Journal for Prenatal & Perinatal

Psychology & Health

34 Years of Peer-Reviewed Research

Journal For Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (JOPPPAH)

JOPPPAH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published continuously since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child. JOPPPAH invites original articles based on clinical work, experimental research, case studies, and self-report. Please review the guidelines for contributing authors by clicking on the link below and submit your articles to [email protected]  We look forward to hearing from you.

*If you need assistance, please contact our managing editor at [email protected]

If you are a higher-education institution or a journal subscription service, please register here and you will be contacted by the journal managing editor for access information.  For questions regarding your institutional subscriptions, please contact [email protected].

Letter from the Editor

Summer 2021 

Welcome to the second of three JOPPPAH issues of 2021. We hope summertime for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere has provided a bit of respite from some of the challenges of 2020. If this has been your wintertime, may you have had time for quiet and introspection.

Our first article is an interview between JOPPPAH’s Copy Editor, Kate Stahl-Kovell and Certified Nurse Midwife, Catey Brannan. Brannan shares her experience with, and perspective on, how to best advocate for the safety of queer birthing families by using inclusive terminology with families during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. She describes how the practice of using inclusive terminology, such as gestational parent or birthing parent alongside the more traditional terminology of mother, for example, does not replace the mother; rather, it “opens the door for more people” to be recognized. At JOPPPAH, we are dedicated to supporting all pregnant and birthing individuals and their families. In this effort, we are requesting that future contributors to the journal integrate inclusive language into their articles. In articles where this was not possible in the current issue due to prior acceptance of an article, readers will note the included editorial statement: “The author acknowledges that while this article’s scope of language is narrowed to the terms of ‘woman,’ ‘mother,’ and ‘motherhood,’ a gestational parent may identify in many different ways and use various terms to describe themselves.”

Our second article is a reprint from the 1988 spring journal issue of JOPPPAH titled Prenatal Receptivity and Intelligence, by the late Dr. David Chamberlain, a pioneer in prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. Many of the articles following this one focus on the interactions between the prenate and gestational parent, as well as what a prenate is aware of at what time, making the current sharing of this article feel fitting. Dr. Chamberlain incorporates the different theories of intelligence posited by Robert Sternberg and Howard Gardner and widens the view to include prenatal intelligence and interaction.

Our next article, Conscious Abortion: Engaging the Fetus in a Compassionate Dialogue, by Claudette Nantel, invites readers to look beyond the emotionally-charged debates within personal, political, and religious circles addressing abortion. Instead, she suggests a “compassionate dialogue” between the gestational parent(s) and the fetus. While readers will have their own responses to the information in this article, I invite them to also remember APPPAH’s educational mission, which states:

[APPPAH] provide[s] a forum for gathering and sharing scientific and experiential data related to prenatal and perinatal development. APPPAH is a non-political entity, whose bylaws, and over 30 years of precedent, do not allow involvement in addressing political questions. Like most other educational institutions, APPPAH cannot, and does not, take responsibility for how information is applied outside of the organization.

We do not advocate for any one position on abortion. We feel that this is a crucial decision that can only be made by the mother [or gestational parent(s)]. (APPPAH, 2021, para. 1,

Dr. Ofra Lubetzky shares with us Mother-Child Separateness and Connectedness from Fertilization to the Creation of an Intermediate Space. This article discusses the “continuous movement” between parent and child of being connected and separate during three preverbal stages of the baby’s development. Dr. Lubetzky presents “pregnancy (placenta), the birth (caesura), and the building of the potential space (third area)” as these preverbal stages.

Core Isolation in Prenates, Babies, Children, and Adults by Karen Melton, is our next article. Melton describes the relational wound of core isolation and contends, “Attachment and embodiment issues are central to core isolation since it impacts our achievable levels of presence, and therefore how deeply we can connect.” She describes the best ways to both prevent core isolation and heal it.

The Dictatorships of the 20th Century and their Origins in the Pre- and Perinatal Period, by Dr. Ludwig Janus, is “essayistic and transdisciplinary” in its style. Dr. Janus brings together observations and information from various scientific fields to examine both the impacts of violence and deprivation on 20th century Russian and German societies and the babies that were born into these societies. He connects this to the ensuing intergenerational perpetrator cycle that gave rise to Stalinist communism and Hitler’s Nazism.

Finally, we bring you a book review by Tim Hammond on Circumcision Scar: My Foreskin Restoration, Neonatal Circumcision Memories and How Christian Doctors Duped a Nation (2020), written by Jay J. Jackson. Hammond states that the book asks difficult questions about surgical genital alteration and is recommended reading for anyone who has undergone this procedure.

Thank you, as always, for your support of APPPAH and its mission. We welcome your comments, which you may post on the journal web pages of our website or send via email to the editors at [email protected] May you enjoy the transition of the seasons and may you, your families, and your communities be in good health and spirits.

Stephanie Dueger, PhD, LPC

APPPAH's Peer Reviewed Journal Publication Policies

Guidelines for Contributing Authors


The Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health accepts only original material that is not under consideration by any other publications. Articles should be word-processed and transmitted electronically as a Word document to the Editor. The Editor reserves the right to edit manuscripts for length, clarity, and conformity with the journal’s style. The author should retain his/her copy. American spelling should be used. The paper should be between 2,000 and 8,000 words with a 100–word abstract and at least three keywords. (See further guidelines for submitting a manuscript in the current APA Publication Manual (2020), specifically, “Author Responsibilities.”


The journal is interested in publishing theoretical and empirical articles utilizing data gained from clinical work, experimental research, case studies, and self-report. Among the areas of special interest are:


  • Psychological factors that affect conception, pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum period;
  • The reciprocal mechanisms of interaction between the pregnant mother and her unborn and sentient child and the mother and her newborn;
  • The influence of the family, society, and the environment on the pregnant mother and her unborn child;
  • Evidence-based measures that will improve the emotional well-being of mothers, fathers, and newborns;
  • The psychological effects of medical technology during conception, pregnancy, labor, and birth on all parties concerned;
  • Methods of prevention and intervention/resolution of prenatal and perinatal traumas with children and adults;
  • Interfaces between prenatal and perinatal psychology and medicine, genetics, developmental psychology, anthropology, ethics, and the law.


Illustrations, Figures and Tables


All illustrations and tables should be included separately from the manuscript (in a separate document) and should be clearly identified in Arabic numerals, showing which is the top of the illustration if this is not obvious. Tables must supplement the text without duplicating it. Refer to APA publication manual for detailed instructions on tables and figures. Illustrations should either be black-and-white glossy photographs or India ink drawings. Tables, figures, and illustrations should include an appropriate title and be in jpg or png file format. Keep in mind the 6x9 finished size of journal pages.


Other Requirements


Please include 50-100 word brief bio (total for all authors), as well as complete contact information for all authors.


APA Style

Formatting and referencing must follow APA style. References should be limited to work cited in the article. All cited material should be on the reference list.


American Psychological Association (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.