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Infant Mental Health

The following pathway should not be read as stand-alone and MUST be read in conjunction with Section 3: Pathways.

  • The Infant Mental Health pathway specifically needs to be considered in conjunction with the Parental Mental Health and Wellbeing pathway.
  • The pathway identifies early poor attachment issues and its management.

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Birth - 6 weeks

Birth - 6 weeks

Ensure appropriate care pathways in place for mother and baby when mother unwell mother at birth/soon after.

Health Visiting

If mother physically unwell transfer to ITU,HDU where possible with mother.

Mental health admisisons to Mother and Baby Unit where possible.

Birth - 6 weeks

Ensure appropriate ongoing and consistent care provision.

Health Visiting

In partnership with SW/HV team and family Assess who will care for baby and support family and transfer as required to:

  • NICU
  • Post Natal Ward
  • Home with relative
  • Paediatric Ward

Birth - 6 weeks

Ensure appropriate ongoing and consistent care provision.

Health Visiting

Birth - 6 weeks

Ensure appropriate ongoing and consistent care provision.

Health Visiting

Discharge home notification to GP and HV.

Prior to 28 days midwife to visit , post 28 days referral to relevant community professionals.

3 - 8 weeks

Additional Visit following New Birth Visit and any Follow-up Visiting schedule.

In cases where there are identified concerns regarding parental bonding and attachment, parental emotional availability and inappropriate parental expectations.

Health Visiting

Targeted support to:

  • Assess the need for additional parental support
  • Encourage the building of parental resilience through family support.
  • Promote fathers / family involvement
  • Manage parental mood concerns through action planning in partnership with parent/s.
  • Promote access to counselling services
  • Deliver infant massage - undertaken at home, one to one.
  • Encourage use of media tools e.g. social baby to promote sensitive, attuned parenting on an individual basis.

Liaison, information sharing and communication with GP and/or other appropriate professionals and services.

Promotion and facilitation of social integration by signposting to Postnatal Health Promotion Group and Children’s Centre groups.

0 - 6 weeks

Core Purpose 2

Outreach home visiting family support.

Health Visiting

Needs led service and encompasses issues such:

  • Promoting positive bonding -use of tools such as Brazelton NBO
  • Targeted one:one infant massage – home based
  • Support to access appropriate groups/specialist groups
  • Liaison with other agencies and communicate effectively and share information

Referrals where additional needs are presented for parenting support.

8 weeks - 6 months

8 weeks - 6 months

Follow-up Visiting schedule.

In cases where there are identified concerns regarding parental bonding and attachment, parental emotional availability and inappropriate parental expectations.

Health Visiting

Targeted support to:

  • Prevent or manage early indications of insecure attachment
  • Assess the need for additional parental support
  • Encourage the building of parental resilience through family support.
  • Manage parental mood concerns through action planning in partnership with parent/s.
  • Promote fathers / family involvement
  • Offer Listening Visits to support transition to parenthood.
  • Promote access to counselling services
  • Deliver infant massage - undertaken at home, one to one.

Encourage use of media tools e.g. social baby to promote sensitive, attuned parenting on an individual basis.

Liaison, information sharing and communication with GP and/or other appropriate professionals and services.

Promotion and facilitation of social integration by signposting to Postnatal Health Promotion Group and Children’s Centre groups.

Consider support and referral to specialist intervention services if required.

6 weeks - 6 months

Core Purpose 2

Outreach home visiting family support.

Childrens Centres & EYFS

Needs led service and encompasses issues such:

  • Promoting positive bonding and parenting skills
  • Targeted one: one infant massage – home based

Provide early detection of health issues.

Support to access appropriate groups/specialist groups.

Liaison with other agencies and communicate effectively and share information.

6 weeks - 6 months

Core Purpose 2

Facilitate information sharing & support joint working.

Health Visiting

Signpost to a range of support service relevant to the individual families needs.

6-12 months

6-12 months

Follow-up Visiting schedule.

In cases where there are identified concerns regarding parental bonding and attachment, parental emotional availability and inappropriate parental expectations.

Health Visiting

Targeted support to:

  • Prevent or manage early indications of insecure attachment
  • Assess the need for additional parental support
  • Encourage the building of parental resilience through family support.
  • Manage parental mood concerns through action planning in partnership with parent/s.
  • Promote fathers / family involvement
  • Offer Listening Visits to support transition to parenthood.
  • Promote access to counselling services
  • Deliver infant massage - undertaken at home, one to one.
  • Encourage use of media tools e.g. social baby to promote sensitive, attuned parenting on an individual basis.

Liaison, information sharing and communication with GP and/or other appropriate professionals and services.
Promotion and facilitation of social integration by signposting to Postnatal Health Promotion Group and Children’s Centre groups
Consider support and referral to specialist intervention services if required.

6 months - 1 year

Core Purpose 2

Outreach home visiting family support.

Childrens Centres & EYFS

Needs led service encompasses issues such:

  • Promoting positive bonding and parenting skills
  • Encourage the building of parental resilience through family support.
  • Provide early detection of health issues.

Support to access appropriate groups/specialist groups.

Liaison with other agencies and communicate effectively and share information.

6 months - 1 year

Core Purpose 2

Facilitate information sharing & support joint working.

Childrens Centres & EYFS

6 weeks - 1 year

Core Purpose 2

Targeted support which promote Infant Mental Health to reflect local demographic data and need e.g. teenage parents/travellers/BME programme.

Childrens Centres & EYFS

Targeted groups sessions to reflect local demographic need.

Needs led service encompasses issues such:

  • Promoting positive bonding and parenting skills
  • Encourage the building of parental resilience through family support.

Provide early detection of health issues.

Support to access appropriate groups/specialist groups.

Liaison with other agencies and communicate effectively and share information.

1 - 3 years

1 - 3 years

Follow-up Visiting schedule.

In cases where there are identified concerns regarding parental bonding and attachment, parental emotional availability and inappropriate parental expectations.

Health Visiting

Health Visiting

Targeted support to:

  • Prevent or manage early indications of insecure attachment
  • Assess the need for additional parental support
  • Encourage the building of parental resilience through family support.
  • Manage parental mood concerns through action planning in partnership with parent/s.
  • Promote greater father involvement through attendance at infant groups to promote play and guided observation.
  • Offer Listening Visits to support transition to parenthood.
  • Promote access to counselling services
  • Deliver infant massage - undertaken at home, one to one.
  • Encourage use of media tools e.g. social baby to promote sensitive, attuned parenting on an individual basis.

Liaison, information sharing and communication with GP and/or other appropriate professionals and services.

Promotion and facilitation of social integration by signposting to Postnatal Health Promotion Group and Children’s Centre groups.

Consider support and referral to specialist intervention services if required e.g. attachment-oriented or parent–infant psychotherapy interventions &/or evidenced based parenting programmes and monitor results.

1 - 3 years

Core Purpose 2

Targeted support which promote Infant Mental Health to reflect local demographic data and need e.g. teenage parents/travellers/BME programme.

Health Visiting

Targeted groups sessions to reflect local demographic need.

Needs led service encompasses issues such:

  • Promoting positive bonding and parenting skills
  • Encourage the building of parental resilience through family support.

Provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues.

Support to access appropriate groups/specialist groups.

Liaison with other agencies and communicate effectively and share information.

1 - 3 years

Core Purpose 2

Facilitate information sharing & support joint working.

Health Visiting

Signpost to a range of support services relevant to the individual families needs.

3 - 5 years

3 - 5 years

Follow-up Visiting schedule.

In cases where there are identified concerns regarding parental bonding and attachment, parental emotional availability and inappropriate parental expectations.

Health Visiting

As above in 1 - 3 years age range plus:

  • Carry out early years setting observations to ascertain behaviour patterns and identify disordered attachment.

Birth - 5 years

Core Purpose 2

Targeted early intervention and consultation to reduce the need for more complex service intervention.

Childrens Centres & EYFS

Early support for individual vulnerable /targeted families by Social Worker attached to the Children’s Centre.

Birth - 5 years

Targeted Support

Facilitate Joint working and support integrated care planning.

Primary Care & GP

Working with other key partners provide support for families with issues that are affecting Infant Mental Health.

Consider support and referral to specialist intervention services if required e.g. attachment-oriented or parent–infant psychotherapy interventions &/or evidenced based parenting programmes and monitor results in partnership with HV team.