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Mary the Dawn: Ancient European Symbols of Fertility and Pregnancy for Pedagogical Purposes
Publication Date: 12/2009
Author(s): Fr. Walter R. Taylor

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In this paper, I will trace Ancient European Symbols of Pregnancy and Fertility from pre-history to early Christian times. Whether ancient female images represented goddesses or not, is not under discussion here. I will explore the possibility that symbols of pregnancy and fertility take on a purpose beyond self-expression, art, or worship and suggest the plausibility of pedagogical purposes in a pre-literate world. By including symbols, I also hope to show how some the roots of our modern alphabet go back to pre-history, and speak of the sacred sciences of birth.

Pregnancy as a Rite of Passage: Liminality, Rituals & Communitas
Publication Date: 12/2009
Author(s): Denise Cete-Arsenault, Davya Brody, Mary-Therese Dombeck

Keywords:

Pregnancy, a major life transition, significantly impacts aspects of a woman?s physical, psychological and social self. Theoretical perspectives of pregnancy are compared in terms of their utility. Using the theoretical frameworks of anthropologists van Gennep and Turner pregnancy is viewed as liminal, a space between social structures. Passage through pregnancy to parenthood is explored in its social context as a rite of passage. Viewing pregnancy and birth as a liminal phase provides a valuable framework for understanding normative and non-normative pregnancy experiences.

Pregnancy, Childbirth and Postpartum Experiences of Israeli Women in the Negev
Publication Date: 10/2009
Author(s): Dorit Segal-Engelchin, Orly Sarid, Julie Cwikel

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This study of 302 Israeli women was a secondary analysis conducted to: (1) examine the associations between negative pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum experiences; (2) determine whether exposure to childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence and fertility problems are related to reproductive experiences and (3) identify among these variables potential predictors of negative childbirth experiences and postpartum depression (PPD). Pregnancy-related fears increased and prior fertility problems decreased the likelihood of negative childbirth experiences.

Symptoms of Postpartum PTSD and Expressive Writing: A Prospective Study
Publication Date: 10/2009
Author(s): Paola Di Blasio, Chiara Ionio, Emanuala Confalonieri

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Research studies on post-partum PTSD have highlighted that the experience of childbirth can be traumatic in itself because it often involves fear, pain, impotence and non-expressed negative emotions. This study hypothesized that mental processing post-partum emotions, through Pennekaber?s expressive writing (EW) method, can reduce short- and long-term posttraumatic symptoms. The sample was of 242 women (mean age=31.5; SD=4) of whom 120 performed the EW-task and 122 were not asked to write.

Transition to Parenthood Among Drug Abusing Mothers: Stressors, Supports, Coping and Mental Health
Publication Date: 10/2009
Author(s): Ritva Helena Belt, Raija-Leena Punam ki, Marjaterttu Pajulo, Tiina Posa, Tuula Tamminen

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We examined the impact of drug abuse on prenatal resources (social support and coping strategies) and mental health problems (depressiveness, pregnancy distress and hostility), and analyzed whether they would differently predict postpartum mental health between drug abusing and non-abusing women. Drug abusing (n=44) and comparison (n=50) women participated in the second or third trimester (T1), and reported depressive and anxiety symptoms at four (T2) and 12 (T3) months postpartum.

A History of the Theory of Prenatal Attachment
Publication Date: 05/2009
Author(s): Anna R. Brandon, Sandra Pitts, Wayne H. Denton, Allen Stringer, H. M. Evans

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John Bowlby?s theory of human attachment has become widely applied across disciplines and across the stages of human development. This discussion explores the evolution of an application of Bowlby?s theory to the experience of pregnancy, from both maternal and paternal perspectives.

Factors Contributing to Delay in Racial and Ethnic Minority Women Seeking Early Prenatal Care
Publication Date: 05/2009
Author(s): Agnes M. Richardson, Warren A. Rhodes

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This study surveyed females who accessed prenatal care at an urban health center to determine perceptions of barriers to early initiation of services. We hypothesized distrust of healthcare professionals would result in delayed utilization. Results indicated that both minority and non-minority patients distrust health care professionals who have strong anti-minority bias and discriminate on the basis of race.

Prenatal Aspects in Alzheimer's Disease
Publication Date: 05/2009
Author(s): Rien Verdult

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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a degenerative brain disorder characterized by a global mental deterioration. Although the etiology is not yet clear, more evidence shows that a prenatal link is possible. Memory disturbances are central in AD and eventually lead to a loss of autonomy and identity. Anxiety becomes the basic feeling of AD patients, as well as experiences of mourning, loss of control, and loss of contact. In the manifest stage retrogenesis is triggered, that is, patients reverse develop and start to re-live their past.

Life: How Experience in the Womb Can Affect Our Lives Forever
Publication Date: 03/2009
Author(s): Arthur Janov

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ABSTRACT:?Until we re-direct our focus earlier, we shall never solve these human problems.? Dr. Arthur Janov explains this position in his article and describes how the psychophysiological effects of events that occur during the first nine months influence the lifespan. Clearly focusing on the womb is a shift in his Primal theory. This change proposes the importance of healing prenatal imprints to more clearly see their widespread cumulative and enduring effects. ?It means that how the birth trauma is played out, and reacted to, depends on earlier life circumstances?womb-life.?

The Masculinisation of the Birth Environment
Publication Date: 03/2009
Author(s): Michel Odent

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This article offers a historical account of the changes in birth that the author reflects on after decades as a practicing obstetrician. In preliterate and pre-agricultural societies, women used to isolate themselves to give birth. It seems that at that phase of the history of humanity the only person who could be around was the mother of the parturient, an ant, or another experienced mother. Then, for thousands of years, childbirth has been more and more socialized and culturally controlled. During this long period the birth environment remained mostly feminine.

Autism and Anorexia Nervosa: Two Facets of the Same Disease?
Publication Date: 12/2008
Author(s): Michel Odent

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The discussion as to the primacy of genetic vs. environmental factors has shifted with the concept of ?gene expression? being shown as increasing our understanding of the origin of pathological conditions and personality traits. This means the acceptance of gene expression occurring during the primal period as well. The questions are now focused on the timing and the critical periods for genes-environment interaction. Autism and anorexia nervosa, two conditions that are to a great extent determined during the perinatal period.

Investing in Human Potential From the Beginning of Life: Key to Maximizing Human Capital
Publication Date: 12/2008
Author(s): Marti Glenn, Wendy Anne McCarty

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Economic analysis of human capital?the abilities and skills a person brings to community and work force?suggests that investing in early childhood programs is much more cost-effective than dollars spent intervening later in life. Even with increasing knowledge of the importance of early intervention programs, there still appears to be a mental divide separating the prenatal and birth period and infancy. Programs that begin during infancy or later may not address the fundamental origins of the increasing issues we face regarding our children.

The Black Hole: Exploring the Schizoid Personality Disorder, Dysfunction and Deprivation with their Roots in the Pre and Perinatal Period
Publication Date: 12/2008
Author(s): Shirley A Ward

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The relationship between traumatic events from conception to birth and the Schizoid Personality Disorder, Dysfunction and Deprivation is explored. From extensive experiential work with clients, based on the work of the British psychiatrist, Dr. Frank Lake, and her own personal experiences, the author discusses the very painful schizoid personality dysfunctions and deprivations relating to traumas of great severity in the first trimester of life. Loss of bonding and fear of intimacy are explored, along with dissociation and boundaries, seen as learned behaviour in the womb.

The Possible Prenatal Origins of Morbid Obesity
Publication Date: 12/2008
Author(s): Althea M Hayton

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The rapidly developing science of pre-birth psychology is casting a new light on some old problems. One such is morbid obesity, some aspects of which can possibly be explained in the light of prenatal theory. This article sets out the hypothesis that firstly, obesity may represent a self-destructive personal choice. Secondly, there may be a psychological reason why the possibly fatal consequences of that choice are largely ignored by the obese person. Thirdly, the choice and its consequences comprise a style of eating behaviour that seems to re-construct a particular pre-birth experience.

Dispelling the Disempowering Birth Vocabulary
Publication Date: 10/2008
Author(s): Michel Odent

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This article presents a very basic challenge with regard to the way in which human beings enter into this world. This is not just a challenge to the medical model, but to ?natural childbirth? methods as well. It addresses the fundamentals of language that have guided our core concepts of sexuality and birth. It is not limited to the English language, but points out the roots of words from many languages that have contributed to world-wide attitudes and concepts.

Prenatal Attachment and Postnatal Infant Sleep
Publication Date: 10/2008
Author(s): Petra Spletzer, Maeve O'Beirne, Allen Bishop

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This study examined the relationship between maternal prenatal attachment and postnatal infant sleep. Ninety first-time pregnant mothers, between 35 and 40 gestational weeks, completed the Prenatal Attachment Inventory (M?ller, 1989), which consists of 21 items and assesses the mother?s prenatal attachment to her fetus. After the birth of their infant, the mothers charted their infant?s sleep for three consecutive 24-hour periods when the infant was 1 week and 3 months old, using the Sleep/Activity Record (Barnard, 1999).

Role of Maternal Reflective Ability for Substance Abusing Mothers
Publication Date: 10/2008
Author(s): Marjukka Pajulo, Nancy Suchman, Mirjam Kalland, Jari Sinkkonen, Hans Helenius, Linda Mayes

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This paper reports on a study designed to explore factors contributing to better outcomes for substance abusing pregnant and parenting women in residential treatment, and, as a result, contribute to better outcomes for their children. The setting was three live-in units focusing in supporting both abstinence from substances and mother-child relationship. Participants were 18 mother-baby pairs in treatment from perinatal phase to 4 months of child's age.

Sharing Space: A New Model of the Woman's body and Potential in Childbirth
Publication Date: 10/2008
Author(s): Robert Bruce Newman

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Two great systems of human development, Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism and the Toltec lineages of Mexico, offer inspiring models of the human body, with remarkable implications for childbirth today. Shifts in the medical paradigm encourage the development of mind/body and energy/body models for OB practice.

The Interactional Model of Maternal-Fetal Attachment: An Empirical Analysis
Publication Date: 10/2008
Author(s): Marilyn W Lewis

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An Interactional Model of Maternal-Fetal Attachment was empirically studied to analyze contributions of fetal characteristics and psychoanalytic and ecological components. Ninety-nine women during their third trimester were administered questionnaires about themselves, their environment, and their fetus to identify predictors of maternal-fetal attachment. Whether the woman knew the fetus? gender and fetal age were the best predictors of the strength of maternal-fetal attachment.

Birth of the Living Gods? Exploring the Pre-and Perinatal Aspects of Religious Development
Publication Date: 05/2008
Author(s): Helen Holmes

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Rizzuto and Freud consider that the origins of God representations can be traced to early parental relations, but Rizzuto postulates that Freud underestimates the ?complexities of this derivation, especially the role of the mother? (Wulff, 1997, pp. 343-344). To what extent is Rizzuto right in agreeing with Freud? Is there any evidence to support how God can be represented in pre and perinatal terms, within a psychodynamic framework?

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