New NHS Parent-Infant Relationship Service for Blackpool residents launches in 75th Year of the NHS

This week for Maternal Mental Health week, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals is highlighting a service now available to new and expecting parents.

Blackpool Better Start partnership was successful in securing the funds for this new service, which is now provided by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.

The team is accepting referrals from any services working with carer givers when a parent-infant relationship difficulty has been identified and the family would like support to strengthen this important relationship.

The Parent-Infant Relationship Service (PaIRS) is a specialist multi-disciplinary team and focuses on the very special relationship between parents and infants that develops in the first 1,001 days of life, from conception to age two. Babies are completely reliant on their caregivers and later development is heavily influenced by the loving attachment babies have to their parents, therefore early positive interactions with caregivers are vital to building healthy brains.

Some parents fall in love with their babies immediately, but for some parents it takes time to get to know their baby. It is common to feel overwhelmed, feel a dip in confidence and struggle with new responsibilities as a new parent or carer.

PaIRS provides a safe space to help parents overcome these difficulties and develop new capacities to provide the sensitive, responsive, and appropriate care that their babies need to thrive. They build on the strengths of parents while recognising the challenges they may face in developing a positive relationship with their infant.

Tracy Greenwood, Service Manager, commented: “There are lots of reasons why developing a relationship with a baby can be difficult for parents and it is more common that most people think. Our team will work directly with infants and their parents/carers, as well as those who work with families, to help understand and support this relationship.

“We can work one-to-one with you and your child or in one of our group settings where you’ll be able to share feelings and experiences with other parents.”

Anyone who is struggling with feelings towards a baby or child, is encouraged to speak to their midwife, health visitor or GP about being referred into PaIRS… there are services that can help.

One in five women experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or the early postnatal years.

Across Maternal Mental Health Week, starting Tuesday 2 May, Blackpool Teaching hospitals is hosting a series of events where anyone can talk about a woman’s mental health as much as physical health. On Friday there will be a special focus on support available to dads. The week long activities will be held at Blackpool Victoria’s main entrance until Friday, 10am – 4pm.

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