In recent years, in acknowledgement of the importance of interprofessional and healthy interpersonal support, the saying “It takes a village to raise a child” has evolved to include “It takes a village to raise a mother.”

This multidisciplinary panel will describe the multiple layers of maternal, parental, and infant mental health in the context of attachment and relationships in the perinatal period. Experts in the fields of maternal child health, birth, neonatology, infant attachment will share their knowledge and several decades of experience and research on the promotion and challenges to attachment in the perinatal period. They will critically explore both the opportunities and barriers to attachment in the prenatal and postpartum periods, from birthing at a hospital to building attachment during a subsequent pregnancy following the loss of a child, as well as sharing caregiver responsibility shortly after birth.

Webinar Details:
NCIMHA members are FREE
Non-members are $15
Certificate of Attendance provided. Training meets the requirements for the Culturally Responsive, Relationship Focused Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement®

Our Moderator

The panel will be moderated by Julissa Thompson, NCIMHA’s Training Coordinator and certified lactation consultant. Julissa has a background in psychology, early childhood education, and breastfeeding/chestfeeding research. She brings the experiences of a nanny of over a decade, preschool teacher, and parent coach to her current roles as NCIMHA Training Coordinator and Board Certified Lactation Consultant in a local Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Her passion for cross-cultural understanding, parental and child well-being, and her Caribbean heritage coupled with her love for learning (and food!) have taken her to 20 countries between Denmark and Barbados for personal and professional journeys. In her free time, she collects unicorn decor and dreams of more travels, more roti, and a world where social equity is the standard that we all hold ourselves to.

Our Panelists

After raising three children as a stay-at-home mother, Dr. Raylene Phillips received a master’s degree in Developmental Psychology with a focus on mother-infant attachment, became NIDCAP certified as a Preterm Infant Developmental Specialist, and then attended medical school at University of California, Davis. She completed her pediatric residency and neonatology fellowship at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in S. California and is an attending neonatologist in the Level 4 NICU at the same hospital. She is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics/Neonatology at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and is Pediatric Department Chair and Medical Director of Neonatal Services at Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta. Dr. Phillips is an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant, a Fellow of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, and a past president of the National Perinatal Association (NPA). She is currently President of the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH), a global non-profit organization with a mission to support healthy infant-parent relationships before and after birth. Her passion is to honor and nurture the earliest connections between babies and their parents.

Iris Jones, MA, IBCLC is a native of Black Mountain, NC. She relocated to The Triad area with her husband, where they started their family. Iris has 3 children, two boys and one girl. Iris has a background in Psychology and Human Services, with both a Bachelors and Masters in said field. She began doula work in 2018 after the birth of her second child, in hopes of being able to help families with their journeys of birth through postpartum. She is one of the three founding doulas of EASE Doula Collaborative, whose mission is to serve the community by providing optimal resources for a healthy prenatal, birth, and postpartum experience. Iris is a lifelong learner who explored several opportunities to further her education, including a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor course, which peaked her interest in furthering her education to be able to be more hands-on in assisting families with breast/chest feeding. Iris completed her Pathway 2 Human Lactation education in May of 2021, to officially become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in January of 2022. She currently works at one of the local hospitals on the Ante/Postpartum floor to support families with their infant feeding goals.

Kimberly D. Harper, MSN, RN, MHA (she/her) has nearly 20 years of experience as a registered nurse in Maternal and Child Health. Her breadth of experience ranges from leadership and nursing roles in labor and delivery units, postpartum care, public health home visiting programs, adjunct nursing faculty, and consulting. Ms. Harper currently holds several roles at the Collaborative for Maternal and Infant Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Co-PI on the Building Equitable Linkages with Interprofessional Education Valuing Everyone (BELIEVE) project. This work is funded by the American Heart Association focused on improving maternal health outcomes while working to eliminate bias and uplift the voices of those with lived experience. Her work experience provides a unique ability to build interdisciplinary relationships to implement systems change processes using an equity lens by centering the community. The overarching aim of her work is to translate research into practice using improvement science with a focus on supporting community led change.

Ongoing Sessions & Meetings

Statewide Advisory Committee on Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement®

Monthly multi-disciplinary committee meeting created to advise and assist with the implementation of Infant Mental Health Endorsement® throughout North Carolina. 

Date/Location: Every 3rd Tuesday from 10:30am-12pm via Zoom
Questions? Email Endorsement@NCIMHA.0rg for more information

Endorsement 101

Introductory session tailored towards those interested in applying for Infant Mental Health Endorsement®

Participants will  learn more about the categories of Endorsement, requirements for each category, and the process for applying for Endorsement in North Carolina. Ample time will be provided for specific questions and discussion.

Facilitator: Asata Virgo, NCIMHA Endorsement Program Manager
Date/Location: Dates vary (see upcoming dates and register here) via Zoom
Questions? Email 


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