At the start of January, Gemma attended a workshop in London held by the Parent Infant Foundation as part of their 1001 Critical Days movement.
The movement is an alliance of charities, parliamentarians, practitioners and academics that campaigns to ensure that all babies have the best possible chance in life.
The 1001 critical days are the period between conception and a child’s second birthday. The Movement is based on evidence suggesting that, during this time of rapid growth, relationships with parents and other caregivers are incredibly important. What happens during this time lays the foundations for future wellbeing development.
Together, the Conception to Age Two All-Party Parliamentary Group and the wider 1001 Critical Days Movement raise awareness of the importance of this life stage, particularly amongst MPs who can affect change.
The aim of the workshop was to co-create the 1001 Critical Day’s future vision, strategy and plans to enable them to achieve more for babies and their families.
Gemma was there to learn more about the role of the movement and gain insight into how a cross-party parliamentary group works. She also tried to emphasise the importance of not focusing solely on mothers and making individual women feel guilty, but rather looking at paternal factors and wider societal contexts as well. Reassuringly, other workshop attendees were very much on board with this and had similar comments from their own perspectives.
In EPoCH, we will continue to follow the work of the 1001 critical days movement and contribute where we can. A greater appreciation of the importance of the pregnancy and early postnatal period amongst policy makers will help ensure that any important findings coming out of EPoCH are effectively translated into policy around pregnancy advice.