The articles in this issue of the Journal may at first seem diverse: improving policies for preventing premature births and perinatal risks in France, working with pregnant women in a methadonemaintenance clinic in Maine, creating new criteria to evaluate midwifery and obstetrical practices worldwide, and looking for an evidence-based approach to identifying prenatal and perinatal trauma in adults, but what they have in common is a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach for prenatal and perinatal principles to work on human problems.
The first article is by Christine Durif-Bruckert, Sandra David, Jean-Pierre Durif-Varembont, Patrick Scharnitsky, and Nicole Mamelle of the University of Lyon, France, entitled Subjective Evaluation of Perinatal Care Regulation. In an effort to improve prenatal and perinatal services forty-nine health professionals were interviewed about their experiences of the mechanisms and psychosocial issues of over-medicalization of birth. The authors' analysis pointed to a number of areas that could be implemented to improve the health care system.
The next article The Mother-Baby Prenatal Group: Nurturing Reflective Functioning in a Methadone-Maintenance Clinic is offered by Connie Jenkins and Anne Williams. This paper describes the rationale and curriculum for an attachment-based intervention for pregnant women who attend an outpatient methadone-maintenance clinic. The need was identified by noticing that substance abuse during pregnancy is not only physically and developmentally harmful to the developing child but also contributes to problems of interaction and attachment between mother and infant. The goal was to create an environment of nurturance between mother and fetus and then maternal-infant attachment. It can only be hoped that these authors' contribution will be put in place at rehabilitation facilities worldwide with this population.
Michel Odent's (the Primal Health Research Center in London) essay is entitled, New Criteria to Evaluate the Practices of Midwifery and Obstetrics. He discusses how, after thousands of years where human childbirth was a natural process, it has become a medically and culturally controlled process. Dr. Odent argues the need to rediscover the basic wisdom of labouring women and newborn babies. The contributions of this compassionate and articulate man are enormous.
The goal of the paper, Prenatal and Perinatal Trauma Case Formulation: Toward an Evidence-Based Assessment of the Origins of Repetitive Behaviors in Adults, was to emphasize looking critically at the historical foundation of prenatal and perinatal psychology and to bring them together with current methods of assessing clients using evidence-based methods. A qualitative descriptive study with 6 participants with long-standing repetitive behaviors tested the prenatal and perinatal trauma case formulation, noting that early trauma was identifiable through such a targeted assessment process. Recommendations for future studies were included as well.
We have a number of book reviews, and I am grateful to both the authors for their creativity and the book reviewers for their thoughtful and voluntary efforts in bringing this material to an everwidening audience.
First is Candace B. Pert's newest book is Everything You Need to Know To Feel Go(o)d (2006) reviewed by Leslie Bedell, D.C. Next is a book by APPPAH members, Carrie Conte, Ph.D. and Debby Takikawa, D.C. (2007) who collaborated on CALMS: A Guide to Soothing Your Baby reviewed by David B. Chamberlain, Ph.D. Finally, The Rape of Innocence: One Woman's Story of Female Genital Mutilation in the U.S.A. by Patricia Robinett (2006), Eugene, Oregon: Aesculapius Press, which was reviewed by J. Steven Svoboda, JD.
Let me close by naming that today more than any other time in history, research is confirming the importance of the prenatal and perinatal periods. I am grateful for each new discovery that unfolds, and for being part of the effort as the editor of the Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health to bring multiple voices to the table.