What happens in a session

A Babies1st practitioner meets with you (and your partner) and discusses your hopes, expectations and concerns. The practitioner will film you either with your bump, if you are pregnant, or with your baby for a short while, then edits the film to identify the best moments. After a break you look together to see what makes these moments special. This is called one cycle and can take up to two hours.

Benefits

Research has shown that this way of supporting families helps parents to:

  • Read baby’s cues appropriately

  • Strengthen parent baby bonding and having fun

  • Support baby’s brain development

  • Become more relaxed, attuned and confident

  • Improve communication between parents

  • Strengthen the couples relationship

Parent’s feedback

Parents feedback is overwhelmingly positive.

Chloe:I was surprised and found it so helpful to see myself in those friendly images my guider showed.”

Sarah:Looking at myself with my baby Tarek was an eye opener. What I saw was so different from how I had felt. It helped me to understand that I was being sensitive to him and I was a good parent. I would recommend doing it, for sure.”

Helen: “I felt anxious to get things right for my baby Zoe. Seeing her on film, thinking with my guider about what she may be feeling, helped me to realise I was doing a good job.”

How much does it cost?

The usual cost of one session is £50. We offer a sliding scale because our philosophy is to offer our work to ALL parents who want it. Our trainee affiliates are seeing clients for donations only. You will discuss with your guider what you can afford in your first meeting.

All contributions are welcome as they will support us to continue our work with parents and babies.

Parents usually attend between 1 – 3 cycles (one cycle is one film and one Shared Review, when you look at the film together). The number of cycles will depend on your situation, needs, and wishes.

Extra Support

Some parents struggle to bond with their babies. You may have experienced a traumatic birth, insensitive parenting in your childhood, or suffer from prior mental health problems. If this is the case you can benefit from extra support and filming you and your baby can be a good way to provide this. A new baby can increase the stress in the family. We can help you to identify your strengths and look for constructive ways of coping with the new challenges.

We provide consultations, training and supervision for professionals. Our philosophy is to avoid jargon and be accessible to all, irrespective of prior academic learning.

The benefits of VIG as a strength-based intervention are mentioned in three NICE guidelines. Many perinatal mental health teams across the UK choose to learn VIG to further support their client families.

Babies1st are currently involved in a randomised controlled trial funded by the Department of Education and administered through What Works for Children Social Care across 4 Local Authorities, where we train social workers and family workers in VIG. More information on this project will be released in June 2022.

Professional feedback

“The trainers are very approachable and knowledgeable.”

“Babies1st training has equipped me with tools I could apply in my work immediately.”

“The online training was surprisingly relaxed, yet intimate, and provided an excellent environment to take in new information.”

“I found the Babies1st training inspiring.”

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