Volume 27, Issue 3
Over the winter season, JOPPPAH experienced some big changes, including the stepping down of Jeane Rhodes as Editor-In-Chief. Her years of dedication to making this journal the excellent publication that it is will continue to motivate and encourage those of us to whom she passed the torch.
As springtime approaches with the publication of this issue, we are experiencing the springtime in the field of pre and perinatal psychology as well – an undeniable blossoming of research and understanding in embryology, neuroscience, sociology, psychology, craniosacral therapy, trauma research, and beyond. What were once small seeds of potential, noticed and tended to by only a handful of early pioneers - like Thomas Verny, William Emerson, David Chamberlain and others - are now sprouting up seemingly everywhere in ever diverse fields of study from an array of new and familiar voices.
With this springtime comes new challenges, including how to breathe in to this new expansion, how to be uplifted by the diversity of thought and new information, and how to hear all the voices now describing with nuanced detail what the field of pre and perinatal psychology has long been shouting from the rooftops.
This journal issue includes a wide spectrum of topics to provide a taste of this diversity. First, from the Netherlands, well-known embryologist Dr. Jaap van der Wal shares his phenomenological approach to viewing the embryo. Through this embodied perspective, he presents stunning insights as to the consciousness in the form and function of the embryo. Stephen Talbott of The Nature Institute in Ghent, New York, follows this with a further examination of what we can learn from the dance of conception on a cellular level and the expressive gestures of embryonic development.
Turning to the topic of motherhood, from Hilary Monk, a PhD student from University of the West of England in Canada, we have an excellent elucidation of the current trend of constructing motherhood as “crisis” and the resultant professional and medical takeover to “treat” this natural transition. Her article serves as a wake up call for those of us in the field of pre and perinatal psychology to this damaging trend and its rather sinister effects on mothers and larger society.
We welcome another contribution from Dr. Elizabeth Soliday, a professor at Washington State University in Vancouver and PhD student Kimberly Tremblay. This time, Dr. Soliday and Kimberly take on the question of provider trust in maternal care. Noting the important but relatively unstudied topic of the maternal patient-provider relationship throughout pregnancy and childbirth, the authors tested an existing measure of provider trust on a sample of pregnant women.
As a window into the expansion of pre and perinatal psychology, we offer you a bibliography constructed by Mark Brady, PhD. This bibliography on brain development and integration spans topics from attachment to compassion, from childhood trauma to mindfulness. The bibliography can be used as a nudge in different directions of interest where the resonance with our field is essential and astounding.
The book review section contains reviews of two books covering topics extremely relevant to the pre and perinatal psychology field: the self-reflection of parents as preparation for childbirth and the link between early experience and later illness. Jennifer Absey reviewed Dominique Sakoilsky’s Seven Secrets to a Joyful Birth and found it a useful guide for opening lines of communication between parents and their unborn. Also, Scared Sick: The Role of Trauma in Adult Disease, a captivating book by Robin Karr-Morse with Meredith S. Wiley that examines the link between illnesses and chronic fear in childhood, is reviewed by Teena Evert.
We could not be more delighted with the flowering of wisdom that is opening all around us. The journal will continue to bring you glimpses of this blossoming, by including new voices in the journal. We hope that you too may feel the flourishing of pre and perinatal psychology in ways that continue to inspire and enliven your own passions for this material.
Kate White, MA
Kerry Cerelli, MA