Spreading the APPPAH News

In March Robert Newman conducted his fifth training in Calm Birth at Overlook Hospital of Atlantic Health in New Jersey. Under the direction of Christine Novak, Overlook has become the home center for the meditation-based birth preparation program, Christine was given the Better Baby Award in March 2009 by the March of Dimes for her work in bringing Calm Birth into the medical establishment. Initiated in Southern Oregon hospitals in 1997 and introduced at APPPAH in 2000, Calm Birth has held trainings at more than 100 west coast hospitals, has 48 certified teachers in 16 states, and more than 5000 babies have been born with the method. APPPAH luminaries William Emerson, David Chamberlain and Eva Gundberg serve on Calm Birth's advisory board. In Judith Simon Prager's latest book, Verbal First Aid: Help Your Kids Heal From Fear and Pain—And Come Out Strong, she includes material on "prenatal babies" and "premature babies and other infants." She and co-author Judith Acosta discuss research indicating that they are conscious and listening in utero, and that the mother's stress during pregnancy "can manifest in an increased chance of premature birth, reduced birth weight of the baby, reduced motor maturity in infants, sleep disorders in toddlers, unconscious coping and survival skills such as hypervigilance and hyper-reactivity, deficits in regulatory control of behavior during childhood, and psychiatric disorders in adulthood." They also discuss the Verbal First Aid tools for infants that include talking to the child using "words of love, of safety, of blessing—whether you believe that the baby can understand the precise meaning or not."