Letter from the President

Dear APPPAH Friends, There are many exciting "happenings" in APPPAH right now. I am literally jumping for joy, and would like to share one or two. The first is that we are having a Congress in 2010, instead of waiting the usual two years until 2011, and are consid- ering this as a potential change for the future. Second, the Congress is again at Asilomar, one of the most beautiful and welcoming conference venues I have ever been to, and that covers five decades! The Congress dates are Nov. 11-14, 2010. We're proud to have pioneering human consciousness researcher Stan Grof, MD joining us (see article next page), and we have also confirmed as an invited speaker obstetrician and gynecologist Paul Brenner, MD, who will give the David Cheek Memorial Lecture. Robbie David-Floyd, PhD, will be speaking on "Birth Models that Work," and Thomas R. Verny, MD, on "The Effects of Maternal Stress on the Development and Organization of the Human Brain." Breakout sessions are currently being finalized. Check the 2010 Congress website for updates at: www.birthpsychology.com/congress/2010/. The theme of this Congress represents a landmark for our organization, because it focuses on embracing science, something we have always stressed but not made the focal point for a Congress—to embrace and elucidate the vital importance of research. The mission of APPPAH is to educate and communicate valid prenatal and birth information to professionals and parents in our society. The most effective educational data evolve from theories and hypotheses that are scientifically validated and then applied within the major sectors of our culture, like education, medicine, sociology, politics, childcare, maternity care, child development, etc. A powerful example of APPPAH's efforts to apply the results of scientific research in shifting the prevailing culture, is being done by APPPAH members Rochele Hirsch and Jill Chasse, co-chairs of the Communications & Development Committee (ComCom). Inspired by the Marshall Klaus presentation reported the front page of this issue, about the major measurable and positive differences in postpartum results for both mother and child of skin-to- skin contact with mother during the first 120 minutes following birth, Rochele and Jill developed the APPPAH outreach catch-phrase, "Welcome Your Baby In -- With 60 Minutes Skin-to-Skin." Rochele and Jill plan to use this phrase to anchor the communications and advocacy program of APPPAH. Their goals include educating parents, maternity care providers, and counselors through a variety of channels; seeking sponsorship to extend APPPAH's reach; highlighting hospitals that promote immediate skin-to-skin contact; and using the phrase to open the door for APPPAH to extend its influence in the world through the skin-to-skin project, and later through other themes submitted by APPPAH members and professionals. Shortly, the Communications Committee will be calling many of you to learn about trainings and other services that you offer. We hope that you will collaborate with APPPAH in presenting the skin-to-skin theme and supporting CEU certification of APPPAH-sponsored training. If you are interested, please don't wait for a call. Go ahead and contact Rochele Hirsch (rochele@cxii.com , 404-521-0362) or Jill Chasse (baby_counselor@yahoo.com). Many thanks and gratitude to Rochele and Jill for launching this effort. Wishing you the best as we move from the winter solstice toward the light. In your service, William R. Emerson, Ph.D.