Our new members join forces to ActEarlier4Health

It’s now well accepted that what happens during the very early years of life has a lifelong effect on certain aspects of health and well-being. It is clear that we do need to act earlier to ensure every child gets the best start in life. Meet our three new members who bring valuable insights and support to our extended focus into preconception and pregnancy

Dr Rosan Mayer, Honorary Senior Lecturer, Imperial College, Principal Paediatric Principal Research Dietitian, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (read her biography here),

Rosan said: “I am delighted to be a part of the ITF and look forward to contributing my expertise in paediatric nutrition, weaning and feeding of young children. I am particularly supportive of the ITF’s focus on early life nutrition and starting earlier in the life-course to improve the later life of the child, and wholeheartedly support the need to act earlier for later health.”

Gill Perks Lead Midwife at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (read Gill’s biography here)

Gill said: “As a practising midwife I am delighted to be part of the ITF as it broadens its educational programme in to the area of pregnancy nutrition and advice. The importance of good and timely advice on weight, nutrition and guidance for women and families on how to have a healthy pregnancy and birth cannot be underestimated. Getting it right from the start is the key to starting families off to better future health.”

Sukrutha Verareddy MRCOG, PhD
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Labour Ward Lead, Queen Elizabeth hospital, Woolwich Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust (read Sukrutha’s biography here)

Sukrutha said: “Since joining the ITF I have been keen to help contribute to the campaign to act earlier for later health. The trajectory for obesity is on the rise and I see many pregnant women who enter pregnancy with raised body mass Index that increases maternal and fetal risks. The ITF is committed to supporting families at the very start of life . Good advice on weight management, lifestyle and nutrition at pre-conception, during pregnancy and in-between pregnancies can really make a difference to future generations.”

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Further Reading

  • Katie Fox, Primary School Teacher   Due to coronavirus, playgroups and nurseries are shut and those children due to start school in a few months will be out of routine and away from friends. It is understandable that many parents are worried about getting their children ready for September. Children learn and progress at different rates so there are no set criteria on what they need to be able to know or do when they first start nursery, but if they have had some experience learning at home it could help to make it a smoother transition. Turn taking games, imaginative play, reading, and developing fine and gross motor skills can promote independence, build confidence and help develop simple skills.
  • Dr Gill Harris, Consultant Paediatric Clinical Psychologist Dr Maddy Harris, Clinical Psychologist   In times of crisis – such as the one we are currently living in – parents may find that the normal stresses of everyday life are magnified and additional worries and concerns emerge. Knowing how to cope may prove difficult, but an approach which has widely been discussed in the media and on social media is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).The premise of ACT is that fears and anxieties are seen as real and cannot be ‘challenged’ away, unlike with cognitive behavioural therapy. By concentrating on our actions we are able to work past our fears. This method may help those struggling with this new chaotic routine we find ourselves in. The Infant & Toddler Forum are here to help with our top tips on how to apply this intervention.
  • Lucy Upton, Specialist Paediatric Dietitian and Nutritionist   As social distancing policies are put in place, and schools and nurseries shut their doors indefinitely, keeping your toddlers entertained and active for hours on end during COVID-19 may seem daunting and at times virtually impossible! Parents and carers have been thrown into a cozy and chaotic ‘new normal’ and may wonder how they can meet the recommended three hours a day of physical activity for under-fives who are walking. But do not panic, the Infant & Toddler Forum are here to help make sure you have plenty of ideas to keep your toddler happy and entertained whilst encouraging physical activity.