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All Babies Count: Why Babyhood Matters
March 25, 2017 @ 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
PSYCHOANALYTIC SECTION OF THE ICP LIMITED
The Squiggle Foundation and NSPCC
All Babies Count: Why Babyhood Matters
A day of discussion focused around an acclaimed five - part series of short documentaries “Breakdown or Breakthrough?
Pregnancy, birth and the first eighteen months of life”, led by Dr Amanda Jones and Angela Joyce (director Amy Rose). The documentaries explore the effects of perinatal breakdowns on babies, parents and the professionals who work with them (including midwives, social workers, health visitors, mental health professionals).
Highlighting the crucial issue of perinatal mental illness the NSPCC’s All Babies Count campaign underlines the
need for improved and earlier support for parents. It calls for the mental health of mothers and babies to be given the same priority as their physical health. The campaign report suggested that every year in the UK up to 200,000 babies under a year old are living in households in which substance misuse, domestic violence and mental illness are real problems. With research suggesting that up to twenty per cent of parents become emotionally unwell during the perinatal period, with an inevitable impact upon the emotional, neurological and cognitive development
of the baby, the question of how to help such parents and their babies is a pressing public health concern.
The five documentaries will be screened over the course of the day. Angela Joyce (training and supervising [psychoanalyst, Institute of Psychoanalysis, London) will chair the day, with Dr Amanda Jones (strategic & clinical lead, consultant perinatal psychotherapist, NELFT NHS Foundation Trust, Perinatal Parent Infant Mental Health Service) giving an introductory presentation.
There will be both large and small group discussions about each of the five films - led by practitioners in the field.
The films themselves highlight the central importance of babyhood and the consequences when a parent suffers a serious emotional breakdown during pregnancy and the postnatal period.
'Breakdown or Breakthrough?:Pregnancy, Birth and the First 18 Months of Life'
The five films, and subsequent discussion, will cover the following topics:
- The strain on clinicians working with babies and parents who are suffering, and why communication between professionals can break down.
- The emotional experience of being a baby - how this both gets revived in practitioners and, for the baby, is profoundly affected by the parental states of mind.
- The way in which violence in the parental couple can injure the bond between a mother and baby.
- How fathers can be forgotten - with professionals at risk of not thinking about the father’s emotional needs.
- The emerging findings that suggest a baby’s brain development is to some extent relationally co-created and influenced by the emotional environment in which the baby is living.
The films include contributions from the following:
Sue Gerhardt - psychoanalytic psychotherapist, author of 'Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain'.
Joanna Tucker - consultant parent Infant psychotherapist, OXPIP Clinical Director.
Graham Music - consultant child psychotherapist, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, author of 'Nurturing Natures: Attachment and Children's Emotional, Sociocultural and Brain Development'.
Rosie Jones - specialist perinatal health visitor, Thornton Heath, London.
There is no such thing as a baby-meaning that if you set out to describe a baby, you will find you are describing a baby and someone. A baby cannot exist alone but is essentially part of a relationship.
Donald Winnicott (paediatrician and psychoanalyst)
This particular period of time - the perinatal period - is a time of massive potential change. I think it's a unique opportunity for what I often imagine to be like a safety net needing to come together. Each one of those professionals (such as the midwife, GP, health visitor, maternity unit, social worker, perinatal team) is like a strand of that net that can catch this mother and baby."
Dr Amanda Jones
The Squiggle Foundation aims to study and develop the work of psychoanalyst and paediatrician Donald Winnicott - one of the principle influences on the leading child development experts of our time. Winnicott's work was primarily concerned with the psychological growth and well - being of children - particularly in relation to their mothers. Winnicott introduced the concept of the 'good enough mother' and the 'facilitating environment'. Like all Squiggle events, the conference is aimed at a wide target audience – including midwives, health visitors, general practitioners, nurses, nursery workers, social workers, child
psychologists, paediatricians, psychiatrists, counsellors and psychotherapists.
Angela Joyce is a training and supervising psychoanalyst with the Institute of Psychoanalysis in London. Angela's clinical interests include working with parents and babies where there has been a breakdown of mental health in the perinatal period. Angela co-edited 'Reading Winnicott' (2011), and her other publications include contributions to 'The Practice of Parent Infant Psychotherapy: Claiming the Baby' (2005) and 'Relational Trauma in Infancy' (2009). Angela is a
Trustee of the Squiggle Foundation, and will be chairing the conference in Dublin.
Dr Amanda Jones is strategic & clinical lead, consultant perinatal psychotherapist, NELFT NHS Foundation Trust, Perinatal Parent Infant Mental Health Service. She has been very involved in many aspects of perinatal issues, including doctoral research at the Tavistock Clinic in London, the award winning two - part Channel 4 documentaries 'Help Me Love My Baby' and the 'Breakdown or Breakthrough?' series of documentaries (inpartnership with the NSPCC and Warwick Medical School). Amanda will be setting the scene for the documentaries, and leading the subsequent discussion on the day