Towards Parenthood Authors

Prof Jeannette Milgrom

Director, PIRI

Jeannette Milgrom is Professor of Psychology, Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne and Director of Clinical and Health Psychology at Austin Health in Melbourne, Australia. Jeannette pioneered ‘The Infant Clinic’ and in 2001 established the Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI) focusing on high-risk infants, ante and postnatal depression, and developing psychological treatments. She has had international recognition for her work with mothers and babies, and her book on treating postnatal depression has been translated into Italian and condensed in French. Her work with postnatal depression has included training of health professionals and delivering public health initiatives. She has an ongoing active research interest through PIRI and is the principal chief investigator on a number of grants including several National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants. Her work has recently been recognized with a Medal of the Order of Australia.

Ms Jennie Ericksen

Clinical Psychologist

Jennie Ericksen is a Clinical Psychologist who worked as the Coordinator of the Infant Clinic of the Parent-Infant Research Institute at Austin Health since its inception. She has specialising in working with parents and children during pregnancy and early parenthood in a variety of settings. Her interests include parental mental health, adjustment and the parent child relationship. She has a strong interest in supporting parents making the transition to parenthood and in building capacity in other health professionals to undertake this work. She has contributed to writing and evaluating a number of PIRI interventions and has managed and worked on a number of the Parent-Infant Research Institute research studies while leading a multidisciplinary team of parent-infant specialists. She has published a number of articles and contributed to improving awareness in the media of the needs of mothers, fathers and infants.

Dr. Bronwyn Leigh

Clinical Psychologist

Bronwyn Leigh is a clinical health psychologist who worked with women, infants and families through the Infant Clinic, at The Parent Infant Clinic at Austin Health. She was involved in a range of research studies related to maternal mood and prematurity through the Parent-Infant Research Institute. Bronwyn’s areas of specific interest include perinatal maternal mood disturbance, perinatal loss, adjustment to parenthood, adjustment following a premature birth, the parent-infant relationship and maintaining intimacy between couples in the transition to parenthood. Bronwyn is also an honorary psychologist to the Bonnie Babes Foundation, works in private practice and delivers workshops to health professionals.

Ms Yolanda Romeo

Clinical Psychologist

Yolanda Romeo is a clinical psychologist who worked with infants, children and their families at the Parent-Infant Research Institute at Austin Health for 5 years. She has two Masters Degrees in clinical psychology and child clinical psychology from the University of Melbourne, and has also undertaken further studies in the Graduate Diploma in Parent-Infant Mental Health, also at University of Melbourne. Yolanda has over nine years of experience working in the departments of child and adolescent psychiatry at a number of major hospitals in Melbourne including Austin Health and Monash Medical Centre and is currently in private practice. Her interests include parent-child attachment and relationship problems, the impact of family of origin and trauma issues and postnatal depression.

Ms. Elizabeth Loughlin

Dance Therapist

Elizabeth Loughlin is a professional dance therapist who has worked with mothers and infants in dance in the community, studio and clinical setting for many years. At the Infant Clinic, Parent Infant Research Institute at Austin Health, she offers dance and movement with music as a therapeutic intervention for mothers with postnatal depression and their infants. The aim is to build on the mother's intuitive processes that may have been dampened by postnatal depression and to encourage expressive communication between infant and mother. Elizabeth has published in the area and also teaches about this work at the International Dance Therapy Institute of Australia and creative arts therapies in the University of Melbourne School of Social Work.

Ms. Bella Saunders

Clinical Psychologist

Bella Saunders is a clinical and developmental psychologist who worked at the Infant Clinic, Parent Infant Research Institue at Austin Health for 3 years during the major development of the Toward Parenthood program. She has a strong and continuing interest in working with women with postnatal depression. She has extensive experience working in the areas of child and family issues, across private, government and hospital sectors. She specialises in parenting issues and assessing children's (0-8 years of age) social, emotional and behavioural needs and is currently teaching health professionals.

Ms Rachael McCarthy (1969-2005)

Clinical Psychologist

Rachael McCarthy was a clinical psychologist who worked at the Infant Clinic and Parent-Infant Research Institute for 10 years. Rachael possessed a passionate interest and rare sensitivity in working with mothers, babies and families. Her contribution to this book and to PIRI will not be forgotten and continues to resonate in the lives of all who she worked with.

Ms. Bev Aisbett


Bev Aisbett is the author and illustrator of a number of self-help books for depression, anxiety and panic.