Letter from the President

Dear APPPAH Members and Prospective Members, As spring evolves into summer, light increases exponentially, and so does the growth of young plants and animals. I like to think that humans are the same, and that light, both physically and spiritually, enables the path to rapid growth and social change. I like to remember that plants and animals are in service to humans, and that service is essential to our species. In any case, that's what APPPAH is involved with at the present time, social change and service, and we invite your light and your service, although self-benefit is likely. Below, I share two life- saving and vital service projects that APPPAH is supporting at the time, the first led by Debby Takikawa. and the second by Rochele Hirsch and Jill Chasse. On behalf of APPPAH, I'd like to express my deepest appreciation and admiration for these three APPPAH members. RIM (Reducing Infant Mortality) is a project led by Debby Takikawa. Reducing infant and maternal mortality is the number one goal of obstetrics, and the gold standard by which they and the world judge their success. Sadly, the U.S. mortality rate ranks 45th in the world while spending more per capita than any other nation, meaning that 44 other countries spend less and have lower mortality rates. Twenty-five to thirty thousand babies born in the U.S. die each year, enough to fill a medium-sized city, and many of them die needlessly. The RIM project identifies reasons why and proposes needed changes. Please see the RIM project description on page 4 of this newsletter, go to the www.reducinginfantmortality.com, and support the effort by contacting Debby. The Welcome Your Baby In with 60 Minutes Skin-to-Skin project is led by Rochele Hirsch and Jill Chasse. Reducing and resolving attachment disorders is a major goal of many mental and physical health care professionals. It's a vital effort because it will prevent developmental challenges and emotional problems for hundreds of thousands of children each year, and save millions of dollars in the process. Recent research presented by Dr. Marshall Klaus at the 2009 APPPAH Congress proves that there is a highly sensitive period of time in the 1-2 hours after birth during which babies should be as close as physically possible (ideally skin-to-skin) with mother – and with father if mother is not available. By facilitating the skin-to-skin connection during this sensitive time (the first 120 minutes), stress is reduced, bonding and attachment is enhanced, the baby is more likely to nurse successfully, the mother's postpartum emotional health is better, and the baby's first year results are better. APPPAH members Rochele Hirsch and Jill Chasse are co-leading an effort to develop and implement methods to spread this message. Plans include CEU-training for birth attendants (nurse / doctor / midwife), as well as training for parents and therapists. One way you can help contribute to this vital APPPAH initiative is to respond to a survey we are sending to all our members, asking for your input. Also, Jill and Rochele are seeking interested APPPAH members to be a part of the development and/or delivery of this program. To get involved, please be sure to provide your initial input through the survey, and contact Jill or Rochele at the http://www.birthpsychology.com/apppah/advocates.html webpage. May the warmth and light of spring inspire you to new heights. I remain in your service, and welcome you to join in these APPPAH projects as a member or supporter. William R. Emerson, Ph.D. APPPAH President