ACP members Dilys Daws and Alexandra Rementeria, have been awarded the 2016 first prize in Popular Medicine from the British Medical Association (BMA) Book Awards for their book, Finding Your Way with Your Baby.
The BMA awards prizes in 20 categories annually to recognize outstanding contributions to medical literature.
"We were honoured to be selected for our book Finding Your Way with Your Baby", said Alexandra. She added that she and Dilys Daws were particularly pleased to have won the ‘Popular Medicine category’ which honours clinical books aimed at the general public. Finding Your Way with Your Baby is useful for health visitors, midwives, social workers, GPs, paediatricians and childcare workers, but it’s primarily aimed at parents.
"When we wrote Finding Your Way with Your Baby we wanted to explore the emotional experience of the baby in the first year, and that of the mother, father and other significant adults, while drawing on our psychoanalytic understandings, infant observation, developmental science and decades of clinical experience.There are many excellent books for parents, but we found some can gloss over some of the most difficult emotional experiences involved with pregnancy. Ambivalence about the baby, depression, and emotional turmoil so often brought to the surface by being a new parent are not uncommon experiences, but they don’t always get acknowledged amidst the hype and excitement of a new child.
"When expectations don’t match up with the reality of being a parent it can be a frightening experience that we try and shut out, but they may have negative long-term consequences if we do not acknowledge and address our true feelings. We used examples from real parents who found acknowledgement and understanding about this darker side of family life offers a sense of relief, and allows parents to harness the power of knowing, owning and sharing feelings to transform situations and break negative cycles and old ways of relating. Looking after a baby is hard work, but we make it even harder when we don’t look after our own emotional wellbeing."
Alexandra de Rementeria is on the doctoral training programme for child psychotherapy at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and works at Lewisham Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. Dilys Daws is Honorary Consultant Child Psychotherapist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, London. Both say they were "particularly pleased to get recognition for a baby book in a general popular medical category, which communicates psychoanalytic ideas to a lay audience."