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A photographer looks at the struggle to provide women with safe, respectful care during child birth. GO TO SLIDE SHOW NOW.

APPPAH's 25th Anniversary

There will be a special 25th Anniversary Newsletter published next month and a night of celebration at the San Francisco conference in November. We hope that you will join us. • Do you have photos from the early years? • Or stories to share from an early Congress? • And for those of you who are longtime members, would you share a few lines about what/who inspired you to devote yourself to APPPAH? • And for you newer APPPAH supporters, what do you envision on the horizon of APPPAH's next 25 years? Please post here or send to


Apr. 6, 2013 — Exposure of the developing fetus to excessive levels of stress hormones in the womb can cause mood disorders in later life and now, for the first time, researchers have found a mechanism that may underpin this process, according to research presented April 7 at the British Neuroscience Association Festival of Neuroscience (BNA2013) in London. READ FULL ARTICLE


An estimated quarter of a million women die each year from pregnancy-related causes like pre-eclampsia. Though the number of women who die in pregnancy or childbirth is half what it was 20 years ago, most of these deaths could have been prevented. READ FULL ARTICLE


Physical and psychological problems after childbirth are common, and may have a significant negative and long-term impact on women’s wellbeing and daily functioning. The method of birth may be a particularly important factor influencing women’s health and wellbeing following birth, however, population-wide evidence is limited. This study uses data from 5,332 women who responded to a national survey of women’s experiences of maternity care in England. We examined women’s postnatal wellbeing in the first three months after birth, and whether these varied by mode of birth.


ScienceDaily (Sep. 19, 2012) — A new Cochrane Review concludes that all
countries should consider establishing proper home birth services. They should
also provide low-risk pregnant women with information enabling them to make an
informed choice. The review has been prepared by senior researcher, statistician
Ole Olsen, the Research Unit for General Practice, University of Copenhagen, and
midwifery lecturer PhD Jette Aaroe Clausen.

In many countries it is believed that the safest option for all women is to give


New film titled FREEDOM FOR BIRTH is about how the obstetric system is violating women's rights to decide where and how they give birth.

This video features the criminalized Hungarian midwife Agnes Gereb plus many of the world's leading birth experts including Ina May Gaskin, Robbie Davis-Floyd, Professor Lesley Page, Professor Sally Tracy, Sarah Buckley and Anna Ternovsky, the woman who won a lawsuit to determine the circumstances of her birth at the European Court of Human Rights. Her case might just have changed the way the world thinks about birth.

• Yoga Reduces Depression ~ Boosts Bonding

Yoga Reduces Depression in Pregnant Women, Boosts Maternal Bonding

ScienceDaily (Aug. 8, 2012) — University of Michigan study the first to show
evidence that mindfulness yoga may offer effective treatment for depressed new
mothers to be. Prenatal yoga may help women cope with depression.

It's no secret that pregnancy hormones can dampen moods, but for some expectant
moms, it's much worse: 1 in 5 experience major depression.

Now, new research shows that an age-old recommended stress-buster may actually
work for this group of women: yoga.

• Human Twins at Birth Highlight Importance of Intrauterine Environment

ScienceDaily (July 15, 2012) — Your genes determine much about you, but
environment can have a strong influence on your genes even before birth, with
consequences that can last a lifetime. In a study published online in Genome
Research, researchers have for the first time shown that the environment
experienced in the womb defines the newborn epigenetic profile, the chemical
modifications to DNA we are born with, that could have implications for disease
risk later in life.

Epigenetic tagging of genes by a chemical modification called DNA methylation is