‘Bonding Before Birth’ announced as theme for Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2023
14 March 2023
The Parent-Infant Foundation has announced the theme and dates for this year’s Infant Mental Health Awareness Week (IMHAW). It will run from 12th to 18th June 2023.
IMHAW raises awareness each year of the importance of the First 1001 days. This year’s theme, ‘Bonding Before Birth‘, focuses on pregnancy, and how what happens during pregnancy can impact a baby’s future mental health and well-being.
Research shows that the experiences and relationships we have in the earliest years of our lives, including before birth, impact on the development of our brains. Stress and adversity experienced during pregnancy can have a negative impact on babies’ physical and mental health in the womb and as they grow up. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
IMHAW this year will highlight support for very early relationships and explain the need for specialised or targeted services for those families in most need.
Tamora Langley, Head of Policy and Communications at the Parent-Infant Foundation, said:
“Mums can start to bond with their baby before they’re born, when they’re in the womb. But if the mum is stressed or living in an unsafe environment, it can be harder for her to start that bonding process.
“This year’s Infant Mental Health Awareness Week will improve understanding of the importance of bonding before birth and build support for the vital services that help parents who are struggling.”
The Parent-Infant Foundation has set the theme and co-ordinated the organisation of Infant Mental Health Awareness Week for 7 years, during which time it has grown into a global event.
Further details will be released in the run-up to the week in June on our dedicated IMHAW page and on Twitter @First1001Days @ParentInfantFdn