INFANT Mental Health Awareness Week is being marked this week (June 10 to 14), with this year’s focus being ‘Difficult Beginnings’.

The birth of a baby can be an exciting time, but many women and their partners can experience difficulties during pregnancy, the birth and after the baby is born.

Pre and post birth is a crucial time for a baby’s social and emotional development, so it's important that parents and carers get the right support.

To mark the week, a number of Better Start Bradford projects will deliver a range of events and workshops to raise awareness of some of the difficulties parents can face and the way in which such difficulties can affect the baby.

It will also highlight the range of support available to help parents and babies who may be experiencing difficult beginnings.

The Better Start Bradford projects involved, are: Little Minds Matter: Bradford Infant Mental Health Service, Baby Steps, Bradford Doulas, Talking Together, Personalised Midwifery Care and the Perinatal Support Service.

Events include a workshop on preparing for birth after a traumatic experience, a baby massage session, a dad’s event and a workshop about experiences during maternity care and the impact on maternal and infant mental health.

Gill Thornton, Head of Programme at Better Start Bradford, said: “It’s great that so many of our projects are running events during Infant Mental Health Awareness Week.

"Healthy first relationships are critical for a baby’s development and a difficult start isn’t the end of the story. There are lots of projects and services available to help and support parents and babies.”

Dr Matthew Price, Clinical Lead and Clinical Psychologist at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust for the Little Minds Matter: Bradford Infant Mental Health Service project, added: “We are thrilled that so many services and professionals are coming together to recognise that our experiences as babies lays the foundation of future mental health and wellbeing. My team is really looking forward to running several workshops with other Better Start Bradford projects.”

Better Start Bradford provides over 20 projects for pregnant women and families with babies and children aged under four in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton.

To find out more about the range of events happening during Infant Mental Health Awareness Week, visit