In the winter edition of the journal we again have the privilege of publishing articles from international researchers and authors. This time the submissions are from Canada, Japan, England and the United States. Our discipline of prenatal and perinatal psychology is one of great interest around the globe.
In the lead article, New Mothers' Experiences of Agency During Prenatal and Delivery Care: Clinical Practice, Communication and Embodiment, Rory Coughlan (Ontario) and Karen E. Jung (British Columbia) from Canada qualitatively studied the experiences of 40 recent mothers accessing healthcare services. In dealing with physicians and midwives during the prenatal and perinatal period, participants reported that the more caring the interactions, the greater satisfaction with their health care providers. Most interesting was the finding that participants rated access to medical and health information to help them make informed decisions as the most meaningful. The authors concluded their paper by reaffirming the desire of new mothers to take a greater role in their own care and personal agency. Future research options were offered as well.
The next article examined a research question quantitatively with the title of the work being, Investigation by Questionnaire Regarding Fetall Infant Memory in the Womb and lor at Birth. Akira Ikegawa, Yokohama, Japan sought to gather information regarding the number of young children who reported memories of their time in the womb and at birth. Dr. Dtegawa's research gathered from 1620 questionnaires (a return rate of 45%) revealed that children seem to have a much greater possession of such memories than their adult parents. It can also be stated that this study's outcome clearly helps validate the many case studies and anecdotal accounts pointing toward memory recall of the prenatal and perinatal period by very young children.
Michel Odent has contributed two new literature review articles that are focused around his area of expertise, namely health. These two articles, as are his other works that have been published to date in the journal, are greatly appreciated for Dr. Odent's unique perspective that also contributes to a multidisciplinary approach we so value. In the first article, Obesity from a Primal Health Research Perspective, Dr. Odent reviews historical as well as recent medical evidence regarding this condition that is clearly an epidemic in the United States today. Trends from historical literature indicate that conditions experienced like undernutrition from famine during the first trimester can point toward one area to research further in the exploration of childhood and adult obesity.
Dr. Odent's second article in this edition also looks at a range of health issues using historical information from the last century. He focuses this review on times of the year and conditions associated with the seasonal events impacting pregnancies. The effects of these environmental factors on prenates demonstrate trends in the development of a number of diseases. Continued exploration between the dates of birth (or the dates of conception) and a great variety of human health conditions, such as, diseases, abnormalities, personality traits, and also states of health seem clearly warranted. But why Dr. Odent uses the term "astrology" (the movement of the position of the sun, moon and planets) along with the paper's thesis around the seasonality of birth is a connection the reader should find stimulating.
The final scholarly article in this edition of the journal was submitted by Mari Fullmer. Readers will find that Ms. Fullmer's interest and facility with exploring the impact of preterm and very preterm infants on brain development enlightening. Her literature review also briefly covers the influence of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), multiple births, gestational age, and birth weight for which prenatal and perinatal professionals are becoming more interested. Ms. Fullmer supports her paper's position by offering a case study of a woman who delivered one surviving twin at 24 weeks who presently shows no significant abnormalities due to supportive early intervention.
In our Sharing Space we recognize Vicky York's contribution of extending the vision of the work of doulas from the prenatal and perinatal period through the postnatal time frame. Her perspective paper is entitled, The Trend Toward Night Doulas: Exploring the Original Vision of Postpartum Doula Care. The specific types of continued care that postpartum doulas can provide are listed in the article (i.e., help with breastfeeding, mother's rest after birth, optimal sleeping for the family, and of course, emotional support).
In the last year the APPPAH Journal Editorial Staff have received only a few Sharing Space papers, but still greatly value these less formal, but insightful and original submissions.
Finally, I wish to show my gratitude for the two books (one with an additional DVD version) reviewed in this edition of the journal. The first is, Wisdom in the Body: The Craniosacral Approach to Essential Health by Michael Kern D.O., R.C.S.T., M.I.Cr.A., N.D. (2001) with the critical review done by Jennifer Absey, R.N. The second, Lotus Birth, by Shivam Rachana, Editor, and as well there is a companion DVD entitled, Lotus Birth: The Water Birth of the Malcolm Twins by Centre for Human Transformation. The review for the latter offering was performed by Binnie A. Dansby.
Bobbi Jo Lyman, PhD
Santa Barbara Graduate Institute
JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.