Speakers

Dr Alain Gregoire has been a Consultant Specialist Perinatal Psychiatrist for 25 years and is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Southampton, UK. He trained at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry, London, and has conducted research and published papers and books on various aspects of perinatal and reproductive mental health. He set up and led the multiple national award-winning Hampshire (UK) Community Perinatal Service and Mother and Baby Unit.

He was a member of the NICE Guideline Development Group for Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health, and has contributed extensively to the development of policy, strategy, guidance and clinical services in the area of parental and infant mental health in the UK and across the world.

He was the founder and is Chair of the UK Maternal Mental Health Alliance (maternalmentalhealthalliance.org), a coalition of over 90 national organisations committed to improving maternal mental health care and outcomes for mothers and their infants. In 2016, he launched the Global Alliance for Maternal Mental Health (globalalliancematernalmentalhealth.org), which has similar aims worldwide and over 20 international member organisations.

Dr Alain Gregoire has worked extensively in radio, television and film, including the multiple award-winning BBC documentary ‘My Baby Psychosis and Me’, and since 2016 has been a presenter for the award-winning BBC TV programme ‘Trust Me I’m a Doctor’.

Dr Susan Pawlby, MA, PhD, is a Developmental Clinical Psychologist and until December 2016 was a Lecturer in the Section of Perinatal Psychiatry at King’s College London, UK, the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, and a member of the Multi-Disciplinary Team of the Channi Kumar Mother and Baby Unit at the Bethlem Royal Hospital, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. Prof Pawlby is now a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at KCL and holds an honorary contract with SLaM. She trained as a child psychologist at the University of Nottingham and has over 40 years of experience working with mothers and babies in both clinical and research contexts. She trained in observational methodology and has pioneered the use of video feedback techniques in supporting the developing relationship between mothers with severe mental illness and their infants. 

Dr Pawlby has undertaken several research studies, notably the South London Child Development Study (SLCDS) with her colleagues, Professors Debbie Sharp and Dale Hay. Over a period of 25 years, they have worked together on the SLCDS, a prospective, longitudinal community study begun in pregnancy, looking at the effects of the mother’s experience of childhood maltreatment, maternal depression in pregnancy and child maltreatment on the offspring into young adulthood.

Dr Pawlby has published widely on this subject in peer-reviewed journals and presented research findings at international and national conferences. Dr Pawlby provided expert advice to the UK National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to ChilProfen (NSPCC) All Babies Count Campaign and is a member of the Early Years’ Champions working group dedicated to pushing forward the UK all-party manifesto on the First 1001 Critical Days from conception to 2 years.

She gave expert evidence before the UK All Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry committed to the prevention of problems in childhood and adolescence, through early intervention in pregnancy and the first years. Currently, she is one of the experts advising the UK Ministerial Early Years Family Support Group and is a member of the NHS England Perinatal Parent Infant Pathway Expert Reference Group. Dr Pawlby is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Brazelton Centre UK and is trained in the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) and the Newborn Behavioural Observations (NBO) system.

Ewa Andersson is a Senior lecturer, RNM, PhD at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. She is the Past president of the Nordic Marcé Society. She has written over 20 articles on mental illness during pregnancy, perinatal mental health support, and on fathers in transition into fatherhood.

Prof Fiona Challacombe is a clinical psychologist and NIHR clinical lecturer at KCL and the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma, SLAM NHS Trust. She is a researcher in the field of perinatal anxiety disorders and conducted the first treatment trial for perinatal OCD. Her current focus is on improving treatments for women with anxiety disorders during pregnancy.  She is patron of the charity Maternal OCD, set up and run by women with lived experience of perinatal OCD to raise awareness of the condition.

Dr Hind Khalifeh is a Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist in South London and the Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust, and a visiting researcher in the Section of Women’s Mental Health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IOPPN), KCL. Her research has focused on psychotropic use in pregnancy, perinatal suicide and domestic violence. She has five years’ experience as a Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist in community perinatal mental health teams. She is chair of the London and South Perinatal Consultant Psychiatrists’ Association and a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists working group that is currently revising the College Report on Perinatal Mental Health Services.

Vibeke Hejgaard is a trained nurse in obstetrics and a health nurse. Is educated in NBO, ADBB, relational therapy and Marte Meo, as well as research course from UCSF. She has many years of experience in municipal school- and infant health care, worked as a family counselor, and has continuously taught health professionals in assessing parent-child interaction, attachment theory, neuro-affective developmental psychology, and more. In Center for Vulnerable Pregnants at Rigshospitalet Copenhagen she has been working to develop interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral cooperation in relation to early detection, intervention and nursing for vulnerable families. For the past 4 years, Vibeke has worked as a health care professional coordinator in the Family Ambulatory at Hvidovre Hospital in relation to vulnerable families with mental disorders and / or substance abuse problems. Vibeke Hejgaard Nielsen is a board member of the Nordic Marcé.