Joanna Hawthorne
Author title: Psychologist
Description: This article describes the reasons and techniques for observing baby behaviour closely, in order to support parents in a strength-based, collaborative way in the first three months of their baby’s life. The Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale (NBAS) and the Newborn Behavioural Observations (NBO) provide a structured framework of observations for both practitioners and parents, so that they can understand what care the baby is asking for. The NBAS is recommended in the 2009 UK Healthy Child Programme, (Department of Health) and both the NBAS and the NBO are recommended in the 2013 cross UK party manifesto, ‘The 1001 Critical Days’ and the National Health Visiting Service specification for 2014/2015
Description writer: Joanna Hawthorne, Psychologist, CEO Brazelton Centre, UK
Author: Alison Street, Sally Smith
Author title: Alison Street, Lecturer; Sally Smith, CEO Peeple
Description: Peeple is a charity which supports parents and children to learn together. It has grown from local beginnings as a charity for parents in Oxford in 1995, to become a nationally recognised organisation for supporting parents with their children’s early learning. Its work is based on two key messages from research: that the quality of the relationship between children and their parents or carers, and the quality of the learning environment at home, create an enduring legacy for later cognitive and social development. This is why working with parents is imperative if we want all children to have the opportunity to reach their full potential. The Peep Learning Together Programme (PLT) is the product of twenty years of research, practice and reflection and has been the subject of a number of independent evaluations. This article explains how Peeple began, outlines the theoretical basis for the programme, how it aims to support families and the challenges involved in this important work.
Description writer: Alison Street, Lecturer, Early Childhood Studies, Oxford Brookes University, UK, Tutor for MA in Early Childhood Music, Centre for Research in Early Childhood, Birmingham, UK; Sally Smith, CEO People
Author: Nina Smith
Author title: Childbirth Educator
Description: Grantly Dick-Read was one of the most influential figures in antenatal education, a true innovator and really original thinker. Many of his ideas are relevant to childbirth education today and birth and parent educators can benefit from reading his seminal book, ‘Childbirth without Fear’.
Description writer: Nina Smith, Childbirth Educator
Description: Tommy’s is a UK charity that funds research into pregnancy problems and provides information to parents. Founded by two obstetricians in 1992, it advocates for, funds and supports research that will enable doctors and midwives to tell families who have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth or a premature birth why this has happened to them. Even today, the cause of pregnancy loss is often not understood, but for the families affected, losing a baby changes their lives. Ongoing research and support are therefore vital.
Perceptions of labour and birth
Author: Shona Gore, Kay Cram
Author title: Shona Gore, IJBPE Associate Editor, London, UK; Kay Cram, Birth and Parent Educator, Brussels, Belgium
Description: This teaching activity aims to support self-efficacy by helping mothers and fathers analyse the representations that surround them of labour and birth, and to encourage them to explore their options for their own labour and birth.
Description writer: Shona Gore, IJBPE Associate Editor, London, UK; Kay Cram, Birth and Parent Educator, Brussels, Belgium