As research in neuroscience increasingly points to the unparalleled influence of the first 1000 days of life from conception to two years of age in determining the baby’s life trajectory, the need for high-quality early parenting education delivered by knowledgeable and dedicated professionals becomes ever more apparent.
This book describes the global aims of early parenting education. It identifies the key areas that research suggests are important: building a relationship with the unborn and newborn baby; preparing for labour and birth; supporting parents’ mental health; protecting the couple relationship across the transition to parenthood; and education for special groups such as same-sex couples, women with fear of birth, prisoners, military wives and parents from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
All practitioners providing early parenting programmes – midwives, health visitors, family link workers, children’s centre staff and voluntary sector teachers – will gain new ideas for their practice in this book. Students taking midwifery and early childhood courses will find much to support their studies. Ultimately, the book provides inspiration for all those who are committed to the role of parenting education in reducing social inequalities.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Aims of Early Parent Education 3. Effective Parent Educators: Skills and Relationships 4. Supporting Parents’ Prenatal Relationship with their Baby 5. Stress and Relaxation: Education for a Calm Pregnancy 6. Education and Support for Normal Birth 7. Education and Support for Home Birth 8. Education and Support for Women with Fear of Childbirth 9. Debriefing Women following Childbirth: Birth Story Workshops 10. Education and Support for Fathers 11. Education and Support for the Couple Relationship across the Transition to Parenthood 12. Education and Support for Same-Sex Couples 13. Education and Support for Interacting with the Baby: Emotional Regulation and Relationship Learning 14. Education and Support for Breastfeeding 15. Education and Support for Young Mothers 16. Education and Support for Mothers and Fathers in Prison 17. Education and Support for At-Home Parents in Military Families 18. A Note on Education and Support for Parents of Twins 19. A Note on Early Parenting Education for Mothers and Fathers from Minority Communities 20. The Way Forward: Preconception Education and Support
Mary L. Nolan trained as a birth and parenting educator in the UK with the NCT (formerly the National Childbirth Trust). She has taught both parents and educators across the world, and has published extensively in academic, professional and popular journals. Since 2007, she has been Professor of Perinatal Education at the University of Worcester, UK.
"This is a book which is long overdue. It is a must-have resource for anyone involved in teaching/facilitating transition to parenting. Written by one of the leading world experts in the field, it serves as both a guide for practice and an academic text with an up-to-date evidence base that addresses a range of different needs in parental terms." – Lorna Davies, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand