The Hello it’s Me Project aims to engage a community around promoting safe, secure parent-infant relationships from the moment of birth. Using the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) system as an anchor, It shines a spotlight on the tremendous capacity for connection babies have when they enter the world, each with his or her unique way of communicating, while highlighting the need to support mothers and fathers, enlisting their natural expertise during this major and often disorganizing transition to parenthood.
What is the NBO?
The NBO is an infant-focused, family-centered relationship-building tool that draws on the work of renowned pediatrician T. Berry. Brazelton. While the medical model of care often puts the professional in the role of expert, this intervention seeks to shift that mindset, mobilizing parents' unique capacity to tune into and respond to their newborn. The 18 neurobehavioral observations of the NBO are not an assessment or evaluation. Rather, they offer a frame in which to support parents' earliest efforts to get to know their baby.
Used from birth to 3 months of age, the NBO demonstrates the baby’s behavior as a form of communication, supporting parents’ efforts to make sense of that communication. Parents who have experienced the NBO often remember it vividly years later. All caregivers and siblings can participate. The NBO creates time and space to make room for this new person within the family.
The NBO is used in over 20 countries around the world to promote healthy parent-infant relationships. To learn more see the Newborn Infant Network
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The Hello It’s Me Project will offer NBO training to all nurses on the Mother-Baby Unit of Berkshire Medical Center with the aim of integrating the NBO into routine care of newborns and their family.
Partners in the project include Berkshire Obstetrics and Gynecology where the program will be introduced in the prenatal period. Recognizing critical role of home visiting in promoting health parent-infant relationships the trainings will be offered to Healthy Families, Pediatric Development Center, and Parents as Teachers, and Berkshire Nursing Families with the aim of integrating the NBO into their respective programs. Recovery coaches in FIRST (Families In Recovery SupporT) Steps Together, a peer recovery and parenting support program for pregnant and parenting women with current or past opioid use disorder, will attend the trainings.
Claudia M. Gold MD is a pediatrician and writer with a longstanding interest in addressing children's mental health care in a preventive model. She has practiced general and behavioral pediatrics for 25 years, and currently specializes in early childhood mental health.
Dr. Gold's latest book is The Developmental Science of Early Childhood: Clinical Applications of Infant Mental Health Concepts From Infancy Through Adolescence (W.W. Norton & Co) February, 2017.
She is also the author of The Silenced Child: From Labels, Medications, and Quick-Fix Solutions to Listening, Growth, and Lifelong Resilience and Keeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Defiance, Tantrums, and other Everyday Behavior Problems by Seeing the World through Your Child’s Eyes.
Dr. Gold is on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts, Boston Infant-Parent Mental Health program, the Brazelton Institute, and the Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute