Jeanette Appleton

  • NBAS and NBO Trainer
  • Profession – Occupational Therapy
  • Current Role – Self-employed Developmental Care Specialist
  • Trainer Since – 2009
  • Why I love being a trainer – The best part of my role as Brazelton trainer is when you hear particular silence in the room as the trainees suddenly realise how much the baby can communicate its needs through their behaviour. This usually happens when they see the demonstration of a newborn observation or assessment, by the trainer, with a real baby and their carers.

I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1977 (Oxford). My first clinical posts were in London at Charing Cross Hospital, The National Hospital for Nervous Diseases and Northwick Park Child Development Unit. My experience in neurology and child development in these hospitals provided a foundation for my subsequent career in clinical and research work with infants and premature babies. At the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Southmead Child Development Unit in Bristol, I had managerial and clinical roles and helped to establish new paediatric Occupational Therapy services.

Between 1995 and 2008 I worked at the Wirral University Teaching Hospital, initially on the paediatric wards and subsequently as a newly-established post as a Developmental Care Specialist on the Neonatal Unit. The remit of this post was to develop and co-ordinate a protocol-based care programme for premature and sick infants and their developmental progress following discharge. I qualified in the Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale (NBAS) in 1999.

Within the University of Liverpool and between 2007 and 2011, I worked as a Research Neonatal Supervisor in the Wirral Child Health and Development Study, responsibilities for which included the supervision of a team of assessors using the NBAS and Bayley III Infant and Toddler Assessment Scale. I was subsequently employed as a Research Associate as Project Leader in a service development project for a care pathway for premature infants and children with a disability, commissioned by NHS Wirral.

I am currently a self-employed Developmental Care Specialist. This work includes consultancy and training delivered as lectures, courses and supervision. Clients have included:

  • Harcourt (now Pearsons)
  • College of Occupational Therapy on the Neonatal Network Taskforce 2009-2010
  • Liverpool Women’s Foundation Trust (2009-2011)
  • National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit 2012 – 2013
  • Brazelton Institute Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University USA 2014
  • University of Central Lancashire: School of Health 2009 – 2016
  • Brazelton Centre UK (Cambridge: Trainer 2009-2016; Senior Trainer 2016-ongoing)

I have presented research at international scientific meetings and have published in the field of newborn behaviours.