Journal Abstracts

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    Babies have been crying at birth for centuries but we have been reluctant to accept their cries as valid expressions of pain which will register in memory. Despite mounting evidence, the characteristic reaction of psychologists and medical practitioners to infant pain has been one of denial. Key myths about the brain have provided the rationale for painful procedures. Against this background, studies of the infant cry prove that crying is meaningful communication. Examples of prenatal and perinatal cries are examined.
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    Fetal motility was observed by ultrasound scan in 15 pregnant women awaiting amniocentesis, in order to assess the effects of maternal stress on fetal motor behavior. Amniocentesis was considered a stress situation giving rise to maternal anxiety not artificially induced. The control group consisted of 15 pregnant women undergoing routine ultrasound examination. Fetal motor activity was assessed in terms of quantity and quality. Anxiety was measured using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (S.T.A.I.).
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    There is absolutely nothing so inviting for any speaker as a good listener. The wise clinician knows this; so does the good radio interviewer. Really making room for what another will say is a dynamic, active affair. This is at the core of Alfred Tomatis' work over the years. Thousands know him as a uniquely sympathetic listener who, when he speaks, goes right to the point-often the deepest and most intimate point-of their lives. "I like to practice counseling just as I once did surgery," he says.

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    Verbal metaphors and their behavioral counterparts are discussed within the context of pre and perinatal issues. The major developmental stages are illustrated by the patient's use of language. These metaphors may emerge frequently in casual conversation or during periods of stress throughout life. As an example phrases such as "no way out" express the energy bound in prolonged labor and "being pulled in all directions" is related to a forceps assisted delivery. The baby's reaction to physical and psychological experiences during gestation may be discerned from verbal cues.
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    Infertility is a life crisis that affects all aspects of a couple's life. When they enter an in-vitro fertilization program the trauma and emotional stress becomes intensified.

    The first section of this paper will review the psychological components of infertility. The second section shall focus on the psychological issues which apply specifically to in-vitro patients. In the last section, suggestions for primary care physicians who are directly involved in IVF programs will be made.

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    Clifford Grobstein, we are told on the jacket of his book, Science & The Unborn, was at one time a laboratory scientist, teacher, medical school dean and "an analyst of biomedical policy." The reader would have been better served had he been given some more specific information about Grobstein's educational background. Was he a surgeon, an obstetrician, a psychologist, a philosopher or what?

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