As part of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image, Susie Orbach and I were commissioned by the Government Equalities Office to write a report entitled Two for the Price of One: The impact of body image during pregnancy and after birth.
This report looks at the myriad of health and psychological effects that body image can have on pregnant women and new mothers, and shows how preoccupation with body image problems can be unconsciously transmitted down to their children.
This report was published in The International Journal of Birth and Parent Education and has been featured on several websites including the British Psychoanalytic Council and the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.
The Burdett Trust for Nursing awarded us a grant to run a training program based on the report. The program trains Health Visitors, Midwives, and Family Centre workers to work with expectant and post-partum mothers to open up about body preoccupations and to offer support and encourage mothers to take care of themselves in ways that address the psychological dynamics in their own eating and body concerns. It aimed to enable staff to understand the impact of eating problems and body dysmorphias and how to intervene so that these do not go unrecognised.
We piloted this program in 2016 with a group of NCT trainers and it proved to be very successful. Subsequently, we have been doing training sessions for Nurses and Midwives at universities and conferences including: The Royal College of Midwives, Plymouth University, Leeds Beckett University, Middlesex University, and the UCL Matters Conference.
For more information on our training program, or if you would be interested in implementing this training program, please get in touch and I would be happy to discuss further.
“Holli, thank you so much for your insight and wisdom throughout this inspirational course. We are all different people from those that arrived at the first session.”
The NCT girls!
My work with government also includes…
Contributing to several government projects including the
All-Party Parliamentary Group campaign on Body Image.
My insight and experience is helping drive change at a national level so that body image education becomes part of a bigger conversation. In addition, alongside Susie Orbach, I continue to engage Government in the idea that early intervention is essential in order for body image problems to cease endangering the lives of young boys and girls.
As part of PIP UK for Infant Mental Health Awareness Week, I collaborated with an artist Aleksandra Karpowicz. Tomorrow’s Child Exhibition was held in Westminster to support the 1001 Critical Days Manifesto. This was a collaboration between artists and scientists, and I contributed to this by writing the text associated to Aleksandra’s art.