In this winter issue, we bring you fascinating glimpses into the world of pre- and perinatal psychology and health.
First, Michel Odent brings us a chapter excerpted from the his book, Do We Need Midwives? In this paper, Dr. Odent describes the Primal Health Databank, a repository of large-scale studies that implicate the birth process and obstetric interventions in long-term outcomes.
In this winter issue, Robert Bruce Newman provides an important historical perspective on the evolution of mind-body practice in obstetrics. His overview takes us from the use of hypnosis during childbirth in the USSR in the mid-20th century, to the contributions of Fernand Lamaze in France, to mindfulness-based labor management in more current times. Newman’s paper gives us a framework in which to understand the current shifting of the medical paradigm around childbirth.
Also in this issue, Jeane Rhodes, PhD, offers us excellent research on birth memory and the connection between the birth experience and later body language. Her research includes interviews young children about their prenatal and birth experiences as well as compelling investigations into the body language of children that echoes their experience of birth.
Kate White interviews Wendy Anne McCarty, PhD, RN, HNB-BC, DCEP about her life as a therapist, co-founder of the Santa Barbara Graduate School, and pre- and perinatal psychology visionary. McCarty describes her awakening to the sentience of babies and how she then bloomed into a PPN professional who carries consciousness messages about who babies are and what they are capable of. More than any other pioneer, McCarty carries the spirituality of our field, and inspires readers with her commitment to the health and innate knowledge of infants. She seeks to go beyond birth trauma and hold the beauty of human development from preconception onward.
In our Reflections section, we welcome a paper by birth doula, Mary Esther Malloy. Her touching paper, “New Science, New Practices: Slowing Down at Birth for Vulnerable Newborns,” follows the work of Karen Strange, and the integration of baby sentience, pacing, tempo and “the birth pause” into birthing practices. Malloy’s mix of storytelling and science takes the reader on an adventure from beside a birth to new details on epigenetics to old questions on what makes a good birth experience.
Finally, we have two reviews of recent books in our field. Kate White reviews Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Breastfeeding Therapy by Nikki Lee, RN, BSN, IBCLC, CIMI, ANLC, CST (App. Cert.), and Heal Your Birth, HealYour Life: Tools to Transform your Birth Experience and Create a Magical New Beginning by Sharon King.
The New Year will witness staff changes at the Journal. Kate White is rotating off the editorial staff. Many thanks to Kate for her three years as a dedicated and skillful Associate Editor. We also want to thank Patricia Lucas, who served as book review editor for many years and Vanessa Eldred Banks for her years as peer review coordinator. We are very pleased to welcome Jeane Rhodes, PhD, back as Editor-in-Chief. Thomas Verny, MD now rotates into an Associate Editor position. Thank you so much Dr. Verny for steering the Journal over the last three years. Additionally, we announce two new staff members: Stephanie Dueger, PhD, as book editor, and Jennifer McCurdy, MA, as peer review coordinator. Best wishes to this new team!
We hope you enjoy this winter issue of the journal as we continue to strive to bring you the latest from the exciting frontier of pre- and perinatal psychology and health.
Kerry Francis, MA
Elizabeth Soliday, PhD
Kate White, MA