Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week-support available for parents

DID you know a baby’s brain makes more than one million new connections every second?

Their environment and interactions with people help shape the way their brains develop and the first two years of a baby’s life are important to their overall healthy development.

As part of Infant Mental Health Awareness Week (10 to 16 June), Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) is highlighting what infant mental health is, and the help available to parents who are struggling to bond with their baby or need support for their own mental health.

Ella Beatty, Assistant Psychologist for our Together With Baby Parent-Infant Mental Health Service, said: “Infant mental health is the social and emotional wellbeing and development of children during their early years of life.

“Good infant mental health enables babies to feel safe and secure, and ready to play, explore and learn.

“These early experiences, and their relationships with the people around them, play an important role in increasing opportunities for them to achieve their potential in later life, and lay the foundations for their ongoing social and emotional development.

“You can help your baby make healthy brain connections and feel loved and reassured through play, talking, reading and singing to them, physical touch and eye contact, comforting them, and  responding positively to any noises they make.

“It’s important to know that every parent or carer bonds with a baby at their own pace. Sometimes it happens during pregnancy, other times it could happen soon after the baby is born, or it could take some time.

“If you are struggling, please know you are not alone. There are many reasons why you may be finding it hard to bond with your baby, and I urge anyone who has any concerns to speak to their health visitor, GP or midwife as there is lots of support available.”


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