In this issue of the Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, we are fortunate to have manuscripts from three distinguished authors in the field, Dr. David B. Chamberlain, Dr. Wendy Anne McCarty, and Dr. Michel Odent. We also offer two contributions from writers who are new to our publishing program, Dr. Susan Highsmith and Ms. Teresa Lear. Bringing the voices of budding scholars who offer fresh ideas and a strong commitment to the field adds to the intellectual health of our journal, and our discipline. Santa Barbara Graduate Institute is the school in this issue that guided the two students' academic development.
The first submission is entitled, About Real Babies, and was written by David B. Chamberlain, Ph.D. It is the paper Dr. Chamberlain gave as he addressed the graduates of Santa Barbara Graduate Institute on July 21, 2006. It begins with greetings and salutations, and from there takes the reader on a journey through the mind of the author who wrote, The Mind of Your Newborn Baby (1998). There readers will find his familiar reference to the "smart baby" that only Dr. Chamberlain can describe with such passion and joy.
Next we find Dr. Wendy Anne McCartys extraordinary article, Clinical Story of a 6-Year-Old Boy's Eating Phobia: An Integrated Approach Utilizing Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology with Energy Psychology's Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) in a Surrogate Nonlocal Application. In this article Dr. McCarty presents the clinical story of a one-session therapeutic intervention for a young boy's lifelong eating phobia. The remarkable changes documented through the utilization of prenatal and perinatal psychology (PPN) as part of an integrated approach along with energy psychology's healing principles are compelling. I am grateful for Dr. McCarty"s commitment to exploring the boundaries and wonders of prenatal and perinatal psychology.
The third article is by Dr. Susan Highsmith and is the distillation of her dissertation research conducted between 2004 and 2006. The title of her paper is, Primiparas' Expectations of Childbirth: The Impact of Consciousness, which is a qualitative study that explored the childbirth expectations of primiparas' (women pregnant for the first time). Of particular interest to Dr. Highsmith was the integration of current scientific understandings of consciousness within the interviews and the drawings that her participants offered around their birthing expectations. In brief, participants experienced outcomes that differed from their conscious expectations. (Note: It was my distinct pleasure to serve as Dr. Highsmith's Dissertation Chair.)
The next article is yet another well-written and persuasive submission by Dr. Michel Odent of the Primal Health Research Centre on The Long Term Consequences of How We Are Born. In it Dr. Odent looks back over the last seven years since he first wrote an essay with this title in order to re-examine available data regarding the long-term consequences of birth. Topics reviewed include autism, juvenile criminality, drug addiction, anorexia nervosa, asthma, exposure of antibiotics during pregnancy, the behavioural effects of hormones, and caesarean sections, which are offered from a primal health perspective.
Teresa Lear, a lactation consultant in private practice in Alexandria, VA and doctoral student, writes the final article, Women's Perceptions of the Birthing Experience: An Ever-Changing Phenomenon. She describes how the birthing experience may be perceived as traumatic to women who later present with posttraumatic stress disorder and how professionals might effectively assist them. Resolution, proposes Ms. Lear, comes through listening to each woman's story, which helps with the healing process as well as validates her inner experience. "The retelling cannot change what occurred, but it can begin the transition from helpless victim to resilient victor as she discovers a new perspective of herself."
I will end this editorial by reminding readers that the Association of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health's 13th International Congress is in Los Angeles this winter (February 21-26, 2007). The theme of this congress is, Birth and the Human Family: Embracing the Power of Prenatal Life. The Congress Chairperson, Laura Uplinger, sets the stage: "During pregnancy a mother gives of her own substance for the formation of her child's organs and psyche. This child will one day walk the Earth expressing peach, wisdom and generosity, or indifference, rage and fear." This event brings experts from all over the world to speak on prenatal and perinatal psychology in the same way many of these same professionals give of their time, energy, and expertise in contributing to this journal. We are grateful for every effort.
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.