Transforming Infant Wellbeing

Transforming Infant Wellbeing : Research, Policy and Practice for the First 1001 Critical Days

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Transforming Infant Wellbeing brings together science and policy to highlight the critical importance of the first 1001 days of infancy: the period from conception to the second birthday. Introduced and edited by Penelope Leach, who uniquely combines academic knowledge of infant development with the ability to write about it for wide audiences, the book has at its heart 25 original articles by acknowledged experts in different aspects of infant health and development. Brought together, they showcase innovative science and best practices to a wide range of readers: to scientific colleagues in different disciplines; to politicians and policy makers; to local authority commissioners and specialist advisors, statutory and voluntary organisations and parents.

This book has a two-fold purpose in science and in social policy. First, to collect new papers by leading scientists in a single volume, which ensures they reach a broad audience. Second, by introducing and commenting on the significance of these new findings, the book highlights both the benefits that accrue to society when it acts accordingly, and the costs, financial and social, of our failure to do so.

In the last 50 years, interest in infant development and especially maternal and infant mental health has burgeoned. A large number of issues at the forefront of child development research mirror those of yesterday, but the research brought to bear upon them has transformed. Thanks largely to technological and statistical advances, we now know a great deal that researchers of earlier generations could only surmise. However, increasing knowledge of infancy has not been matched by an increasing impact on parents and professionals, politicians and policy makers. Bringing contemporary studies involving pregnancy, birth, infancy and toddlerhood together, along with the undisputed evidential findings that flow from them, large gaps between what is known and what is done become apparent. By focusing on what can be done to fill those gaps, Transforming Infant Wellbeing renders inescapable the need to rethink current priorities. It represents essential reading for researchers, parents and policy makers of infancy.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 284 pages
  • 159 x 235 x 17.78mm | 408g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 21 Line drawings, black and white; 12 Tables, black and white; 22 Illustrations, black and white
  • 1138689548
  • 9781138689541
  • 721,942

Table of contents



Part I. Issues in infant wellbeing

Fifty years of childhood

Penelope Leach

Changing society's attitudes to children and families

Al Aynsley-Green

Part II. Evidence

A: Early experiences and later outcomes

3. Circuits and circumstances: importance of earliest relationships and their context.

Robin Balbernie

4. Attachment theory: research and application to practice and policy

Pasco Fearon

5. Maternal representations in pregnancy: importance of the mothers' relationship with their unborn babies

Jane Barlow

6. Keeping the baby in mind: new insights into the links between maternal childhood trauma, mental health problems in pregnancy and outcomes for the child

Susan Pawlby, Dominic Plant, Carmine M. Pariante

7. Postnatal depression and the under-twos

Lynne Murray and Peter Cooper

B: Perinatal Risk Factors with demonstrable long-term ill-effects

8. Health inequalities and the importance of action on perinatal risk factors

Angela Donkin and Michael Marmot

9. Stacked odds: how social background can stifle early child potential

Chris Cuthbert

10. Antenatal and postnatal mental health problems: prevention and treatment

Alain Gregoire

11. Stress in pregnancy can change fetal and child development

Vivette Glover

12. Birth trauma

Diane S. Speier

C. Policies with potential to reduce risks and improve outcomes

13. Investing in early human development

Mary E. Young

14. What makes a difference? Supporting families in caring for children

Peter Fonagy

15. Evidence-based interventions for the first 1001 days

Kirsten Asmussen, Leon Feinstein, Haroon Chowdry, Jack Martin

16. Transforming infancy through paternity and parental leave

Margaret O'Brien

17. Towards an evidence-based population approach to supporting parenting in the early years

Matthew R. Sanders and Alina Morawska

D: Specific Programmes Demonstrating Improved Outcomes

18. Relationship-based interventions in the early years

Robin Balbernie

19. Child protection in the community: recognising and responding to signs of neglect

Ruth Gardner and Camilla Rosan

20. Mellow programmes for especially vulnerable parents and parents-to-be

Christine Puckering

21. Fathers in the perinatal period: taking their mental health into account

Jill Domoney, Jane Iles, Paul Ramchandani

22. 'SafeCare', the case for parent--infant language training

Angie S. Guinn, John R. Lutzker, Mark Chaffin

23. Video Interaction Guidance: promoting secure attachment and optimal development for children, parents and professionals

Hilary Kennedy and Angela Underdown

24. Life is 'like a box of chocolates': interventions with special-needs babies

Stella Acquarone

Part III Action

25. Themes arising

26. Norfolk Parent-Infant Mental Health Attachment Project (PRIMAP): working towards integration in attachment, mental health and social care

Verity Smith, Richard Pratt, Catherine Thomas and Danny Taggart

27. Building research findings into policy and policy into action

Timothy Loughton
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Review quote

"Whenever Penelope Leach writes about children and childhood, the world rightly listens. Young children's nurturance has been far too low a priority for decades. In assembling 25 leading-edge contributions showcasing the latest scientific thinking on infant wellbeing, Leach's much-needed new book will be a key resource for both advancing that science and for closing the yawning gap between what we know and what policy-makers do in and around early childhood. Anyone connected with young children's lives can't afford not to read it." (Dr Richard House, C.Psychol., founder of Early Childhood Action)

Something is badly wrong with the mental health of young Britons, and baby and toddlerhood is where it starts. The science now backs up what our hearts have always known: we have to take better care of young parents. Clear, and stunningly comprehensive, in this book Dr. Leach assembles an army of reasoned voices at the gates of government, calling for a revolution. (Steve Biddulph, AM)
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About Penelope Leach

Penelope Leach is a research psychologist specalising in infant development. She is a fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues, Birkbeck, University of London and of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust. She is a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Winchester.
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