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Minding the Baby

  • Research Project Team

    • Pasco Fearon,
    • Lynne Murray,
    • Peter Fonagy,
    • Elena Longhi,
    • Kathryn MacKenzie;
    • Sam Taylor-Colls




  • Background

    Minding the Baby is an intensive and preventive home-visiting programme developed by Yale University, that helps young first time mothers aged 14-25, many of who experienced significant disadvantage. The focus of the intervention is to reduce negative infant and maternal outcomes and strengthen the attachment relationship.

    MTB is delivered by an interdisciplinary team of highly skilled practitioners, who have health and social work experience, integrating advanced practice nursing and mental health care for mothers and infants.

    The Randomised Control Trial (RCT) will allow for testing the efficacy of this innovative intervention across three UK sites. Participants who are recruited during pregnancy will be randomly assigned to one of two arms, a treatment arm - Minding the Baby (MTB) or a control arm- Treatment as Usual (TAU).

    We are evaluating the effectiveness of the MTB programme by looking at a range of maternal and infant outcomes, including infant attachment security, maternal sensitivity and verified accounts of infant maltreatment and neglect.

    In addition we will be assessing the cost effectiveness of the MTB programme in order to support future roll-out of services. This study, involving a collaboration between the NSPCC, University College London and three NHS hospitals, affords a unique opportunity to advance knowledge regarding effective ways to support some of the youngest and most vulnerable children in the UK.

  • Aims

    Testing whether MTB improves:

    1. Maternal sensitivity
    2. Attachment security
    3. Maternal mental health

    And addressing the cost-effectiveness of MTB

  • Methodology

    The study is a multi-site longitudinal RCT, assessing maternal and infant outcomes at 1 year and 2 years post-birth, as well as a range of maternal mental health variables at baseline.