During this year’s Infant Mental Health Awareness Week, PIP UK hosted the Infant Mental Health Awards, this year centred on the theme ‘Begin Before Birth’, to highlight the importance of giving every baby the best possible start in life.
FNP was recognised in two award categories, with the Locality award for mental health inclusion going to the Halton Integrated Perinatal and Infant Mental Health team (made up of the Halton FNP team alongside local midwives, health visitors, Infant feeding team, Children’s Centre staff and CCG), and the FNP National Unit’s Pip O’Byrne being named runner up for the Infant Mental Health Practitioner.
The Halton Integrated Perinatal and Infant Mental Health team received its award for the collaborative work that has taken place through the Halton Healthy Early Years Group, an initiative to support mums with perinatal mental health, preparing for parenthood and developing positive attachment. The group is the main driver in developing an integrated approach to parent and infant mental health in Halton to help achieve positive child development in the area.
The FNP team has been highly involved in many aspects of the integrated approach in Halton, including ‘Your Baby and You Parent Craft’ – group sessions for new parents-to-be. Parent Craft is made up of four sessions, one of which, on the transition to parenthood, is run by the FNP team. Alongside other sessions on labour, feeding and baby cues, the FNP team speak to mums and dads of all ages about attachment, babies brains, mental health of both parents and infants and the many hats of parenthood.
“This is a real team approach!” says Therese Woods, FNP Supervisor in Halton. “All of the FNP nurses in the Halton team have delivered the session, and it’s great that we’re working so collaboratively with other teams in the area. We’re really helping parents during pregnancy to look after themselves and their babies and promote healthy child development.”
“We’ve had some brilliant feedback from parents about the groups, and it’s wonderful to watch parents learn and get the relevant support that they need.”
The team beat off competition from six other nominees: “We were over the moon to win, and we couldn’t believe it when all of the runners-up were announced and there was only us left. I’m really proud that the FNP team are part of what we’re achieving in Halton, the difference we’re making and the support we’re providing.”