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Key overview details

  • Targeted
Mental Wellbeing Need
  • Emotion Regulation / Emotional literacy
  • Self Esteem / Resilience
  • Parent-child relationship / Attachment
  • Social Skills / Positive Peer Relationship
Target Age
  • Antenatal / Perinatal: from conception to birth
  • Show only programmes known to have been implemented in Scotland
Usability Rating
Supports Rating
Evidence Rating

Mellow Bumps


Mellow Bumps is an ante-natal group-based intervention programme designed for pregnant women between 20-30 weeks gestation with additional social care needs. This programme is delivered over 6 weekly 2-hour sessions to mums-to-be of any age.

The programme is guided by attachment, social learning, cognitive theories and child development principles and uses experiential learning to teach mothers-to-be how to decrease stress levels in pregnancy, help them to understand that babies are prepared for social interaction from birth - emphasising the importance of early interaction for baby brain development and to help mothers-to-be to communicate in a warm, loving manner with their babies.

Mellow Parenting is a Scotland based organisation, it offers Mellow Bumps training and implementation support across Scotland with an international reach.

Service Provider Website:


Usability - Rating: 4

Core Components

Mellow Parenting, based in Glasgow, offers a series of evidence-based programmes targeting parents, infants and children. The Mellow Bumps Programme is one of a family of seven available programmes.

Mellow Bumps is an ante-natal group-based intervention programme for pregnant women with additional social care needs. The programme is designed to be delivered between 20-30 weeks gestation, the period when the pregnancy is most secure, and the mother may have experienced foetal movement but prior to her attention being taken up with the delivery.

The programme is delivered over 6 weekly 2 hour sessions and is clearly operationalised with a comprehensive suite of manuals including a structured practitioners manual ‘Mellow Bumps – a group for mums-to-be’ in which the content of each session is fully described including a range of practitioner templates, checklists, forms and questionnaires and a ‘Mellow Evaluation Manual’.

The programme is delivered by 2 trained practitioners, although three is encouraged to ensure practitioner coverage, in a group setting and draws upon psychological and practical techniques to promote wellbeing and facilitate the development of antenatal attachment.
Mellow Bumps is delivered non-didactically to encourage engagement and aims to teach mothers-to-be with (1) Mother focused activities to manage stress, anxiety and self-care (2) Baby focused activities which help the mother-to-be bond with her unborn baby and to recognise the baby’s socio-emotional development (3) Relaxation to decrease stress and anxiety during pregnancy and thereafter (4) Have-a-go activities to allow mothers-to-be to put these into practice at home.


To support fidelity across all programmes Mellow Parenting provides (1) Standardised training (2) Practitioner manuals and tools (3) Monitoring using an evaluation framework supported by the Mellow Parenting Evaluation Team (4) Accreditation of practitioners and (5) Agency organisational supports. Access to Mellow Parenting experts to support practitioners to effectively replicate the programme is available on request via face to face in our premises, skype, telephone calls or email at no additional cost.

Modifiable Components

The core components of the programme are not modifiable and are required to be delivered.

Mellow Bumps has been modified for dads ‘Mellow Dads-To-Be’ which is delivered separately. If there are insufficient numbers of dads available to participate in the delivery of a full Mellow-Dads-To-Be Programme, an optional session can be added to the Mellow Bumps Programme for fathers to attend as an additional seventh session.

Mellow Bumps has been adapted for inclusion in the Mellow Futures Bumps programme which is specially designed for parents with learning difficulties/disabilities.

Mellow Bumps has been translated into German, Icelandic, Romanian, Russian and Tajik.

Supports - Rating: 4

Support for Organisation / Practice

Mellow Parenting is an ISO9001 accredited Scottish charity based in Glasgow. Capacity to implement Mellow Bumps in Scotland has been identified with over 100 hundred Mellow Bumps practitioners trained in Scotland.

Implementation Support

Mellow Parenting provide new sites/agencies with support during the implementation phase. These supports include a robust Evaluation Framework supported by the Evaluation Team who provide guidance in relation to data collection, evaluation and how to maximise the use of findings along with detailed evaluation reports for each group. Ongoing general support is available from the Mellow Parenting Office by email, phone, skype or in person. Senior trainer support is also available for practitioners if any issues arise during group delivery in the early stages of implementation and a dedicated website is also available for practitioners that includes programme resources and materials for downloading. These supports incur no additional cost.

Licence Requirements

There is no licensing requirement to deliver Mellow Parenting Programmes however practitioners must hold a certificate of training to deliver the programme.

Start-up Costs

Start-up costs include an upfront one-off fee for the Mellow Bumps Programme priced at £375.00 per person which includes practitioner training, a suite of practitioner manuals, access to the Practitioners website with downloadable resources, implementation support and supervision for one practitioner.

Building Staff Competency

Qualifications Required

Academic qualifications are not required to become a Mellow Bumps Practitioner. Experience in infant/maternal/paternal mental health, early years and group work along with personal attributes such as empathy, nurturing and openness are desirable.

Training Requirements

Practitioner training is a requirement and is a 1-day training course delivered by Mellow Trainers. On completion, practitioners will receive a certificate of training required to deliver Mellow Parenting Programmes. Training is delivered in Scotland and across the UK however agencies can also commission training to be delivered onsite to a cohort of a maximum number of 10 participants at a cost of £3750 which includes trainers plus travel and accommodation costs. A train the trainer programme is also available which is a 1-day training programme at a cost of £200.

Supervision Requirements

Mellow Parenting practitioners have the option to become an accredited practitioner. This is done by working through the formal Accreditation framework that comprises two core components:

1) Reflective Consultation - following training practitioners must engage in coaching, supervision and mentoring with review of case vignettes. This is undertaken over 2 to 3 discussions and can be accessed in the Mellow Parenting office (occasionally in London) or by skype or phone at no additional cost. There is an option to request a Mellow Parenting Consultant to travel to an agency venue at a cost of £250 consultancy rate exclusive of travel and accommodation costs.

2) Evaluation - agencies/practitioners submit pre and post group qualitative and quantitative data specific to each programme. This data is analysed by the Evaluation Team to inform the production of bespoke group evaluation reports. These reports can be used by practitioners to evaluate and validate programme effectiveness.
Successful completion of both Reflective Consultation and Evaluation will result in practitioner Accreditation. Re-accreditation, following the same process, is required thereafter every two years to remain an accredited practitioner. There is no cost to becoming accredited however re-accreditation will incur a fee of £75.00.

Evidence - Rating: 2+

Theory of Change

Mellow Parenting Programmes are based on psychological theories of attachment, social learning and cognitive behavioural therapy. The foundation of all Mellow Parenting Programmes is attachment theory with emphasis on the transmission of attachment and relationship styles across generations. The programme goals of mellow Bumps are clearly articulated which are (1) To decrease mother’s stress levels in pregnancy (2) Help mother’s understand that babies are prepared for social interaction from birth - emphasising the importance of early interaction for baby brain development and (3) To help mothers-to-be with their mother baby communication skills.

Antenatal / Perinatal: from conception to birth - Rating: 2+

Research Design & Number of Studies

Four service evaluations of the programme have been conducted internal to Mellow Parenting. Evaluations have employed a range of methods, including semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and quantitative data analysis.

Outcomes Achieved

Child Outcomes

• Average birth weight and gestational age were within healthy parameters. (Fargie & Waugh, MacBeth et al, Paterson & Ibrahim, Waugh et al).

Parent Outcomes

• Significant differences in maternal emotional well-being including anxiety, depression, outwardly and inwardly directed irritability including in teenage mums-to-be. (Fargie & Waugh, MacBeth et al, Paterson & Ibrahim, Waugh et al).
• Learning about infant development and practical strategies to help connect mums-to-be with their bumps was found supportive. (Breustedt et al).
• Increased confidence in further service uptake for example postnatal services. (Fargie & Waugh, MacBeth et al, Paterson & Ibrahim, Waugh et al).

Programme Evaluation References:

Breustedt, S., et al. A Qualitative and Quantitative Evaluation of Mellow Bumps: An attachment based antenatal intervention. Mellow Parenting.

Fargie, J., Waugh, H. A Scotland Wide Trial of Mellow Bumps with Teenage-Mums-to-be. Mellow Parenting.
MacBeth, A., et al. A Pilot Evaluation of Mellow Bumps: An attachment-based antenatal intervention. Mellow Parenting

Patterson, K., Ibrahim, R. Mellow Bumps: Outcomes of an antenatal group programme focusing on attachment. Mellow Parenting.

Waugh, H., et al. Bonding with Bumps: Evaluation of a Relationship Focussed Antenatal Intervention. Mellow Parenting.



Mellow Parenting believes that nurturing relationships are vital to healthy development and has this value running through the organisation from staff to practitioners to families.  Mellow Parenting promotes inclusivity making programmes accessible to every parent and child that would benefit from attending regardless of their race, religion, gender, age, sexuality, socioeconomic status or geo-graphical location.  

  • Does promoting a positive nurturing relationship between mothers-to-be and their babies align with the key values of your service/organisation?
  • Does promoting access and inclusivity for all regardless of the status align with your organisational values?


The Mellow Bumps Programme has been developed as an ante-natal group-based intervention programme designed for pregnant women to promote healthy parent-baby relationships and to promote the best possible outcomes from generation to generation. 

  • Is working with mothers-to-be in an intervention approach to help build parents confidence, develop mother and baby interactions and relationships and equip mothers with the necessary skills to positively parent a current priority for your organisation?
  • Is helping mothers-to-be understand their baby’s behaviour a priority for your organisation?

Existing Initiatives 

  • Does your service already provide intervention programmes aiming to improve baby and mother-to-be relationships, baby development and parental mental health outcomes?
  • Does your area have practitioners trained in delivering the Mellow Bumps Programme?
  • Do you have links with CAMHS, Adult Mental Health Services and Child Protection Services to refer onto if required?


To deliver the Mellow Bumps Programme requires 2 trained practitioners (training duration is 1 days) for 2 hours per week for 6 weeks of the group. Additionally, practitioners will require additional time for preparation, phone calls. 

  • Do you have enough qualified practitioners available to commit to undertake training?
  • Do you have enough qualified practitioners available to commit to delivering the full extent of this programme?

Technology Support

To implement the Mellow Bumps Programme from a technology perspective requires a TV monitor and internet access.

  • Do you have access to adequate technology to support practitioners to effectively deliver the technological components of the programme?

Administrative Support

Administrative support is required to recruit mothers-to-be, receive referrals, collect evaluation data and feedback, print off materials along with co-ordinating and booking of venues, hospitality, transport, childcare and craft materials.

  • Do you have enough administrative capacity and systems to meet these administrative needs?
  • Do you have access to facilities to host the parent group?

Financial Support

Financial support is required for training costing £375.00 per practitioner and re-accreditation every 2 years costing £75.00 per practitioner. The provision of a venue, hospitality, transport and childcare to deliver the programme will also require financial support.

  • Do you have the finances to pay for practitioners to attend the training and additional re-accreditation costs?
  • Running the groups will also incur costs such as printing, venue, hospitality, transport and childcare costs. Are you able to fund the recurring group delivery costs?

Comparable Population 

The Mellow Bumps Programme target population is mothers-to-be between 20-30 weeks gestation with additional social care needs.

  • Is this comparable to the population you serve?
  • Does your organisation have existing contacts with mothers in this population?
  • Are you likely to receive enough eligible referrals to populate a recurring programme of Mellow Bumps?

Desired Outcome

The Mellow Bumps Programme is an ante-natal group-based intervention programme that aims to (1) teach mothers-to-be how to decrease stress levels in pregnancy (2) help them to understand that babies are prepared for social interaction from birth - emphasising the importance of early interaction for baby brain development and (3) help mothers-to-be to communicate in a warm, loving manner with their babies.

  • Are improvements in baby development, baby and mother-to-be attachment, learning and mental health priority outcomes for your organisation?
Case Study

Mellow Bumps has been implemented in the Glasgow based charitable organisation, 3D Drumchapel. Click below to read about their experience implementing this intervention.

Read the case study

Developer Details

Mellow Parenting

Unit 4

Six Harmony Row

Glasgow G51 3BA

Phone: 0141 445 6066

Email: enquiries@mellowparenting.org


Mellow Parenting is a Company Ltd by Guarantee (349127) and a Charity Registered in Scotland Number SC037384