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In the 20th century, probably more people have had the experience of birth than in all previous centuries combined. The current rate is almost 10,000 births per hour. In any given nine-month period, there are about 180 million expectant parents going through a unique life-changing experience. Research and therapy focused on the prenatal and perinatal period confirms that pregnancy and birth are formative experiences for both babies and parents. Yet, in the century of maximum birthing, psychological principles and interactions have been radically altered. Indeed, large-scale experiments-unplanned and unmeasured-have upset human feelings and relationships, and may be playing a destructive role in modern society.

Meanwhile, our studies of babies have brought us to a new understanding of human consciousness, learning and memory. This paper draws on the latest scientific findings to show how specific changes in 1) parenthood, 2) birthing practices, and 3) how we view ourselves (psychology) could transform the world.


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See also: Chamberlain, D.B. (1993). Prenatal intelligence. In T. Slum (Ed.), Prenatal perception, learning and bonding, pp. 9-31. Berlin & Hong Kong: Leonardo Publishers.

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31. Chamberlain, D.B. (1993). Intelligence of babies before birth. Paper presented to First World Congress on Prenatal Education, Granada, Spain. (June)

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37. D

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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