A new service supporting parents and caregivers to build stronger relationships with their babies is launching this Infant Mental Health Awareness Week.

Growing Well Together is a Parent-Infant Relationship Service (PAIRS) – part of Navigo’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and North East Lincolnshire Council’s Start for Life programme.

Available to expectant parents and parents and caregivers with babies up to two years old, the free service aims to help parents and caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed, vulnerable or stressed to build strong, nurturing relationships with their babies.

As well as providing support to local families, the service will also offer advice to professionals across North East Lincolnshire.

Dr Marian Quinn, Navigo's Specialist Clinical Psychologist, said: “Those early relationships can make a real difference at a crucial point in a baby’s development. But while having a baby can be a happy and special time, things may not always turn out as you had imagined them. It can be challenging and it’s not unusual for parents and caregivers to struggle, feel overwhelmed, vulnerable or stressed.

“We can provide support to help people to build strong, nurturing relationships with their baby, working closely with families and other professionals. We can also help parents who may have challenging feelings about themselves, their partner or even their baby. As a specialised support team, we really want to help to ensure that babies have the best start in life.”

A North East Lincolnshire Council spokesperson said: “It’s so important for parents and babies to be able to develop really positive, healthy relationships early on during the developmental stage. Whilst parents and carers may find that this comes naturally, there are some who may face challenges at different points in time. This free service will be a great support mechanism for our new parents and their families.”

The team will work with parents and caregivers and their babies from conception to age two.

All support is free and offered in a supportive environment through dedicated appointments, focused one-to-one sessions and individual therapeutic support, as well as parent and caregiver groups.

For more information and to refer to the service please visit the Growing Well Together webpage.