Since its founding, APPPAH has been on the cutting edge in exploring the long-term importance of pregnancy, birth, and bonding. We were pioneers in this field, and still are. We continue to research, learn, teach, and apply what we discover. Every year we hold a Congress to come together to reconnect and share our knowledge and ways to apply that information. As Chair of the 2011 Congress, my vision was that APPPAH would expand and grow, including new speakers and ideas, while still retaining the warm community feeling that is so much a part of APPPAH.
Robin Lim, an American woman who has helped thousands of poor Indonesian women have a healthy pregnancy and birth, was named as a 2011 CNN Hero of the Year last December.
Through her Yayasan Bumi Sehat health clinics, "Mother Robin," or "Ibu Robin" as she is called by the locals, offers free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid in Indonesia, where many families cannot afford care. "Every baby's first breath on Earth could be one of peace and love. Every mother should be healthy and strong. Every birth could be safe and loving. But our world is not there yet," Lim said.
As we face 2012, there are brighter prospects for prenatal and perinatal psychology than ever before, and APPPAH's efforts to spread the word the past twenty-five years is beginning to pay huge dividends. Some signs that prenatal and perinatal psychology are penetrating deeper levels of cultural awareness include the scientific study by Moscow pediatrician Bystrova, published in the June 2009 issue of Birth, verifying the findings of Marshall Klaus' 1976 classic study on infant bonding. Bystrova substantiated that there is a sensitive period immediately following birth, when bonding is greatly enhanced by breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact, and which has long term positive effects on maternal and infant development.