BabyBrains

Our team

 

BabyBrains® is an international multi-disciplinary group of parents, neuroscientists, psychologists, midwives, perinatal professionals, students and generally all people with a passion for truthful and effective communication that empowers parents and helps children fulfil their unique potential.

 

We are lead jointly by neuroscientist Silvia Dalvit Menabe (PhD Experimental Psychology) and Perinatal Wellbeing Advocate Cecilia Antolini Brenna (PhD Philosophy). Our advisory board includes senior Neuroscientists based at prestigious UK universities such as Cambridge and Essex, who are committed to public engagement and dissemination to ensure that brain and development science reaches those who need it most, i.e. young families.

 

The field work in the community is carried out by a rising number of BabyBrains Trainers, typically psychologists, midwives and other perinatal professionals, who have attended the BabyBrains®️ Trainings and are part of a rising human network that empowers communities with the BabyBrains®️ Workshops. We are deeply grateful to our volunteers and academic collaborators who put their skills to use so as to make it possible to empower more and more families with science.

Directors

SILVIA DALVIT MÉNABÉ  (Trento, Italy, 1983).

PhD Neuroscience, University of London. Founder and Director of BabyBrains®️. She has created the first BabyBrains®️ app for parental education (free on Apple Store and Google Play Store), has co-founded Il Parto Positivo (which has now become the Italian arm of BabyBrains®️) and has co-written two books supporting perinatal wellbeing in Italian ('Il Parto Positivo. Diventare mamma con Scienza e con Amore', i.e. BabyBrains. Becoming a mother with Science and Love and "I miei Quattro Trimestri', i.e. My Four Trimesters). Silvia is a Research Associate at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development at Birkbeck College, London, and since 2017 she collaborates with the Essex Babylab to help engage and exchange with the general public. She firmly believes that insights from neuroscience can help us out of ‘industrial parenting’ and into a more balanced, fulfilling and fun experience of growing up together. She is based in London (UK), where she lives with her husband and three children.

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CECILIA ANTOLINI BRENNA (Como, Italy, 1980).

PhD Philosophy, University of Palermo. Post-Graduate Diploma Infant Mental Health, Tavistock and Portman, London, Hypnobirthing Teacher, Director of BabyBrains®️. Cecilia has co-founded Il Parto Positivo, the Italian hub for perinatal wellbeing and co-authored the books 'Il Parto Positivo. Diventare mamma con Scienza e con Amore' (i.e. BabyBrains. Becoming a mother with Science and Love) and  "I Miei Quattro Trimestri" (i.e. My Four Trimesters), a toolbox combining Hypnobirthing techniques with Neuroscience insight to support expectant parents and their babies. She is an editor of the Italian midwifery magazine "Donna&Donna" and, since 2019, Owner and Director at BabyBrains®️. She firmly believes that it is possible to acquire new healthier habits with information, exercise and fun. She is based in Como (Italy), where she lives with her husband and two children.

The advisory board: Eminent Developmental Neuroscientists

Our advisory board has the mission to ensure that our products are in line with current scientific standards.

Currently on the board:

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Advisory board

Our advisory board has the mission to ensure that our products are in line with current scientific standards.

​Currently on the board:

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Prof. Mark Johnson

Head, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, one of the leading scientists in the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience. His endorsement means the world to us and we love working at so many projects together!

“As a scientist working on child brain and psychological development, I believe its important to communicate our latest findings to parents.  BabyBrains®️ communicates these new concepts to parents in an accurate and accessible way, and will enrich their understanding of their own child’s developmental changes.”

Prof. Derek Moore

Professor and Head of School at Surrey University. His focus are longitudinal studies of Typical and Atypical Development. We are exploring ways of testing the BabyBrains®️ app in collaboration with Derek’s research team.

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Dr Silvia Rigato

PhD, Lecturer at the University of Essex. She is particularly interested in the study of face processing and tactile localisation. Silvia has been following the birth and development of BabyBrains®️ from the start. We are now working together at the Essex-based project It All Starts In the Womb. In this picture she is holding Silvia Dalvit Menabe’s third son <3.

​​Dr Evelyne Mercure

PhD, UCL research fellow. Her focus is Brain and Cognitive Development in infancy and the impact of communicative experience in shaping this development. Evelyne has reviewed the BabyBrains®️ App and we are working together to make BabyBrains®️ more accessible to the Deaf community.

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Executive board

Community Management - International

Tessel Bazelmans 

is a mother of one and a research associate in early child development. With babybrains, she hopes to bring more of her science work to parents. She manages the international community and this website. 

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Munira Orsmond

Social Media - English

Development of the French Market

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Jihane Lahabi

is Moroccan/Italian and a mother of 2 very cool kids. After seven years of being a business lawyer in Milan and Paris, Jihane followed her passion for supporting families and became a doula. She's a BabyBrains and Il Parto Positivo trainer and she's currently training to be a family mediator. She is supporting the team to bring BabyBrains to the French speaking world.

Virginia Bosio 

is a neuropsychomotrist with an exquisite taste for beauty and communication. She, together with Ilaria, is behind internal communications in our Trainer Community.

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Community Management - Italy

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Ilaria Cattani

is one of the Trainers pioneers, with a great deal of professional experience and a wonderfully geeky understanding of technology. She, together with Virginia, coordinates and empowers our community of Trainers. 

Federica Cultraro

is a midwife who trained and work between the UK and Italy, as well as a mother. She contribute to our work with her professional and personal knowledge on perinatal wellbeing, as well as with her passion for graphic design and for connection through social media.

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Administration Assistance & Social Media - Italy

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Giulia Terranova

has a background in International Relations and has successfully transferred her skills to nurture personal relationships around herself, not only to raise her son but also to help grow the BabyBrains brand online and on the ground. 

Trainers bringing BabyBrains to the community

France

Lyon

​Paris​

Greece

Iran

Italy

See the map for our Italian Trainers and their locations. Also check our the Italian website Il Parto Positivo

Japan

Mexico

The Netherlands

Poland

Saudi Arabia

Singapore

South Africa

Spain

Sweden

United Kingdom

Cambridge

Colchester

Essex

Ipswich

London

Oxford

Previous collaborators

  • Angi Pendleton

  • Radoslava Horvath

  • Bairavi Selvarajah

  • Luisa Roberto

  • Miriam Huárriz

  • Cécile Gal

  • Victoria Mousley

  • Chiara Monauni