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There is a growing awareness of the value of "irrational" or psychospiritual aspects of childbirth. Western psychotherapists and midwives are learning to take advantage of an openness to these aspects. These aspects are essential to shamanic healing worldwide. Shamanic tradition is explored and its advantages for pregnancy and childbirth are discussed. Healing practices among the Navajo, especially the Monsterway, are described.



Davis-Floyd, Robbie (1987). The Technological Model of Birth. Journal of American Folklore 100 (398):93-109.

__(1990). The Role of American Obstetrics in the Resolution of Cultural Anomaly. Journal of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology 4 (3) and 5 (1).

__(1992). Birth as an American Rite of Passage. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Dick-Read, Grantly (1960). (Orig. pub. 1944.) Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth, New York: Harper and Row.

Dowling, Terence (1987). PPPANA Congress Talk in San Francisco.

Laing, R. D. (1976). The Facts of Life. New York: Pantheon.

Lang, Raven (1987). PPPANA Congress Talk on the Blessingway in San Francisco.

Martin, Emily (1987). The Woman in the Body. Boston: Beacon Press.

Merchant, Carolyn (1983). The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Parvati-Baker, Jeannine (1986a). (Orig. publ. 1974.) Prenatal Yoga and Natural Birth (revised ed.) Monroe, Utah: Freestone Publishing.

__(1986b). Conscious Conception: Elemental Journey through the Labyrinth of Sexuality. Monroe, Utah: Freestone Publishing.

__(1988). "Halley's Waterbirth." Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal 3 (1).

Peterson, Gayle (1981). Birthing Normally: A Personal Growth Approach to Childbirth. Berkeley: Mindbody Press.

Peterson, Gayle, and Lewis Mehl (1984). Pregnancy as Healing: A Holistic Philosophy for Pre-Natal Care. Vols. 1, 2. Berkeley: Mindbody Press.

Rothman, Barbara Katz (1982). In Labor: Women and Power in the Birthplace. New York: W.W. Norton and Co. (Reprinted in paperback under the title Giving Birth: Alternatives in Childbirth, New York: Penguin Books, 1985.)

Wyman, Leyland, C. (1970). Blessingway. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press.

Jeannine Parvati Baker has published in many journals on the psychological and spiritual aspects of fertility. Jeannine is the author of Prenatal Yoga & Natural birth, Hygieia: A Woman's Herbal and co-author with Frederick Baker of Conscious Conception: Elementary Journey Through the Labyrinth of Sexuality. Address correspondence to the author at Box 398, Monroe, UT 84754, USA.

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.

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