Focus on Relationships
IN THIS ISSUE:
Author: Jo Spangaro
Author title: Dr
Description: This editorial discusses the importance of considering the mother and her child together when the woman is the victim of intimate partner violence
Description writer: Dr Jo Spangaro, Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia
Author: Anna Malmquist
Author title: Associate Professor
Description: Prospective parents in Sweden are offered antenatal education led by midwives. The composition of some classes is based on the family situation, and in Stockholm an LGBTQ-certified maternity clinic offers separate classes for LGBTQ parents. Women who attend separate antenatal classes for LGBTQ parents are generally highly satisfied with the programme. They emphasize that they feel comfortable with it, and that the discussed topics are relevant to them. On the contrary, women who attend regular antenatal education, in classes with different-sex couples, reflect on hetero-normativity in the education - midwives focus on stereotypic gender roles, and non-birth mothers’ situation is overlooked when the classes are divided into separate sub-groups for (pregnant) mothers and (non-pregnant) fathers.
Description writer: Anna Malmquist , Associate Professor, Linköping University, Sweden
Author: Alytia A. Levendosky, G. Anne Bogat, Jade Kobayashi, Olivia Wieda
Description: A pregnant mother spends time thinking about her baby and what he or she will be like, planning for the birth, and ‘nesting’. In other words, she focuses on the emotional connection between herself and the baby. In contrast to mothers, scientists today are most concerned about how the physiological relationship between the mother and fetus may influence the child after birth (e.g. DiPietro, 2010). There is a burgeoning field of prenatal stress research that examines how maternal stress, experienced during pregnancy, may lead to long-term mental and physical health consequences for children, after they are born (see Glover et al., 2010, for a review). The scientists and the mothers are each focused on an important component of the mother-fetus relationship. Understanding how each of these pieces fits together helps us to best understand maternal-fetal attachment.
Description writer: Alytia A. Levendosky, Michigan State University, USA; Anne Bogat, Michigan State University, USA; Jade Kobayashi, Michigan State University, USA; Olivia Wieda, Michigan State University, USA
Author: Rachel H. Farr, Samantha L. Tornello
Description: As LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) adults are increasingly becoming parents through a diversity of pathways in many places around the world, greater attention is needed to support the transition to parenthood and early child development. Two key questions relevant to prospective parents in same-sex couples and to the professionals who work with them are: ‘What is the impact of having a baby on same-sex couple relationships?’ and ‘What is the impact of having same-sex parents on infants’ early development?’
Description writer: Rachel H. Farr, University of Kentucky, USA; Samantha L. Tornello, Pennsylvania State University – Altoona, USA
Author: Esther Ignani, Ann Fudge Schormans
Author title: Esther Ignani, Associate Professor; Ann Fudge Schormans, Associate Professor
Description: This article arises out of ongoing research entitled, ‘Re-imagining Parenting Possibilities’, that is seeking to learn more about the parenting expectations and experiences of people labeled with intellectual and developmental disability (labeled people) and to help them realize and exercise their right to become parents. It addresses how culturally embedded ideas about ‘good’ and ‘normal’ parenting shape how people practice, plan and dream about parenthood, and how such ideas impose standards which marginalize labeled parents. The article also looks at practical issues of access which impede labeled people from obtaining necessary information and support and from utilizing parenting resources.
Description writer: Esther Ignani, Associate Professor, School of Disability Studies, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University, Ontario, Canada and Visiting Research Fellow, research Institute for Health and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK; Ann Fudge Schormans, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Author: Carolyn Blackburn
Author title: Research Fellow
Description: The Champion Centre, located in Christchurch, New Zealand, provides a relationship-based early intervention (EI) service for children with complex disabilities and their families. The programme is offered in a Centre-based model of service, in partnership with parents, and in accordance with international best practice. It advocates for children with disabilities through training and research. The author visited the Centre recently on a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship.
Description writer: Carolyn Blackburn, Research Fellow, Centre fr the Study of Practice & Culture in Education, Faculty of Health Education and Life Sciences, Birmingham City University, UK
Author: Dawn Cannon
Author title: AIMH (UK) Honorary Secretary, Director of Infant Mental Health Online
Description: AIMH (UK) is an interdisciplinary, not-for-profit association that exists to promote infant mental health through education, research, early intervention and treatment. It provides a forum for professionals to have access to up-so-date knowledge and evidence-based interventions that work in practice.
Description writer: Dawn Cannon, AIMH (UK) Honorary Secretary, Director of Infant Mental Health Online
Author: Amy Preece
Author title: Head of Gingerbread Wales, UK
Description: Gingerbread supports single parents and their families throughout the UK. It also provides support to practitioners working with parents. The Wales office runs a variety of pre-employment and work placement programmes, along with development and life skills projects.
Description writer: Amy Preece, Head of Gingerbread Wales, UK
Author: Nina Smith
Author title: Childbirth Educator
Description: Elisabeth Bing, described in America as the ‘mother of Lamaze’, died in May 2015 at the great age of 100. She was one of the founders of the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics (ASPO) which is now known across the world as Lamaze International.
Description writer: Nina Smith, Childbirth Educator
Finding time for each other
Description: This teaching activity aims to support the couple relationship in the early months of new parenting
Author: WAVE Trust
Description: In 2013, the WAVE Trust published ‘Conception to Age 2 – The age of opportunity’. In the words of Elizabeth Truss, then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Childcare in the UK, the Report, contained ‘recommendations to guide both national and local decision-makers and commissioners in reducing the causes of disadvantage at the earliest and most effective point in life’. It also included a detailed analysis of the economic benefits of early years’ intervention.
Description writer: WAVE Trust