Yesterday I spoke at the 2015 Association for Infant Mental Health conference in Northampton where we were examining the moral, scientific, and economic case for investment in the antenatal period bringing together science and policy.
Key themes included:
Prevalence of mental health problems in the antenatal period
Consequences of rapidly developing foetus
The role of mother’s own childhood experiences in terms of her antenatal mental health
Intergenerational transmission of mental health problems
Foetal behaviour and responses to maternal stress
Epigenetics and the antenatal period
Evidence based methods of working to support mother and unborn baby
Economic costs of antenatal mental health problems
It was a pleasure to speak alongside leading experts in this field, and I was grateful to share a platform with Dr Susan Pawlby, Professor Vivette Glover, Professor Jane Barlow and others.