IMHAW 2023 Bonding Before Birth
Infant Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place this week, from the 12th–18th June 2023, on the theme of ‘Bonding Before Birth’.
What is Infant Mental Health Awareness Week?
Infant mental health is an often overlooked and misunderstood subject. Infant Mental Health Awareness Week provides an annual opportunity to discuss the importance of babies’ mental health and wellbeing as well as some of the issues that affect it.
The Parent-Infant Foundation has set the theme and co-ordinated Infant Mental Health Awareness Week for seven years, during which time it has grown into a global event.
Why Bonding Before Birth?
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 as they grow, but this doesn’t have to be the case. The services in place to support mothers, birthing people, partners and families in pregnancy can make a huge difference. Our hope is that this year’s Infant Mental Health Awareness Week will increase awareness of the importance of bonding before birth, and build support for the services which we know can help.
Let’s celebrate bonding before birth during International Infant Mental Health Awareness week by sharing:
What are our hopes and dreams for babies?
Who is your baby in your world?
Are babies in our hearts and minds?
Ideas of things to do
- Post pictures, videos, thoughts, perceptions, feelings… anything! This is the one week a year when babies (or us on their behalf) get to use social media!!
- Talk to friends, family, colleagues, have a morning or afternoon tea to celebrate!
- Call up talk back radio and say ‘hey, it’s international infant mental health awareness week and I just want to get people to think about what it’s like for babies at the moment’. Tell them a story about your work, your baby, your friends’ and family’s babies.
- Share on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, TikTok… Hashtag #IMHAW2023
The Australasian Association for Infant Mental Health (AAIMH)
AAIMH is a national organisation of professionals from many fields who work with infants, young children, and their families. The Mission of AAIMH is to help give infants, young children and their families the best possible start in the important, early years of life by improving professional and community understanding that infancy is a critical time for the development of emotional, physical, cognitive, social and mental health.
“Infant Mental Health refers to the developing capacity of the infant and young child (from pregnancy to 3 years old) to experience, express and regulate emotions; form close and secure relationships; and explore the environment and learn, all in the context of the caregiving environment that includes family, community, and cultural expectations. (Osofsky & Thomas, Zero to Three, 2012)