Worcester Professor launches ‘timely’ birth and parent education journal

The UK’s first ever Professor of Perinatal Education, the University of Worcester’s Professor Mary Nolan, has launched a new journal which will share policy, research and best practice in parent support and education for the transition to parenthood.

The quarterly publication, The International Journal of Birth and Parent Education, is described as ‘essential reading’ for perinatal educators, health visitors, midwives, maternity nurses and family link workers.

At last month’s launch conference, held at the University of Worcester, Professor Nolan was joined by speakers including Kate Billingham CBE, Senior Advisor: Nurse Family Partnership International, Chris Cuthbert, the NSPCC’s Head of Strategy and Development, and University of Worcester Vice Chancellor Professor David Green, who told delegates that the journal could ‘depend on the University’s support’.

Professor Nolan, Editor of the journal, said: “The time is now for this journal. Not just in the UK but globally, the transition to parenthood –the vital 1001 days from when a child is conceived to when he or she turns two – is very much in the spotlight.

“This transition phase is the subject of Government policy and huge public interest.

“We know that there is a diverse range of highly motivated practitioners working in this area, and they deserve a journal which will address their needs, and help them provide great service, love and support to new mothers and fathers. This is really what the journal is focused on – service delivery.”

The journal, which will include articles written by a range of experts, will report and analyse political and professional developments in the field of transition to parenthood, as well as featuring scholarly articles on issues such as factors affecting the development of the unborn baby and how the transition to parenthood affects parents’ relationships with each other, their families and the wider community.

Mr Cuthbert, who is also an Editorial Board member, says: “There has been an explosion of new insight in this area in the last ten to fifteen years, and there are some very innovative developments taking place.

“The journal is, therefore, really timely in terms of sharing the very exciting programmes that people from the many disciplines involved in parent education and support are developing, teaching and leading.”

Andrea Leadsom MP, who recently co-authored a cross-party manifesto on the importance of the first 1001 days, has backed the journal, calling it ‘an important step forward for the early years agenda’.

The Conservative MP for South Northamptonshire adds: “The journal takes a holistic approach – bringing together front line health and education practitioners, from health visitors to children’s centre staff, to share knowledge and experience of the early years.

“I hope it will add to the wealth of knowledge we now have, and I look forward to reading many more editions.”