december, 2023

11dec9:00 am10:15 amPromoting Infant Mental Health in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) (free) Event Organized By: Parent-Child Relationships Programs at the Barnard Center Event Type:WebinarIn-person or Online:Online

Event Details

The environment and caregiving relationships in the early postnatal period are critical to an infant’s development, with implications for physical, social-emotional, and neurocognitive development. Premature and medically vulnerable infants hospitalized in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are biologically and neurologically more vulnerable and go through many stressors including some degree of separation from their parents, an intrusive and unnatural environment, and painful and distressing procedures. their parents, in turn, experience higher rates of psychological distress and can face challenges in establishing an optimal relationship with their babies in this setting. In this talk, Dr. Givrad will point out some of the ways we can think about promoting premature and medically vulnerable infants’ wellbeing.

Soudabeh Givrad, MD is a perinatal and infant psychiatrist and an Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine. She is the director of the Maternal-Infant Psychiatry Program at Weill Cornell Medicine and the Perinatal and Infant Psychiatry Fellowship. She has expertise in treating psychiatric disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period and works with families of infants and young children in parent-infant psychotherapy when families face issues with attachment, bonding, medical traumas, or other regulatory disorders of infancy and early childhood.

Academically, she has been working on bringing increased attention to psychiatric disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and to increase awareness of the critical importance of supporting families of young infants to optimize their development and bringing a continuum of care from pre-conception to age 3 for families. She has also been working on increasing training opportunities in perinatal and infant mental health for mental health clinicians.




(Monday) 9:00 am - 10:15 am




Parent-Child Relationships Programs at the Barnard CenterParent-Child Relationship Programs has a long and rich history in the Infant Mental Health field. There are hundreds of studies validating the work of our founder, Dr. Kathryn Barnard. In 1971, Dr. Kathryn Barnard, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor of Family and Child Nursing at the University of Washington, initiated research that brought the ecology of early child development closer to the level of clinical practice by developing methods for assessing behaviors of children and parents. She identified environmental factors that are critical to a child’s well-being and demonstrated the importance of parent-child interaction as a predictor of later cognitive and language development. Dr. Barnard was incredibly foresightful. These assessment tools, widely known as the NCAST Feeding and Teaching Parent-Child Interaction scales, were initially taught in 1979 to over 600 nurses in a series of eight classes via satellite in the United States. After the satellite training experiment ended, NCAST (Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training), under the direction of Georgina Sumner, started offering a Certified Instructor Workshop in Seattle. These professionals gained reliability in the use of the Feeding and Teaching Scales and after obtaining certification as an NCAST Local Instructor went back to their communities to teach others in how to become astute observers of parent-child interaction using the scales.