We’re supporting Infant Mental Health Week.
The theme this year is ‘Understanding Early Trauma’.
Experiencing trauma in the earliest years can significantly impact children, creating difficulties into their adult years. Secure nurturing parent-infant relationships can protect children and reduce stress caused by trauma, limiting the long-term impact it has on the baby. Specialist support can help to strengthen these relationships and reduce the impact upon babies.
Why infant mental health matters
Infant mental health is the ability of infants to form close relationships, recognise, and express emotions and explore and learn about their environment. The way we interact with babies and infants helps shape their brain development.
Babies are born socially interactive and learn to manage their emotions in conjunction with their main caregiver. When we respond positively to infants and meet their needs, they develop trust, attachment and confidence in us as parents and caregivers.
How can I support my Baby’s Mental Health?
A nurturing relationship can make your baby more resilience to negative events:
- Seek, accept, and increase support.
- Offer a calm atmosphere and soothing activities.
- Take time out to recharge yourself.
- Be compassionate with yourself as a parent.
- Spend time just being with your baby. Newborn babies enjoy watching your face, listening to your voice, and being held.
- Respond to your baby by copying their facial expressions and sounds and give them time to respond back.
- Talk to your baby. Read a book together, sing songs. Words and praise through communication build self-worth and resilience.
Support in Cheshire East
The 0-19+ Service includes health visitors, community health nurses and Children’s Health Promotion Advisors. They are specialists in child health and development and provide a range of information, support, and advice to ensure families are fully supported to give their children the best possible start in life.
The Health Visiting Service delivers the Healthy Child Programme to all parents and families of pre-school children. The service is also delivered as part of the Parenting Journey Pathway in conjunction with colleagues from local Family Services.
The 0-19+ Service supports Infant Mental Health Awareness Week and is proud to raise awareness of the positive impact that strengthened parent-infant relationships can have on children’s lifelong wellbeing, physical and mental health.
To access support or any of the services above please call the Contact Hub on 0300 123 4058.