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Importance of early experiences to be highlighted at infant mental health conference, 30/01/13 [W]

The way mothers and fathers understand and respond to their baby’s feelings is crucial to their wellbeing and development. Support for families in a baby’s first years can increase the likelihood that they will form secure attachment with their parents, which is crucial for their subsequent development. Supporting mothers and fathers’ well-being and supporting them to nurture their baby’s emotional health is increasingly being recognised to be as important as the traditional focus on the physical health of the mother and child.

Academics and practitioners from the children’s sector are coming together to discuss important research and practice in this area at Children in Wales’ event Promoting Infant Mental Health at Future Inns, Cardiff Bay, on 6 February 2013.

The conference will be looking at the range of factors that can affect a mother’s ability to bond with a baby such as post-natal depression and the important role father’s play. As well as current research, delegates will also look at how services can support mothers and fathers in pregnancy and the first crucial years after birth.

Children in Wales has confirmed a programme of excellent speakers for the event which include:

Dr Amanda Jones, Head of North East London NHS Foundation Trust’s Tier 3 Perinatal/Parent-Infant Mental Health Service, trained as a family therapist and was involved in the Channel Four documentaries ‘Help me love my baby,’ winner of the 2007 Royal Society of Television’s Best Factual Programmes Award

Professor Dale Hay, Cardiff University studies the developmental origins of co-operation, conflict and interpersonal relationships in children

Dr Jane Hanley, Swansea University will be examining the impact of postnatal depression

Adrienne Burgess, Joint CEO at the Fatherhood Institute in London who will be exploring the important role of the father


  1. This event, Promoting Infant Mental Health, will be held on Wednesday 6 February at Future Inns, Cardiff Bay. Further details can be found here: https://www.childreninwales.org.uk/19957.html
  2. For further information, please contact Lucy Akhtar or Eleri Griffiths (Welsh speaker) on 02920 342434 or email lucy.akhtar@childreninwales.org.uk or eleri.griffiths@childreninwales.org.uk
  3. Children in Wales is the national umbrella organisation for voluntary, statutory and professional organisations and individuals who work with children and young people in Wales. Children in Wales is a registered charity which aims to promote the interests of children, to improve services in Wales and to put children high on the Welsh agenda.  We work closely with our members who comprise professionals, policy makers and consumer groups to improve the lives of all children living in Wales, but especially young children, those affected by family instability, children with special needs or disabilities, and those suffering the effects of poverty and deprivation.  We collect and disseminate information about children and promote good practice in children’s services through research, policy and practice development, publications, conferences, seminars, training and access to an extensive library and information service.