RCM launches publication to support mothers to talk to their baby

By RCM launches publication to support mothers to talk to their baby on 27 November 2019 MSW Week MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Midwifery Midwives

Supporting parents to improve child literacy is the aim of publication from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) published today.

The publication ‘Talking to Babies’ is a guide for maternity support workers (MSWs). The guide will help them to recognise when good parent infant interaction is being established. Crucially it will also enable them to spot when a woman may need additional help. MSWs would then discuss this with the midwives who will then offer additional help and support to the woman.

The publication comes during MSW Week running from 25th November to 1st December 2019. This is a week-long celebration of the contribution of MSWs to the care of women, babies and their families.

There is a clear connection between poor literacy and poverty and inequality. There is substantial evidence that inequality can be reduced when parents talk to their babies from an early age.

There are several reasons why parents might not talk to or relate to their babies. These include confidence, embarrassment, their own experiences, a lack of role models or being time poor. Some may not be feeling an emotional tie to the baby; or there may be mental health issues such as depression.

Michelle Lyne, Education Advisor at the RCM, said: “MSWs play a vital role in supporting women throughout and beyond pregnancy, along with their midwife colleagues. They see women throughout and after their pregnancy and are in a very good position to spot when women and their partners may need this additional support.

“It is never too early to start interacting with the baby and the evidence about its benefits - for mother and baby - is strong and growing.”

The guide also includes useful resources from the RCM, the BBC and other organisations that can offer additional information and support for MSWs.

The Talking to Babies publication can be viewed at https://www.rcm.org.uk/publications/?publicationtype=maternitysupportworkers&page=1. For more information on MSW Week 2019 go to https://www.rcm.org.uk/supporting/maternity-support-worker-week-2019/.

The RCM Position Statement on MSWs can be viewed at https://www.rcm.org.uk/media/2303/maternity-support-workers.pdf.

To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected]

The RCM has a number of modules to support MSWs on the contents of the publication on i-learn the RCM’s e learning platform for RCM members. The modules include, Nurturing infant mental health and Perinatal mental health.

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.