It doesn’t feel like spring in Colorado on the cold, snowy day I am writing in late February. By the time you are reading this, I hope to see daffodils peaking through and experience days when my hands are not cold while working in my downstairs office. This editorial will by my last as editor-in-chief of JOPPPAH, so comes with bittersweet feelings. It is number 30 in editorials written for this wonderful publication. I would like to share a quote from my very first editorial, “As editor for this 2003 Summer edition of JOPPPAH, I proudly present these authors and their work. I am sure you will feel, as I do, that their contributions serve the integrity of the journal, as well as deepening our understanding of life’s journey.” Those authors were Sarah Buckley, Franz Renggli, Jon & Troya Turner, and Robert Newman. What a privilege it has been to work with them and all those who have come since, including the following, who are featured in this issue.
We have worked over the years with Michel Odent, sharing his wisdom on a semi-regular basis in these pages. He very generously contributed a piece for this issue, which we are featuring as the lead article. In this article, he focuses on the role of the brain in pregnancy and childbirth—and the impact of pregnancy and childbirth on brain functioning. In addressing why this learning is important, Dr. Odent states, “From a practical perspective, the main question is: ‘Who must understand that before giving birth women need to live in peace and be protected against unnecessary intellectual stimulations?’ The answer is that everybody is concerned, since everybody may occasionally have the opportunity to communicate with pregnant women.”
Our second article comes from Heidi L. Cope, Melanie E. Garrett, and Allison Koch of Duke University Medical Center, reporting on research into the factors that influence pregnancy management decisions subsequent to receiving a prenatal diagnosis of anencephaly, specifically with regard to genetic counseling. This excellent research will be of interest beyond concerns about prenatal diagnoses of anencephaly, as it contributes to deeper understanding of genetic counseling and the difficult decisions parents must face with any prenatal diagnosis.
We welcome next Rosita Cortizo with a clinical article titled, The Calming Womb Family Therapy Model: Mother and Womb Baby from Pregnancy Forward. Rosita describes this model as having its foundations in Murray Bowen’s family systems model, a model that understands families as interactive systems rather than individuals; research in intergenerational transmission of trauma; attachment theory and research; and Selma Fraiberg’s psychodynamic work with mothers and infants to resolve maternal trauma and transference reactions to their babies. Rosita will have a poster presentation based on this article at the upcoming APPPAH International Congress in December, giving you a chance to meet her and delve more deeply into this model for working with mothers and babies.
Amy Beesley and colleagues of the University of Herfordshire in the UK bring us research into fathers’ anxiety and depression symptoms during their partner’s pregnancy and how this impacts paternal-fetal attachment. This well-designed study fills a long-standing need for more research on fathers and on father-infant attachment. One important finding of this research highlighted the importance of relationship satisfaction, not only as a preventative in terms of anxiety and depression for these fathers, but in terms of enhanced attachment with their prenates and infants.
Sharing Space in this issue features an article from Graham Gorman following up on research he completed over twenty years ago and highlighting the relevance of his results for today’s parents and babies. You will find parallels with David Chamberlain’s ground-breaking research with mother/child pairs, reinforcing the foundations for the validity of birth memories.
Finally, we bring you two inspiring book reviews. Erica Richmond reviews Walker Karraa’s Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women's Stories of Trauma and Growth. Utilizing interviews with 20 women, this book provides critical insight into the lived experience of postpartum depression. And, Martha Alejandro-Bird reflects on Mia Kalef’s wonderful new book, It’s Never Too Late: Healing Prebirth and Birth at any age.
You will be welcoming Stephanie Dueger as JOPPPAH’s new editor-in-chief with the summer issue. My hope is that Stephanie will love serving JOPPPAH in this new capacity. I know you will welcome and support her in this transition and for many years to come.
Please enjoy the treasures awaiting you in these pages—AND—we hope to see you at APPPAH’s 21st International Congress, November 7-10, 2019, in Denver, Colorado! Register now at https://birthpsychology.com/2019-congress/welcome.
We want to express our deep regret at the departure of Kerry Francis, who served the journal as associate editor for six years. We are grateful for your dedicated and exemplary service and will miss you.
Jeane Rhodes, PhD