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APPPAH Live: Promoting Safety and Security in Unsettling Times at Birth with Marilyn R Sanders, MD

September 26 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Promoting safety and security in unsettling times

While most babies transition uneventfully from womb to breast, about one in eight babies in the United States requires some specialized care after birth. For these infants and their parents, the social engagement that begins with the newborn on mother’s chest is interrupted. Given the biological expectancy of newborns for their parents’ physical and emotional proximity, sensitivity, and attunement, this disruption represents a threat to safety felt both by baby and parents.  This presentation will review the evolutionary neurobiology of the autonomic nervous system as framed by the Polyvagal Theory that describes how the unconscious awareness of safety, danger, or life threat impacts our emotions and behaviors.    Additional risk factors including prematurity, brain injury, and exposure to maternal substance misuse will also be discussed as threats to parent/infant engagement and connectedness. Finally, the presenter will review neuroprotective strategies to support sick newborns and their families to develop the social engagement/connectedness that leads to secure attachment.

Marilyn R Sanders, MD

Dr. Marilyn Sanders is a board-certified pediatrician and neonatologist caring for critically ill babies, infants, and their families and a Professor of Pediatrics at the UCONN School of Medicine. She also provides neurodevelopmental follow-up for babies and infants. Her scholarly interest is providing trauma-informed care to hospitalized newborns, infants, young children, and their families. Her focus is the impact of the autonomic nervous system’s sense of safety, danger, or life threat on our emotions and behavior. She lectures throughout the United States and Europe. Dr Sanders has authored papers and book chapters on trauma-informed care in the hospital setting. Dr Sanders’ book with her co- author, Dr George Thompson, The Polyvagal Theory and the Developing Child: Strengthening Systems of Care for Kids, Families, and Communities was released 11/16/21 by WW Norton. The book discusses implications of the Polyvagal Theory, for the well-being and development of infants, children, adolescents and their families.


Register for APPPAH Live  To attend this event, please Register to receive the APPPAH Live: Exploring Birth Psychology email notices. This is a free one-time registration and then you will receive weekly emails of our sessions with links to join on zoom for free. The APPPAH Live Library of recordings is available to view anytime for APPPAH members at the premier membership level. Become a member here.

Zoom Link You can use this link to join us live on Zoom on Monday, September 26, 2022


September 26
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Event Category:
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