Journal Abstracts

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  • Abstract:

    Building on a successful program of prenatal stimulation previously reported, obstetrical routines were altered to provide more continuity with the womb environment. The paper reports both the rationale and specific procedures employed. The goal of the program was to treat the newborn as a person, minimize discomfort during birth and avoid conditions of possible stress and anxiety. Gentle stimulation included eye-to-eye contact, smiles, skin-to-skin touch, soothing voices, early breastfeeding, and enjoyable relations between mother, father, and child.

  • Abstract:

    Both the incidence and scope of post-partum affective disorders are more pervasive than previously assumed. Several etiological factors have been implicated but none has fully explained the origins of the condition. This paper proposes that post-partum depression may be predicted from the expectant mother's representations of her own caregiver. Deficits in representational ability may prevent the caregiver from envisioning herself as a competent mother capable of forging an adaptive relationship with the infant.

  • Abstract:

    This paper identifies women who are at greater potential for medical complications in their pregnancies due to post traumatic stress resulting from previous perinatal loss. The loss may have been suffered by the woman herself during a past pregnancy or she may have inherited heightened anxiety from perinatal loss experienced by her mother. In the latter case, the unresolved grief is transmitted from mother to daughter, affecting physiological, emotional and behavioral patterns in the next generation. Pregnancy presents an opportunity for healing.

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  • Abstract:

    This article, based on interviews about pregnancy, birth, childraising, and career with 31 middle-class Anglo women, examines self- and body image as microcosmic mirrors of social relationships and worldview. All interviewees are professionals in positions of power and authority. They tend to see the body as an imperfect tool that the more perfect self should control. They tend to experience pregnancy and birth as unpleasant because they are so out-of-control, and to emphasize the separation of the self from the body and from the fetus growing inside that body.

  • Abstract:

    In the 20th century, probably more people have had the experience of birth than in all previous centuries combined. The current rate is almost 10,000 births per hour. In any given nine-month period, there are about 180 million expectant parents going through a unique life-changing experience. Research and therapy focused on the prenatal and perinatal period confirms that pregnancy and birth are formative experiences for both babies and parents. Yet, in the century of maximum birthing, psychological principles and interactions have been radically altered.

  • Abstract:

    This paper is an attempt at an historical survey of psychotherapies that have successfully accessed pre- and perinatal memories. A variety of ways in which psychotherapists work with material that is felt by the therapist or the client to be linked to pre- or perinatal life are discussed, and certain desirable criteria for the practice of humanistic and rational pre- and perinatal psychotherapy are suggested.

  • Abstract:

    In a village in Egypt two patterns of infant and child rearing were observed. Uneducated mothers living in extended families used a high contact style of infant rearing and child nurses to produce children who were cooperative, family oriented and highly attached to their mother. Educated women living in nuclear families used a low contact style of infant rearing and adult caretakers to produce children who were ego oriented and able to achieve independently of their family.

  • Abstract:

    Colic is a disorder of early infancy marked by excessive amounts of loud, persistent crying. Lesser amounts of crying are considered normal in infants. Neither the crying of colicky infants nor the baseline crying of normal human infants have any homologue in the vocal behavior of other mammalian infants. This human-specific cry continuum may reflect a human-specific discomfort continuum which is function of the general immaturity of human neonates. Such immaturity may be the result of selection for altricial birth forced by cephalo-pelvic incompatibility during birth.

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