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Twos need tenderness - report

Friday September 13th, 2013

The "terrible twos" should become the "tender twos", according to a major report yesterday calling for a new focus on the emotional welfare of babies.

The report highlighted the 1,001 days in a baby's life, following conception, as "critical".

Calling itself a manifesto, the report, backed by MPs from four parties and the NSPCC, calls for babies to have "loving, sensitive and responsive" relationships with at least one adult care-giver.

The report highlights the need for support for at-risk families and for services for women facing mental health problems.

And it says registration of births should be done in children's centres - ensuring new parents have contact with the centres.

Writing in the report, chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies said: "Science is helping us to understand how love and nurture by caring adults is hard wired into the brains of children.

"We know too that not intervening now will affect not just this generation of children and young people but also the next.

"Those who suffer multiple adverse childhood events achieve less educationally, earn less, and are less healthy, making it more likely that the cycle of harm is perpetuated, in the following generation."

The report was welcomed by the Royal College of Midwives.

Chief executive Cathy Warwick said: "Postnatal care is a real pressure point in the NHS at present, as resources are targeted to meet the demands of an increased birth rate.

"We look forward to the Government meeting its promises for maternal mental health that it launched last November."

Tags: Child Health | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Mental Health | Nursing & Midwifery | UK News | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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