Conference Keynote


9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
October 3, 2018 | Richmond, BC

A limited number of seats are  available to attend the keynote session only.  
The keynote session is included with registration for the full conference.

A Relationship for Life: The Mother-Child Connection

Newborn infants form 700 new neural connections per second. Knowing that the brain is shaped through neuroplasticity by experience, the experiences of the infant are profoundly important. This is particularly so when it comes to brain growth and mental health. And, how neural track is laid down in the first six years of life can stay with the child through the rest of their life course, impacting mental health and well-being throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.

At the same time that this incredible development is happening for the infant, the mother is going through a transformative life event. While this can come with many positive emotions, it can also be incredibly overwhelming and exhausting – physically and mentally. The reality that the mother’s well-being becomes part of the infant’s 700 neural connections per second needs to be a significant focus of our social systems and understanding.

We need to ensure that babies get the best start in life and that mothers are championed in being their best selves, for their own sake and for that of their children.

About Dr. Vanessa Lapointe

Dr. Vanessa Lapointe is  an author, parenting expert, and registered psychologist (British Columbia #1856) who has been supporting families and children for more than fifteen years. 

Author of Discipline without Damage: How to get your kids to behave without messing them up, a regularly invited media guest and contributor, educator and speaker, a Huffington Post Parent blogger, and a consultant to research projects and various organizations promoting emotional health and development, Dr. Vanessa is known for bringing a sense of nurturing understanding and humanity to all of her work. 

The founder of The Wishing Star Lapointe Developmental Clinic, Dr. Vanessa continues to work in her private practice at The Wishing Star, and has previous experience in a variety of settings, including the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development and the school system. 

Dr. Vanessa’s passion is in walking alongside parents, teachers, care providers, and other big people to really see the world through the child’s eyes. She believes that if we can do this, we are beautifully positioned to grow up our children in the best possible way. 

As a mother to 2 growing children, Dr. Vanessa strives not only professionally, but also personally, to view the world through the child’s eyes.

BC Association of Pregnancy Outreach Programs |

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