The month of March is Birth Psychology Month, which makes this issue of JOPPPAH especially important and relevant. In these pages you will find a mix of contributions from new authors as well as others with whom you may be familiar. We are very pleased that our spring issue will be part of this special month of recognition for the field of birth psychology (also known as prenatal and perinatal psychology).
Our opening article comes to us from Matthew Appleton of the United Kingdom, a registered craniosacral therapist and body psychotherapist living and working in Bristol, England. This article is based on a talk given at the Annual Congress of the International Society for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine (ISPPM), Maastricht, the Netherlands, November 2014. The article addresses how
Next, we welcome Amy Shapira of Israel with her exploration of the emotional ramifications of being born cesarean. Amy earned her MA through Santa Barbara Graduate Institute and brings elements of her master’s project and her experience as a physical therapist, childbirth educator, and lactation instructor to analysis of her very thorough literature search.
Salome Dubenetzky, PsyD, introduces the difficult topic of stillbirth, with the tenderness and understanding of a mother who has experienced a stillbirth. Her research into the psychosocial implications of stillbirth as an unrecognized issue is presented here to increase understanding and competence in those professionals who may be directly involved with families facing this most difficult situation.
Our next contribution, from authors Amika Dharmadhikari, Gajanan Kelkar, and Avinash Dharmadhikari of the Manashakti Institute in India, generated some discussion among our editorial staff. It is the usual policy of this journal to publish only articles with unanimous support of the editorial team. Three of the four editorial team members found this article to meet the journal’s quality standards for clinical contributions and valued its potential to add a unique cultural perspective. However, our Associate Editor, Dr. Thomas R Verny, dissented on this article over concerns that it did not contribute new insights and that it was not scientifically sound. He also expressed concern about the potential mixing of religion and science. However, since this is rather common in work from India, the rest of us feel the article merits attention as it does present another cultural perspective that includes recognition of the soul in clinical approaches. Our peer reviewers also supported publication of this article. The clinical approach presented is based on over 30 years of observations at the Manashakti Institute.
In the Sharing Space, we welcome a contribution from long-term APPPAH member and supporter, Robbie Davis-Floyd, reporting on the Mother/Baby Childbirth Initiative. This report is accompanied by a report from APPPAH President, Sandra Bardsley, updating us on the contributions of APPPAH (previously PPPANA) to understanding the importance of prenatal life and the experience of birth for each individual and for our world.
We have a wonderful book review by William Emerson of Michael Mendizza’s newly released book, Playful Wisdom: A Father’s Adventure.
Following the book review, you will find a new section featuring comments from our readers. In this issue, we welcome a comment from Johanna Schacht on our special winter issue that focused on the difficult topics of conflicted pregnancy and abortion.
We continue to encourage your comments on any of our issues or articles, either posted to the journal pages on the website or sent directly to our editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to all of our contributors and to our readers. Your ongoing interest and support keeps JOPPPAH alive and flourishing.