What IAIM Does

Baby 10

Sadly, a baby born in Australia today, has a far greater chance of experiencing significant mental health issues or risks before their first birthday, than their combined chance of drowning, developing childhood cancer or even dying from SIDS .


What IAIM Does 2013

The foundations for our mental health and happiness come from the tenderness we experience as babies. Early interactions of healthy touch, love and warmth are the foundations for resilience, courage and compassion well into our adulthood. IAIM supports and empowers parents to lay these foundations, through our activities in the community.

Baby 44Because IAIM is a universal program, we work with families who are thriving and just want to give their babies something extra. We also run many programs for families who are struggling in those early days - helping them to turn things around before problems become entrenched. Some of our services are provided to families to help them bond with their babies following the trauma of premature birth, the loss of another child, depression, or serious medical illness. We also provide scholarships and other supports to Indigenous communities to help create sustainable change at the grass-roots.

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We Need Your Help

You can help change what the future holds for a baby and their parents, by supporting the work of IAIM.

Become a Community Supporter.

Baby In GrassA community supporter pays a small annual subscription, and receives benefits, discounts, free gifts and special offers. We often say "prevention is better than cure", but there are remarkably few evidence-supported programs available in Australia for families before problems become entrenched. By becoming a community supporter you will be adding your voice to the growing number of Australians concerned about the ever-increasing rates of difficulties being experienced by families under stress - such as mental health issues, child abuse, and many others. Becoming a community supporter is a practical way you can help IAIM reach more families in distress, and to reverse early relationship difficulties before they become serious problems.

Support An Existing Project

You can also help IAIM by contributing directly to one of our many projects:

Scholarships for Indigenous Health Workers
Scholarship 2Every year, IAIM offers scholarships for Indigenous Health Workers to attend our Instructor Training program, where they gain evidence-based skills to improve mental health and developmental outcomes for babies and children. Because our training is also endorsed by organisations such as the Royal College of Nursing, the Australian College of Midwives, and the Australian Association of Social Workers, scholarship winners also strengthen their own employment and economic opportunities.

Our most recent scholarship winner is Rose Reys, from Mookai-Rosi Bi-Byan, in Cairns. Rose is an Early Childhood Educator who supports women from Cape York and the Torres Strait when they are in Cairns for the birth of their babies. In her words, Rose says:

"I've worked with children and families for 25yrs and it is still a privilege to work with mothers. My job involves health and relationship assessments, running weekly programs, assisting women with skills in caring for their new bubs, helping mums with the gross/fine motor skills for their babies, supporting mothers whose babies have special needs or multiple births. I'm really excitied about training to become an Infant Massage Instructor and making it part of our daily rituals".

The cost of training workers such as Rose is significant: travel costs from remote areas to attend training can be high. Additionally, this program is in extremely high demand from Indigenous Health Workers - we receive a much larger number of applications for scholarships than we currently have funding to provide for.

You can help us invest in Aboriginal Women and children by supporting our scholarship program. For example:
~ Make a donation to our Indigenous Health Worker training fund
~ Sponsor an Indigenous Health Worker to attend one day of training.
~ Purchase text books and materials for an Indiengous Infant Massage Instructor to teach parents in their community.
~ Contact usto set up a full scholarship in your name or your company's name.

Community Classes for Parents
Infant Massage Class1Every year, thousands of parents from all over Australia, and from all walks of life, attend classes with an IAIM Instructor. We hold our classes in hospitals, community centres, prisons, drug & alcohol centres, teen parent programs, disablity services, and anywhere where parents and babies can be found. Our community programs make a direct difference for many families, helping to ensure that they get the best possible chance for secure relationships. Help us get our work directly to even more Australian families in need by:
~ Becoming a community supporter.
~ Making a tax-deductible donation to IAIM.
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Babies - The Forgotten Victims of Disaster
Queensland Floods 1Many people are aware of the stress and mental health impacts of natural disaters on adults and children. Sadly, the needs of babies are often forgotten in the aftermath of bushfires, floods, cyclones and other disaster events. Babies in disaster affected areas can experience sleep disturbances, depression and withdrawal, as well as symptoms of heightened anxiety. If ignored, these effects can worsen and impact on later mental health, well into childhood and adulthood. Following the Queensland floods of 2011, IAIM Instructors (themselves from flood-affected communities) were on the ground supporting local families to help their babies regain their sense of trust and security and prevent long-term problems.

Our current project involves preparing a resource kit that so our Instructors can continue to help parents & babies following disasters. The kit will contain information about the possible ways in which disasters can affect a baby's sense of security, some of the ways in which parents can support their baby following extraordinary stress, and where to go for additional help.

You can help us make this much-needed resource a reality by:
~ Sponsoring a disaster recovery kit for babies and their families.

Body First, Baby First
Pbcexpo 1IAIM has partnered with Children's Panadol to produce and freely distribute a decal that has simple tips and tricks that all parents can use to help strengthen their relationship with their baby, through touch and other forms of gentle communication. Children's Panadol has also generously sponsored IAIM to appear at the Parent, Baby and Children's Expos to provide free education sessions for parents on infant massage. Through our partnership, IAIM has been able to provide free information and education to well-over 15,000 Australian parents so far.

You can get involved by contacting us to enquire about:
~ requesting copies of the parent decal to give out through your hospital, community centre, community group, parenting group, or business;
~ setting up a corporate-community partnership with IAIM;
~ setting up an employee-giving program through your workplace.

Other Ways to Support Our Work

Anyone can get involved in the work of IAIM, and help to literally change a baby's life:

~ Get involved by volunteering some of your time and skills.

~ Train to be an Infant Massage Instructor in your community or workplace.

~ We welcome anyone to copy our banner and link and display it on your website or Facebook page to help promote awareness of our work.

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Reference List
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12. Blackwell, P. (2000). The influence of touch on child development: Implications for intervention. Infants and Young Children, 13 (1), 25-39.
13. Feijo, L., Hernandez-Reif, M., Filed, T., Burns, W., Valley-Gray, S. & Simco, E. (2006). Mothers’ depressed mood and anxiety levels are reduced after massaging their preterm infants. Infant Behaviour and Development, 29 (3), 476-480.
14. Oswalt, K., Biasini, F., Wilson, L. & Mrug, S. (2009). Outcomes of a massage intervention on teen mothers: a pilot study. Pediatric Nursing, 35 (5), 284-289.
15. Onozawa, K., Glover, V., Adams, D. & Modi, N. (2001). Infant massage improves mother-infant interaction for mothers with postnatal depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 63, 201-207.
16. O’Higgins, M., St James Roberts, I. & Glover, V. (2008). Postnatal depression and mother-infant outcomes after infant massage. Journal of Affective Disorders, 109 (1-2), 189-192.
17. Underdown, A. & Barlow, J. (2011). Interventions to support early relationships: Mechanisms identified within infant massage programs. Community Practitioner, 84 (4), 21-26.
18. Bakermans-Kranenburg, M., van Ijzendoorn, M. & Juffer, F. (2003). Less is more: Meta-analyses of sensitivity and attachment interventions in early childhood. Psychological Bulletin, 129 (2), 15-215.
19. Ijzendoorn, M., Juffer, F., & Duyvesteyn, M. (1995). Breaking the intergenerational cycles of insecure attachment: A review of the effects of attachment-based interventions on maternal sensivity and infant security. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 36 (2), 225-248.
20. WA Commissioner for Children and Young People. (2011). Report on the Inquiry into the Mental Health of Children and Young People in WA. WA Commission for Children and Young People: Perth.