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Earning a PhD in Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology
Publication Date: 12/2020
Author(s): Jeane Rhodes

Keywords: prenatal and perinatal psychology, post-graduate programs, individualized degree plans

This article balances reflections on the author’s experience of earning a PhD in prenatal and perinatal psychology with information about current opportunities for others interested in pursuing such a degree. The article also explores why one might want to pursue such a degree and why it is important for our field to be represented by many individuals with advanced degrees in prenatal and perinatal psychology.

Hidden Trauma and Dissociation: Prenatal Assessment within the Calming Womb Model
Publication Date: 12/2020
Author(s): Rosita Cortizo

Keywords: prenatal care, assessment, trauma interventions, CWFTM

Hidden, unresolved traumatic stress caused by childhood adverse experiences often impacts women before their childrearing years with implications for their prenatal bonding, obstetric experience, and their ability to parent children. The purpose of this article is to inform about trauma conditions and dissociative processes that are often present, yet buried in pregnant women’s consciousness due to defensive adaptation, and to provide information about the different types of screening tools designed to identify unsettled trauma in the mother.

Out of the Dark: Embodying Our Original Embryological Potential
Publication Date: 12/2020
Author(s): Cherionna Menzam-Sills

Keywords: Embryology, prenatal psychology, shadow, potential

What great intelligence guides our formation? What happens to that amazing original potential and how can we recover it when life conditions have occluded it? This article explores how our psychological development may be affected by conditions we meet, like being received and welcomed, or not, within familial, cultural, and ancestral contexts. The concept of psychological shadow is applied to pre- and perinatal experience that is so often denied.

The Maternal-Fetus Relationship in the Uterus: Essential for Wellbeing through Life
Publication Date: 12/2020
Author(s): Ofra Lubetzky

Keywords: Motherhood, fetus, Pregnancy, artificial womb

Motherhood involves a mental reorganization including biological, sociological, and emotional elements that come into being in the mother’s psyche during conception, pregnancy, birth, and throughout life. The fetus is a partner who engages in an active dialogue with the mother. From the moment of fertilization, the process of development begins as part of the course of life. Pre- and perinatal experiences shape the child’s brain structure and functioning and lay the foundation for their personality and sense of security and trust.

The Psyche of the Embryo: A Source of New Awareness
Publication Date: 12/2020
Author(s): Gino Soldera

Keywords: psyche, embryo, awareness, psychogenome, relationship system

This article presents a new paradigm that claims the existence of the psyche in the human being from the moment of conception. The author invites the reader to reconsider the outlook adopted up to now, which considers the brain the only unit of reference useful for understanding the mind and its functioning. A global vision of man cannot overlook the existence of the psyche, seen also as the soul. The human being could not live without it. In fact, the psyche appears to be present and functioning with its individual character from the moment of conception.

A New Perspective on Extreme Recurring Anorexia and Its Treatment: A Preliminary Study
Publication Date: 09/2020
Author(s): Heleen Wesselius, Ingeborg Bosch, Lenneke van Hastenberg, Jessica Simons, Peer van der Helm

Keywords: severe/extreme recurring anorexia, prenatal and perinatal trauma, early childhood trauma, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), Past Reality Integration

There is a need for a new perspective on treatment for adolescents and adults with extreme recurring anorexia, underlying prenatal and perinatal trauma, early childhood trauma (or Adverse Childhood Experiences), and complex multi-problems. Current evidence-based therapies are successful with 66% of patients suffering from anorexia with a BMI higher than 17.5. An approach is suggested that regards the eating disorder as a coping strategy for underlying emotional pain.

Fetal Hippocampal Development Affects Prenatal Attachment Representations
Publication Date: 09/2020
Author(s): Peter Salerno

Keywords: fetal hippocampal development, mental representations, prenatal attachment, Literature Review

Memories of prenatal relational experience leave physical and chemical imprints on the brain and nervous system of an unborn child that influence attachment tendencies and behaviors. Attachment representations develop in utero as an unborn child thinks, feels, learns, behaves, and remembers according to environmental stimuli that are activated by interaction with maternal transmissions during critical gestational periods.

Interview with Midwife Jennie Joseph
Publication Date: 09/2020
Author(s): Jazman Allen

Keywords: Racism, Midwifery, COVID-19

In this interview, JOPPPAH Associate Editor, Dr. Jazman Allen, spoke with Orlando midwife, Jennie Joseph regarding Jennie’s experience working with underserved populations during the concurrent COVID-19 pandemic and heightened racial tensions in the United States. This interview was edited for clarity only.

The Birth of a Mother: A Psychological Transformation
Publication Date: 09/2020
Author(s): Kate Babetin

Keywords: Motherhood, identity, transformation, postpartum adjustment

There is no experience in a woman’s life that is more impactful, all-encompassing, and life-altering than becoming a mother. The transformation from woman to mother is a psychologically-profound experience that both overlaps and is separate from the physical experience of becoming a mother.

The Influence of Parental Relationships on Childbirth: Results of a Longitudinal Study in Russia
Publication Date: 09/2020
Author(s): Galina Rakova

Keywords: Epigenetics, maternal effects, emotions, Pregnancy, childbirth

Safe delivery is considered from the point of view of “maternal effects.” We interviewed 158 pregnant women in their third trimester of pregnancy with the help of the “Pregnant Woman Attitude Test,” and studied 116 of their births after delivery. The comparative analysis by Pearson’s chi-squared test method showed differences in these groups by the feature, “Because of pregnancy, my child’s father became more attentive and warmer to me.” The women who chose such a statement had delivery without complications in 64.5% of cases.

Adverse Babyhood Experiences (ABEs) Increase Risk for Infant and Maternal Morbidity and Mortality, and Chronic Illness
Publication Date: 06/2020
Author(s): Veronique Mead

Keywords: Critical periods, fetal origins of adult disease, adverse babyhood experiences, ABEs, adverse childhood experiences, ACEs, trauma, postpartum depression, maternal morbidity, maternal mortality, maternal-infant bonding, asthma, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, heart disease

Adverse babyhood experiences (ABEs) identify 10 categories of negative events for mothers before they conceive, and for parents and babies from conception until a child’s third birthday. ABEs identify preventable and reducible non-genetic factors that increase risk for infant morbidity and mortality, chronic illness, mental health conditions, and other symptoms in a child’s life; morbidity and mortality in mothers; PTSD and depression in fathers, and more.

Creating Healthy Layers of Support at Home and Socially: Monday LIVE! Panel Discussion, March 30th, 2020
Publication Date: 06/2020
Author(s): Thomas R Verny, Raylene Phillips, Peg Bledsoe, Rebecca Thompson Hitt, Nina Ketscher

Keywords: COVID-19, Layers of Support

Editor’s note: This piece was transcribed by the editor from the audio recording containing the above title. Both panelists and the editor changed some of the wording for clarity, but not content. The original recording can be found on the APPPAH website.

How Birth Providers in the United States are Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Publication Date: 06/2020
Author(s): Robbie Davis-Floyd, Kim Gutschow, David A. Schwartz

Keywords: COVID-19, Pregnancy, Birth, Maternity Care, Obstetricians, Midwives, Doulas, Homebirth, Freebirth, SARS-CoV-2, Maternal Health

How quickly and in what ways are United States maternity care practices changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Our survey data indicate that partners and doulas are being excluded from birthing rooms while many mothers are isolated, unsupported, and laboring alone. Providers face changing hospital protocols, lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), and unclear guidelines for practice. In this rapid-response article, we investigate the quickly shifting protocols for in-hospital and out-of-hospital births, and examine the decision making behind these changes.

Study of Prenatal Experiencing-Modality from Developmental Clinical and “Kansei” Psychology Perspectives
Publication Date: 06/2020
Author(s): Daisuke Oshioka, Yumina Ozaki

Keywords: prenatal period, experiencing, focusing

We retrospectively analyzed the different modalities of prenatal fetal experiences delineated in different picture books from the perspective of developmental and “kansei” psychology by utilizing the six characteristics of experiencing proposed by Gendlin (1961). The results suggested the possibility of experiences of emotions in unborn children that are elicited without clear emotional experiences. The study also indicated possible prenatal fetal experiences similar to internal working seen in the focusing process in which one refers directly to the felt-sense.

Depression in a Warrior Father
Publication Date: 03/2020
Author(s): Michael Trout

Keywords: Expectant fathers, Perinatal, Depression

While perinatal depression in men is not unknown and is occasionally mentioned in the literature, we do not have clear models for intensive treatment when the depression is immobilizing and persistent. This article follows the progress of a man who collapsed in the final month of his partner’s pregnancy for their first child, through a hospitalization and a period of psychotropic drugs, discovery of the meaning of his depression, and eventual recovery.

Quality Maternal Health Care from the Voices of Childbearing Women: Factors that Optimize and Disturb Wellbeing
Publication Date: 03/2020
Author(s): Janelle Kwee, Hillary McBride, Larissa Rossen

Keywords: Psychosocial factors in birth, childbearing women's experiences, ECIT, influence of care providers

Maternal health care providers play a significant role in shaping women’s childbearing experiences. While there is increasing recognition of the importance of understanding psychosocial processes for childbearing women, there is a lack of research from the perspectives of women themselves. For this study, women were asked about incidents that optimized and disturbed their perinatal experience, and about what they had originally hoped for in these experiences.

Supporting Men in Their Transition to Fatherhood
Publication Date: 03/2020
Author(s): Jay Warren

Keywords: Expectant fathers, Bonding, Postpartum, Father-baby dyad

Today’s fathers have few generational or cultural references to guide them through the novel levels of expectations and demands placed upon them as new parents. Increasing rates of both divorce and postpartum depression in men show that new fathers need more support. Through education, communication, and peer support groups, today’s fathers can be the active, supportive, loving parents they desire to be for their family.

The Brain-Mind Conundrum: The Rise of Quantum Biology
Publication Date: 03/2020
Author(s): Thomas R Verny

Keywords: Neurobiology, Research and Theories, Pre and Perintal Psychology, Brain, Mind, Consciousness, Quantum Biology, Microtubules

All present-day neuroscience is cortico-centric. It’s all about the brain. The mind is left to philosophers or theologians to debate. Yet proponents of pre- and perinatal psychology know that we are more than just cells and hormones. While there is no doubt that the brain is material—that is, it can be seen, touched, and measured, and as such obeys Newtonian laws of physics (Classical Physics)—this materialistic approach is contradicted by hard scientific data from the cutting edge of academic scholarship on Quantum Physics.

Unwanted Pregnancy of Holocaust Parents – As Reflected on Artist Life and Artwork
Publication Date: 03/2020
Author(s): Ofra Lubetzky

Keywords: Abortion, Artist, Holocaust survivor

A “good-enough mother” (or parent) is one who adapts herself to her baby’s needs and can identify with them in their initial stage of absolute dependence, including pregnancy (Winnicott, 1965). Abortion survivors are people who have experienced the threat of being aborted, either from a direct physical attempt, or from living in an unwelcome prenatal environment in which abortion was consciously or unconsciously contemplated by one or both parents.

Birth with No Regret in Turkey
Publication Date: 12/2019
Author(s): Hakan Coker, Nese Karabekir, Serpil Varlık

Keywords: Birth, Birthpsychology, Therapeutic Relationship

Birth with No Regret is a new model of birth care in Turkey in which, throughout parturition, the mother is cared for humanistically by an egalitarian, non-hierarchical team consisting of an obstetrician, midwife, and birth psychologist. The birth psychologist is our major innovation, whose greatest responsibility is to both ensure that the entire family experiences birth with no regret and process the emotions of the team so that we can keep our energy focused on the woman and her needs.

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