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JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly 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.


Volume 34, Issue 5

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Current Issue > Volume 34, Issue 5

Publication Date: 09/2020
  • Interview with Midwife Jennie Joseph
  • Fetal Hippocampal Development Affects Prenatal Attachment Representations
  • A New Perspective on Extreme Recurring Anorexia and Its Treatment: A Preliminary Study
  • The Influence of Parental Relationships on Childbirth: Results of a Longitudinal Study in Russia
  • The Birth of a Mother: A Psychological Transformation


To date, the year 2020 has not been for the faint-of-heart. From the coronavirus pandemic, to the magnification of racial injustice in the United States, to the glaring global effects of climate change, this year has both highlighted our fresh and unhealed wounds and insisted on nothing short of humanity seismically shifting many of its current paradigms.

In hopes of contributing to some paradigm shifts, we open this fall issue with an interview between our Associate Editor, Dr. Jazman Allen, and Orlando, Florida midwife, Jennie Joseph. In this candid dialogue, Ms. Joseph shares her experience working with underserved populations during the concurrent pandemic and heightened racial tensions in the United States. The discussion covers many topics, including racism, the history of midwifery in the United States, ways Ms. Joseph and her team support families through midwifery, and the possibilities of being an ally for change.

Our second article, Fetal Hippocampal Development Affects Prenatal Attachment Representations, was written by Dr. Peter Salerno. In this literature review, Dr. Salerno advances support for how attachment tendencies and behaviors between a baby and their mother are cultivated in utero. The review highlights the development of the brain and nervous system and weaves these through attachment theory and contributing social-emotional factors.

In A New Perspective on Extreme Recurring Anorexia and Its Treatment: A Preliminary Study, researchers Heleen Wesselius, Ingeborg Bosch, Lenneke van Hastenberg, Jessica Simons, Chris Kuiper, and Peer van der Helm explore using Past Reality Integration in treating this highly-fatal eating disorder. The researchers share how 12 of the 13 patients in their study suffering severe or extreme recurring anorexia had experienced pre- and perinatal trauma, and how these early underlying traumas may contribute to the development of an eating disorder as well as to its intractability. The findings report a positive trend towards health using Past Reality Integration.

Dr. Galina Rakova contributed the next article, The Influence of Parental Relationships on Childbirth: Results of a Longitudinal Study in Russia. In her research, Dr. Rakova interviewed 158 pregnant women prior to birth and information from 116 of their births afterwards. She states that when women in their third trimester perceived the baby’s father becoming emotionally warmer and more attentive towards them due to pregnancy, they were more likely to have births without complications compared to women who didn’t perceive this increase in emotional warmth and attentiveness. Dr. Rakova emphasizes how this can have long-term effects on the health of the baby.

In Sharing Space, Kate Babetin brings us The Birth of a Mother: A Psychological Transformation. In her personal research, she explores the identity shift of becoming a mother, stages of transformation and factors impacting it, and the ways becoming a mother affects a woman’s different aspects of life, such as career and relationships.

Finally, we bring you one book review by our Book Editor, Barbara Hotelling, on The Greatness Chair (2019), written by Dr. Kathleen Friend. In the review, the book’s focus on the importance of strength and positivity, as well as building people up rather than tearing them down, is highlighted.

Astute readers may notice this issue is numbered five of a quarterly journal. For several reasons, APPPAH has made the decision to switch to a triannual journal, printed three times per year, beginning in January, 2021. This will not affect your current subscription. Therefore, the Fall issue is labeled number five, and the Winter issue will be labeled number six. Thank you for your understanding in this transition.

As we shift into new rhythms with the return of fall in the Northern Hemisphere, we at APPPAH are wishing you good health and ease. And thank you for your continued support of this unique and indispensable organization.


Stephanie Dueger, PhD, LPC