LEAP NEWS - LEAP hosts pregnancy learning and development event

Last week (Thursday 28 September and Friday 29 September), LEAP welcomed all the “A Better Start” areas to Lambeth for a pregnancy learning and development event. The day involved looking at the antenatal services currently available, work that is being done to improve them and what the ideal pregnancy service would look like.

LEAP is part of A Better Start which is a Big Lottery funded campaign focusing on improving early years services from pregnancy to the age of four in wards in Lambeth, Southend, Nottingham, Blackpool and Bradford.

The learning and development day was attended by staff, experts, practitioners and parents from each of the areas. A Better Start aims to share learning across all the regions and so these types of sessions are vital for continuing an innovative approach to improving services.

The two days involved keynote talks from experts and practitioners, as well as workshops and group work looking at what works in different areas and innovative ways improvements can be made.

Highlights of the event include talks from Professor Mark Hanson from the University of Southampton looking at the developmental origins of disease, as well as Professor Rebecca Reynolds from the University of Edinburgh who talked on why the pregnancy period is so important for child development. We also welcomed a special guest in Dr Carla Stover, Associate Professor and clinical psychologist from the University of South Florida and Yale University who talked about domestic violence in pregnancy.

There were short films featuring the opinions of parents from each local area and also one from Professor of Epidemiology at University College London Sir Michael Marmot.

As well as talks, we showed off our local facilities giving parents from the other A Better Start regions a guided tour around the Henry Fawcett Children’s Centre. There was also a panel discussion featuring our own LEAP Breastfeeding Peer Supporter Robyn Nalty and LEAP Parent Champion Stephanie Marcus-Jones.

Throughout the two days everyone also took part in collaborative workshops hosted by ‘Stormz’, collecting data information and ideas and getting discussions going about what does and what doesn’t work.

Overall it was a very useful and informative couple of days that got people excited about improving how antenatal services are developed and delivered.

Laura McFarlane Director of LEAP said “It was a fantastic few days with some great speakers and productive workshops.

“We came away with much food for thought and a renewed determination to make sure all residents in our Lambeth wards are getting the best antenatal services possible.” 

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