Training and Research Reports

National and International NBO Training

Shanghai:  NBO and NBAS training was offered in Shanghai, China for the first time on March 6-8th. 2017 by Lise Johnson and Kevin Nugent. This training was organized and presented by ROOT Medical and Research and Development and was conducted at the Pudong Health Care Hospital for Women and Children.  Pediatricians, nurses and midwives – predominantly from Shanghai but from other parts of China also – attended the training at Pudong Health Care Hospital for Women and Children. At an organizational level, simultaneous translation and pre-training translation of all the materials into Chinese were a distinguishing mark of this training and created an optimal learning setting for NBO and NBAS training. While 18 trainees participated in the NBO session, five trainees took part in the NBAS session. The live sessions were a highlight of the program and demonstrated the strength-based family-centered approach on which the NBO is based. The first follow-up videoconference calls took place on April 13-14th and another will take place in July, 2017, to ensure trainees reach the required standard of practice.

Japan:  The first NBO Training to be held in Japan was conducted by Professors Campbell Paul and Kevin Nugent, with the assistance of Drs. Eiko Saito and Mariko Iwayama as Associate faculty. (See Tokyo NBO group training photo below). Not only was this the first NBO training held in Japan, but it was the occasion when the first NBO training center was established under the direction of Professor Shohei Ohgi, with Drs. Saito and Iwayama as trainers. While NBAS training has been conducted in Japan for almost 30 years by Drs. Akiyama, Ohgi, Kawasaki and Tsurusaki and more recently by Drs. Ohgi, Nagai and Nagata, this was the first NBO Training to take place in Japan. Thirty trainees participated in NBO training in Tokyo at the Japanese Red Cross College of Nursing on September 12-13th.

Thirty participants also joined the Nagoya training later that week at the Japanese Red Cross Nagoya Daini Hospital. The training was hosted by Dr. Masako Nagata and Dr. Yukio Nagai.  A special Open Lecture took place on Sunday September 18th at Nagoya University, Higashiyama Campus, which featured lectures by Professors Paul, Nugent and Nagata.  NBO training follow up meetings were held in Tokyo and Nagoya each, after one month from the first NBO training and 15 trainees in Tokyo and 18 trainees in Nagoya gathered with Dr. Campbell Paul joining in through internet video connection for discussion.

Hong Kong: The first NBO training to take place in Hong Kong was presented on September 9-10th, 2016. The training was hosted by the Hong Kong Association for Infant Mental Health (HKAIMH) and was coordinated by Joyce MOK, President of HKAIMH, assisted by K.H. Chung, from the Executive Committee of HKAIMH. Trainers were J. Kevin Nugent and Campbell Paul. Thirty participants from a range of professions including midwives, psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, social workers, physical therapists & occupational therapists took part (See group photo above). The evaluations of the training were extremely positive and trainees were excited about the possibility of learning to integrate the NBO into their respective settings. For all participants the live NBO sessions, which were facilitated by Joyce Mok and her colleagues and took place at the United Christian Hospital in Kowloon, were especially revealing in that they highlighted the strength-based relational character of the NBO philosophy and the importance of including the parents as partners in the NBO session. The mentoring process is already in progress.

Czech Republic: A meeting of NBAS and NBO trainers was held at the WAIMH Conference Hotel on Sunday May 29th. in Prague. The meeting was co-chaired by Kevin Nugent and Joanna Hawthorne and moderated by Susan Nicolson. Conference presenters discussed their WAIMH presentations and this was followed by NBO and NBAS trainers discussing their training programs, followed by reports on on-going or planned research studies. Brief reports on a number of randomized controlled trials on the effects of the NBO on a range of outcomes, postpartum depression in particular, were presented.

On the same Sunday night, fifty-one NBAS and NBO trainers and friends gathered for dinner at the Francouzská Restaurace Art Nouveau in the old city. Trainers and future trainers from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden (represented by future Sweden trainer, Johanna Masson), Switzerland, UK and USA were represented. Guests included, Bob Emde, Honorary President of WAIMH, Linda Gilkerson and her colleagues Mary Claire Hefron and Alison Steier, Roseanne Clark and Jeff, Linda Tuchman and Alan (US), Alex Harrison (US) and her colleagues, Alayne Stieglitz (US) and Neena Lyall (India), Patricia O’Rourke and Chris Rawlinson (Australia), Susanne Malcherek (Germany), Hanne Braarud (Norway), Dorith Wieczorek-Deering (Ireland) and Lynn Pridis (Australia). A message from Joao Gomes-Pedro was read to all and greetings were sent to Berry Brazelton in Cape Cod and to Joao in Portugal and to other absent friends.

Norway: Three new Norway trainers received their NBO Trainer certificates in March. The new trainers are Nina Cheetham Bøhle, Rakel Aasheim Greve and Hege Sandtrø. Congratulations! The photo below includes Kari Slinning and Unni Tranaas Vannebo and new NBO trainers Nina Cheetham Bøhle (on the left) and Hege Sandtrø (on the right) with Kevin Nugent.

New NORWAY NBO Trainers

Kari Slinning and Unni Tranaas Vannebo and new NBO trainers Nina Cheetham Bøhle (on the left) and Hege Sandtrø (on the right).

A meeting of Nordic Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) practitioners was organized by NBO Trainers Unni Tranaas Vannebo and Kari Slinning in Oslo in March, 2016. Dr. Nugent was the primary speaker at the meeting, while eighty-five NBO practitioners from all over Norway reported on their logs and described their work with the NBO. Many speakers reported that learning the NBO has been “life-changing” for them and has transformed their practices, so that they cannot “take off their NBO glasses”. Others discussed the challenge of “unlearning being and advice-giver and telling people what to do” and “bringing forward the baby’s voice” and “making parents more visible and allowing parents to take the lead”. All participants reported on the strong sense of community and camaraderie that exists between all the NBO practitioners and added that the NBO has made a significant contribution to their confidence in their work.

The total number of certified NBO trainees in Norway so far is 252. Training is also taking place in Trondheim with 33 participants and another group in Haugesund began in late January. In addition, a new group will start in Oslo in the end of March, and another

Switzerland: The first Swiss NBO training took place at the Bern University of Applied Science in the beautiful city of Bern, Switzerland, Nov, 19-20th, 2015. UnknownTrainers were Drs. Kari Slinning and Kevin Nugent, while the trainees were made up of nurses, psychiatrists, pediatricians, Physiotherapists, home visitors and infant specialists.The extremely successful training was convened by Professor Eva Cignacco and Natascha Schuetz Haemmerli.

USA (2016): NBO training took place in Boston on successive weeks in April, 2016.  The first included the DULCE Family Specialists, who will use the NBO to partner with parents of newborns – with the dual goals of improving child development and reducing maltreatment.  UnknownThe second group of NBO trainees (above) included practitioners from Early Head Start in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Denver, Colorado, Boston Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital and Peru. Included are Laurence Beaulieu-Genest, Mary Bradley, Kristiana Burton, Mahera Chiarizio, Patricia Connelly, Cathleen Dehn,Wendy Kennedy, Jennifer Miller and Amalia Rottmann, with Trainers Nancy Deacon, Connie Keefer, Carmen Noruna,  and J. Kevin Nugent.

NBO training was also presented as part of the UMass Boston Infant-Parent Mental Health Postgraduate Fellowship and Certificate Program on March 4th, 2016. The program is directed by Dr. Dorothy Richardson.  The NBO was also presented at the Napa Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship Program, UC Davis Extension, under Dr. Kristie Brandt’s direction.  NBO Training also took place in Boston at the Charles River Community Health Center on February 15-15th, 2016 with Connie Keefer and Kevin Nugent serving as trainers.

USA 2015: Among the NBO training in 2015 was the NBO training with the Salish & Kootenai tribes in Montana, the United States in August, 2015, which was conducted by Dr. Constance Keefer and Dr. Yvette BlanchardUnknown.  Claudia Quigg and Ann Stadtler served as NBO faculty at the Little Company of Mary Hospital, Chicago, Illinois on September 22-23rd, 2015. Connie Keefer and Kevin Nugent presented NBO training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Sept 17-18th 2015.  Participants included Fellows in the University of Wisconsin Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate Program and our guests from many of the Home Visiting Programs in Wisconsin.  The training was coordinated by Drs. Roseanne Clark and Linda Tuchmann.


Australia: Dr. Susan Nicolson conducted NBO training with Aboriginal workers in Northern Victoria, Australia, in June 2015.


South Africa: The first NBO training to take place in Africa, took place at the Ububele Parent Infant Programme in Johannesburg, South Africa, May 11-12th, 2015, at Ububele, 1 Tenth Road, Kew, Johannesburg: (click here – Ubulele NBO Exclusive Invitation).  The NBO training team consisted of Drs. Campbell Paul and Susan Nicolson. The Ububele Educational & Psychotherapy Trust is an educational and psychotherapy trust providing training and services to improve the emotional development of children under 7 years. Ububele’s training in mental health focuses on preventative strategies for children under the age of seven, their parents, families and other caregivers, so that the NBO will be used in this context.  The program is directed by Katharine Frost and Tony Hamburger, who are hosting the NBO training.  For more information see:

thBrazil: The first NBO Training took place in Brazil at the Department of Pediatrics, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte on March 27-28th, 2015.  The trainers were Drs. Lise Johnson and Beth McManus, while the facilitators were Prof. Claudia Regina Lindgren Alves, MD, PhD and Profa. Titular Lívia C.Magalhães.

th-4USA: For information on NBO training in the US for 2015, see  Training programs at the Brazelton Institute begin in May.  NBO Training for the new UC Davis Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship program, under Dr. Kristi Brandt’s direction, took place on March 29th at Napa.Drs. Keefer and Nugent presented the training, which was also attended by a range of professionals from across California and other parts of the country.

Napa Training

The Napa fellowship program is affiliated with the University of California, Davis Extension.  For further information see:

The account of the University of Edinburgh International NBAS and NBO Trainers Meeting appears in the International Section.

UnknownChina: NBO and NBAS Training took place in Xi’an Children’s Hospital, Affiliated Medical School at the Xi’an JiaoTong University on November 3-4th.,  2014.  Trainers were Susan Nicolson (Aus.) and Kevin Nugent, the Brazelton Institute.  NBAS training was also offered on Nov 5th by Professor Nugent.  The training was facilitated by Professor Hui Li, MD., Ph.D., Division of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Co-Doctoral Supervisor, Xi ‘an JiaoTong University Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, First Affiliated Hospital, Medical School, Xi’an Jiaotong University.

NBO training

NBO training in Xi’an

The NBO training was preceded by an International Conference entitled Neonatal Behavioral Observation system applied in the family and medical rehabilitation, which was held on Sunday November 2nd. in Xi’an.  See the international section for further details.

Iceland flagIceland:  Brazelton Institute faculty members, Drs. Lise Johnson (US) and Yvette Blanchard (US) conducted a second successful NBO Training in Iceland on Sept 18-19th., 2014, in Reykjavik.  Once again, the training was facilitated by Stefanía Birna Arnardóttir.

th-2Denmark: The first NBO training program in Denmark was conducted in Thisted in North Jutland, Denmark by NBO Trainers Jeanette Appleton and Inge Nickell (UK)  on October 1st. and 2nd. 2014.  Inge translated the materials into Danish.  Merethe Vinter,  who attended the NBO and NBAS days in Edinburgh, coordinated the training. See the International section for further details.


NBO Training was held at the Harvard Medical School on May 14-15th, with the faculty consisting of Kevin Nugent, Gaylen Plant and Aditi Subramaniam.  The 10th annual NBO training for the Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship program, under Dr. Kristi Brandt’s direction, took place on March 29th at Napa. Drs. Keefer and Nugent presented the training, which was also attended by a range of professionals from across California and other parts of the country.  The Napa fellowship program is affiliated with the University of California, Davis Extension. For further information see:

NBO training sponsored by the West Palm Beach Visiting Nurses, under the direction of Ellen Steinberg, Maternal Child Health Division took place in West Palm Beach, where Yvette Blanchard and Ann Stadtler were the Trainers.  Training for professionals working with at-risk infants and their families took place at the Boston Children’s Hospital, Waltham Campus on October 16-17th., 2014.

NBO Training Boston, Oct. 2014

NBO Training Boston, Oct. 2014

NBO trainers included Yvette Blanchard, Aditi Subramaniam and J. Kevin Nugent.  On November 13-14th, Kevin Nugent provided NBO training at Boston Children’s Hospital Waltham campus.

NBO training was held once again in Madison at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health on September 4-5th, 2014.  Constance Keefer and Claudia Quigg made up the faculty.  Participants included the Fellows from the Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health Mental program.  The Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate Program, the new credit-based Program that was formerly known as the University of Wisconsin Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Certificate Program.  The NBO training was coordinated by the Director of the program, Professor Roseanne Clark, Ph.D., and the Co-Director of the fellowship program, Linda Tuchman-Ginsberg, PhD..

NBO training was also presented by Drs. Brandt and Nugent at the 15th Biennial NCAST Programs Institute held in Seattle, Washington on May 30-31st.. The training was coordinated by Denise Findlay, Director of Education & Outreach NCAST Programs/School of Nursing, University of Washington.

The annual Napa Fellowship NBO training was held at Napa, California as part of the Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship/Postgraduate Certificate Program, under the direction of Dr. Kristie Brandt.  This inter-disciplinary training program draws participants for across the United States and from abroad.  All fellows are required to complete NBO certification as part of the Fellowship requirements.  Note that this coming year, the 2105-2016 Napa Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship program is now affiliated with the University of California, Davis Extension.  Click here for further information on the new Napa Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship program.

Dr. Brazelton and new NBO trainees

Dr. Brazelton and new NBO trainees

NBO training programs were also held at the Brazelton Institute, where Aditi Submaraniam and Gaylen Plant joined the NBO faculty, along with Drs. Keefer, Deacon and Nugent.  Here Dr. Brazelton poses with new NBO trainees and faculty.  On July 10th, NBO training was offered to the UMASS Infant Mental Health Certificate Program Fellows at UMASS Boston, where Drs. Keefer and Nugent were faculty.  Thirty Fellows participated.   The NBO training was facilitated by Faculty Chief, Dr. Edward Tronick and by Dr. Dorothy Richardson, Director and Marilyn Davillier, LICSW, Associate Program Director.  NBO training was also held Platte Valley Medical Center, Colorado, where Yvette Blanchard and Beth McManus were the faculty members.

Recent Research Publications (NBO and NBAS):

A Randomized Study of the Effects of a Short-Term Strengths-Based Newborn Intervention on Mother-Infant Interaction.  Presented by Jessica Dym-Bartlett and J. Kevin Nugent at the Biannual Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)  meeting in Philadelphia, March, 2015.

The Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) system is a neurobehavioral observation tool for use by health care professionals to provide information and guidance to parents about their infant’s behavior and development, with the goal of promoting positive relationships between parents and infants and between practitioners and families. This study assessed the impact of the NBO on the sensitivity of mother-infant interaction in the first four months of life. Primaparous mothers and their healthy full-term infants were randomized into experimental and control groups. The experimental group participated in the NBO in the hospital two days after birth and again in the home at one month postpartum. At four months, 17 control dyads and 19 experimental dyads were videotaped in their homes during a semi-structured play episode, which was coded using the CARE-Index Scoring System to measure the quality of parent-child interaction. The results showed that mothers who participated in the NBO were 2.5 times more likely to be classified as “sensitive” on the CARE-Index than were mothers who did not receive the intervention, but this difference did not reach statistical significance. However, infants of mothers who participated in the intervention were 2.8 more likely to be classified as “cooperative” in the context of mother-infant interactions compared to infants in the control group, a difference that was statistically significant. Adjusting for covariates, older mothers were slightly more likely to be rated as “sensitive.” The results of this study indicate that the NBO may be an effective, time-limited, cost-effective intervention for strengthening relationships between parents and infants beginning at birth.

Effects of an Infant-focused Relationship-based Hospital and Home Visiting Intervention on Reducing Symptoms of Postpartum Maternal Depression: A Pilot Study by Kevin Nugent, Ph.D.Jessica Dym Bartlett, M.S.W., Ph.D., Clarissa Valim, M.D., Sc.D. Published in Infants and Young Children, 27, 4, 292-3o4, 2014.

Relationship-based interventions are an effective means for reducing postpartum depression (PPD), but few cost-effective tools that can be administered efficiently in medical and home settings are available or well-studied. This study examines the efficacy of the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO), an infant-centered relationship-based intervention, in reducing levels of postnatal maternal depression. First-time mothers and their infants were recruited in the postpartum units of two New England hospitals and randomized into intervention and control groups.  A total of 106 mothers participated in this study, which used a randomized controlled trial design. At one-month postpartum, symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) were assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Ten of the 106 mothers reported elevated levels of depressive symptoms (EPDS > 12), with 4% in the intervention group and 16% in the control group. Results indicated that the NBO was associated with lowering the odds of depressive symptomatology by approximately 75%. These findings suggest that the NBO conducted in hospital and home settings may be an efficient, cost-effective, relationship-based method for reducing the likelihood of PPD symptoms.

The Neonatal Behavioral Observation System: A tool to enhance the transition to motherhood (2014) by Nina Bøhle Cheetham and Tove Aminda Hanssen. 

Background: Shorter hospitalisation after childbirth raises new challenges in the transition to parenthood. Aim: This paper reports a study designed to identify first-time mothers’ experience with The Neonatal Behavioral Observation System (NBO) as a guiding model. Method: A phenomenological qualitative study sampling four first-time mothers who received guidance from the NBO-specialist nurse two days after delivery. Interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide. Findings: Analysis revealed three themes describing the mothers positive experience of the guidance model: a) a new understanding of the baby’s communication abilities, b) an increased feeling of competence and confidence in dealing with challenges in caretaking issues, and c) being treated as individuals encouraged to make their own decisions. Conclusion: The NBO system can be used in clinical practice to enhance the transition to motherhood and family life and to provide support during the post-partum period. More research on the impact of NBO that includes fathers as well as different groups of at-risk parents is recommended.

Click here to read full article: Cheetham NBO .art

Winnicott Lecture AAIMHI Conference, 2014 by Beulah Warren in  Perspectives in Infant Mental Health, 22, 4, Fall 2014. (Beulah Warren, New South Wales, Australia,

“At the WAIMH Conference in Edinburgh this year, in conversation with Professor Louise Newman about the plight of children in Australian detention centres, I asked Louise what we could do about the situation. Louise said the first thing to do was to write to our politicians. I came home with the intention to do so.

The presentation of this lecture was my preoccupying thought but I couldn’t get started. I had to write my letter to the Minister first which finally got written early August.

My message today is that we have to be the voice for infants; we are the ones who read the infants, who hear the baby’s talk……”  Click here to read the full article.

A Neurobehavioral Intervention Incorporated into a State Early Intervention Program is Associated with Higher Perceived Quality of Care Among Parents of High-Risk Newborns (2012) by Beth M. McManus, PT, MPH, ScD and J. Kevin Nugent, PhD.  Published in the Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 2012. 1–8.

Summary:  These results suggest that an NBO-based neurobehavioral model appears to be associated with higher parent perceived quality of EI service delivery related to promoting parent–infant interaction. Future research should replicate these results with larger, more diverse samples.

Feasibility study of early intervention provider confidence following a neurobehavioural intervention for high-risk newborns by Beth McManus and J. Kevin Nugent (2011). Published in the Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 29, 4, 395-403. 

Summary: Integrating a neurobehavioural intervention (the NBO) into EI service delivery was associated with higher perceived confidence among service providers in their ability to work with high-risk newborns.

NBO and Parent’s Understanding of their Newborn by Beth McManus and J. Kevin Nugent, Presented at the Society for Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics Annual Meeting, Boston, (2010).

Summary: Integrating an NBO-based neurobehavioural intervention into EI service delivery positively influenced parents’ perceptions of their social interactions with their high-risk infants.

Cord blood lead and manganese and neonatal behavior by  Sharon K. Sagiv, J. Kevin Nugent, T. Berry Brazelton, David C. Bellinger, Chitra Amarasiriwardena, Paige E. Tolbert and Susan A. Korrick. 

Early life exposure to heavy metals (e.g., lead) has been shown to impact neurodevelopment in children.  This study showed that prenatal exposure to heavy metals, including lead and manganese, is associated with adverse behavioral development in newborns, as measured by the NBAS.  These results were presented at the Society for Epidemiologic Research Meeting in June, 2013.

International NBAS Trainers meet in Boston

NBAS Trainers Meeting 2013
NBAS Trainers Meeting 2013

NBAS trainers from Spain, the UK and the US met in Boston to discuss training on the NBAS and plan for the future.   Dr. Carme Costas-Moragas,  Joanna Hawthorne, Betty Hutchon, Yvette Blanchard and Kevin Nugent participated.   Dr. Brazelton also attended and presented his hopes for the future of NBAS training.   Plans were made for the  Trainers Meeting which was later held at the University of Edinburgh on June 12th, 2014.

More NBO Trainings Reports

logobhchp-stackUsing the NBO with Homeless Families

For over 25 years the mission of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program has provided or assured access to the highest quality health care for all homeless men, women and children in the greater Boston area.   The core group served by BHCHP is the homeless adults and families who stay in the emergency shelter system, eat in soup kitchens or visit drop-in centers.  They also care for formerly homeless people who have progressed into transitional, permanent and supportive housing programs.  

BHCHP Family Team

BHCHP Family Team

The BHCHP integrated care model unites physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, case managers and behavioral health professionals in a close collaboration. They follow patients together and separately in a variety of settings: on the street, at Barbara McInnis House, in our outpatient clinics and, as needed, in shelter or housing.

An animated discussion at the BHCHP NBO Training

An animated discussion at the BHCHP NBO Training

In order to better meet the needs of new parents and their babies who are homeless, the BHCHP Family team, including nurses, psychologists, family partners, case managers and doctors, participated in NBO training on July 15-16th, 2013.  Psychologist Rachel Harrington-Levey and Barbara L. Cocci, LICSW, Director of Behavioral Health initiated this program and all participants plan to use the NBO to foster the relationship between mothers and their babies, and to draw in fathers around the time of the birth of the baby.  The faculty consisted of Drs. Constance Keefer, Kevin Nugent and Ann Stadtler and the program featured a live demonstration of the NBO, with five-week-old Lucila, who demonstrated a wide range on competencies to the delight and amazement of all who were present.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health NBO training for Early Intervention Practitioners

DPH NBO at Tower Hill Botanic Gardens

DPH NBO at Tower Hill Botanic Gardens

Thirty Early Intervention practitioners from across the state of Massachusetts participated in an NBO training program at the elegantly appointed Tower Hill Botanic Gardens in Boylston, Massachusetts.  Jean M. Nigro, Early Intervention Training Director at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Snaltze Pierre, Program Director, Massachusetts Home Visiting Initiative (MHVI) were instrumental in bringing this about.  The faculty consisted of Yvette Blanchard, Constance Keefer and J. Kevin Nugent.  The workshop included two live (and quite spectacular) NBO sessions, one with a two-week-old and the other with a two-month old baby.  Here are some comments from the trainees:

NBO in action!

NBO in action!

“I am leaving with a wealth of knowledge and will be able to apply it with EI families and their babies. Thank you for a wonderful two days” “Great opportunity, beautiful facility, wonderful speakers and follow-up provisions” “I learned to listen more, ask more open-ended questions, involve the family in the process, let the baby and what he/she does lead the interaction….make the parent feel and know that they know their baby best” “The facility was gorgeous….I learned so much about the amazing capabilities of babies” “I very much enjoyed the training.  I will use the information immediately in my work with babies and their families”

NBO training held in Iceland

NBO trainers Drs. Lise Johnson and Joanna Hawthorne presented NBO training in Rejkjavik on April 4th and 5th, 2013.  Nurses, midwives, doulas, health visitors, social workers, psychotherapists, child protection workers, lactation consultants and psychologists made up the participants.  It was hosted by Stefanía Birna Arnardóttir.

NBO trainees London May 2013

NBO trainees London May 2013

NBO Training held at the Royal Society of Medicine, London, May 9-10th 2013. Dr. Joanna Hawthorne and Betty Hutchon offered an NBO training program at Royal Society of Medicine on May 9th-10th 2013.  Trainees from a range of disciplines completed the training.

Daniel N. Stern dies in Geneva, Switzerland on November 12, 2012.

Daniel Stern was Professeur Honoraire in the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Geneva, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Lecturer at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.

Daniel Stern at the Brazelton Institute

Dan revolutionized developmental psychology, integrating psychoanalytic theory, with methodically sophisticated empirical study, and a brilliant and creative mind. His work has changed the way that we think about babies, mothers, the development of mental life, and the process of psychotherapy. He has been regular visitor to the Brazelton Institute over the years. We will always remember him as much for his personal warmth as for his brilliance. We extend our condolences to his wife and colleague, Dr. Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern, his children and grandchildren. We will miss him, but his ideas will live on in our thoughts and in our work.

Professional Training with the Brazelton Institute for 2013  

NBO Trainers: J. K. Nugent, Beth McManus, Yvette Blanchard, Leslie Kerzner, Susan Minear

A new NBAS training workshop is scheduled to took place on  Nov 1-2, 2013, at the Brazelton Institute.

NBO Training was held at the Harvard Conference Center in Boston on March 28th and 29th., 2013 and also at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on June 13-14th.   NBO training is also scheduled for Boston in  Sept 26-27th.

NBO Training Boston, Sept 2012

NBO training also take place at off-site venues in the US.  NBO training was held in Ventura, California on March 19-20th and in Napa, CA on March 22nd for the Infant-Parent Mental Health Post-Graduate Certificate Program.    Training for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, Massachusetts took place on June 4-5th and NBO training for staff at the Boston Health Care Alliance for the Homeless took place on July 15-16th (see above).   Training was held in Phoenix, Arizona on July 22nd and 23rd. NBO training was also scheduled for the Visiting Nurses at West Palm Beach, under the direction of Ellen Steinberg, Maternal Child Health Division on September 4th. NBO training took place on Sept. 19th at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, Infant Mental Health Fellowship, under the direction  of Dr. Roseann Clark.  Then, on Sept. 26-27th an NBO training program was presented in Boston at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School

Oslo NBO Training June and October 2012

Over 50 participants from all over Norway (and Sweden and Denmark) – Psychologists, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Pediatricians, Educators, Social Workers and Psychiatrists – completed NBO training in Oslo on June 11-12 and on June 14-15th.   The program was organized by Dr. Kari Slinning (R.BUP), assisted by Unni Rosenkilde, Program Coordinator.  Dr. Slinning is a Child Psychologist and Researcher at the Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Eastern and Southern Norway (R.BUP Oslo) and has been studying the effects and treatment of postpartum depression in her research.  In her role in the National Network for Infant Mental Health, Dr. Slinning’s plan is to introduce the NBO to hospital and clinic settings across Norway.  This NBO training is the first step.  The NBO faculty included Brazelton Institute faculty, Drs. Krisite Brandt and Kevin Nugent.  The training included lectures and discussion on themes such as “The NBO and Infant Mental Health”, “Relationship-building through the NBO”, “Reading the subtle communication cues of  newborns” and “Learning to administer the NBO step-by-step”.

20-day-old Helge and his mother and Kari Slinning and Kevin Nugent

Both sessions included a live demonstration of the NBO.  In this case, it was 20 day-old Helge and his mother who kindly offered to come to the training session so that participants could experience a live demonstration of the NBO with  a newborn infant and his or her parents. During both NBO sessions, Helge demonstrated just how competent Norwegian newborns are – he was the prefect teacher!  He was robust, well-organized and socially responsive in every area so that he provided a unique opportunity to see how the NBO can draw out the baby’s individuality and uniqueness at this young age.

Participants comments –

  • “Inspiring!”
  • “Great Presentations”
  • “Fantastic – everything was fantastic!”
  • “Two wonderful days”
  • “I saw the power of the child’s influence on the parents”
  • “I learned to respect parents and babies”
  • “Learning the NBO will make me more sensitive to newborns”
  • “I learned how to show parents what their baby can do”
  • “I liked the emphasis on the child’s strengths”
  • “I learned that I am the parent’s partner not their teacher”
  • “The NBO helps parents see their baby as an individual – to read the baby and to see the baby with “new eyes””.

Participants also appreciated the opportunity to learn how to administer the NBO:

Learning to administer the NBO

The NBO – step by step

Experienced NBAS examiners Kirstein and Nancy

A second NBO training took place in Oslo in November (See International). International NBO training sessions are also planned for Reykjavik, Iceland in 2013,  while discussions on NBO training for Holland, Qatar and Australia are on-going.  NBAS training will continue to be available in the US, UK, Spain, Japan, Switzerland, Belgium. For UK training information, see

Research (cotd.)

Irish Ethnotheory Study by Elizabeth Nixon, Sheila Greene, Imelda Coyne, J. Kevin Nugent & Erika Doyle, Children’s Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin, 2010.

Summary: The aim of the research is to explore parental ethnotheories among immigrant and Irish parents of infants in Ireland and to examine the relation of these cultural belief systems to parenting behaviours and activities.

Prenatal Organochlorine Exposure and Measures of Behavior in Infancy Using the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) by Sharon Sagiv, J. Kevin Nugent, T. Berry Brazelton et al. (2008).

Summary: Findings provide evidence for an association between low-level prenatal PCB and DDE exposures and poor attention in early infancy. Further analyses will focus on whether organochlorine-associated decrements in attention and attention-related skills in infancy persist in later childhood.

Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scoring Scheme by Choi et al. (2008).

Summary: Predictors of the more reproducible NBAS clusters included factors associated with child development at older ages (e.g., maternal smoking during pregnancy). Results demonstrate reproducibility of NBAS exam clusters, in particular – orientation and range-of-state – between populations, over time, and across SES variables, supporting the robustness of the clustering scheme.

The effects of the NBO on postpartum depression by Nugent et al. WAIMH Paris (2006).

Summary: In this randomized study, results suggest that the NBO was effective in preventing postpartum maternal depression in first-time mothers with full-term infants in the first month after birth and decreased the odds of serious postpartum maternal depression by over 75%. These results suggest that the NBO can have a powerful transforming effect on the mother by influencing the quality of her interactions with her infant, enhancing her sense of competence and thereby preventing the likelihood of postpartum depression.

The effects of the NBO on mother-infant interaction by Nugent et al. (2006)

Summary: Mothers who participated in the NBO were four times more likely to be classified as “sensitive” in their interactions with their children than mothers who did not participate in the NBO. Infants of mothers who participated in the NBO were six times more likely to be classified as “cooperative” in their interactions with their mothers, than infants whose mothers did not participate in the NBO sessions.

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