A Statement from the APPPAH Regional Conference Organizers below, explains the far-reaching vision of this year's Seattle, Washington, gathering:



Leubgythe (Nancy) Holm, Ph.D. and Barbara Decker, PPNE, HBCE, HBFC

Planning the 2016 APPPAH (the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health) Regional Conference began back in 2014. Leubgythe (Nancy) Holm and Barb Decker had a vision for bringing the APPPAH experience to the Seattle area.  Many medical practitioners are not aware of the significant opportunities for emotional support during pregnancy and the postpartum period, which can increase positive outcomes of our birthing families and benefit the baby with their breastfeeding experiences. There is increasing research demonstrating how hormones affect the architecture of fetal brain and how the mother’s emotional state of mind can influence the expression of genetic material.

At the upcoming conference “Pathways to Prenatal Wholeness: Integrating Healthcare Disciplines in a 21st Century Dialogue”, September 16 and 17, 2016 we are excited to be bringing together multiple birth-related professions, including medicine, psychology, psychiatry, mental health specialists, midwives, childbirth educators, pregnancy and parenting coaches and doulas, so that together we can improve the outcomes of our babies growing in the womb.  Attendees will have access to a variety of presentations by world-renowned experts including cutting edge information on the intelligence of the baby in the womb, scientific evidence and methods for decreasing or preventing postpartum depression, and benefits of cranio-sacral therapy, an osteopathic holistic approach to calming the nervous system of babies and adults, which can improve breastfeeding challenges for both mother and baby. This conference can be an excellent introduction to the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology, or for those immersed in the field, a great update and chance for collaborations.

Please join us in this ground-breaking conference and enhance your piece in improving outcomes for our birthing families and build resilient healthy babies.


David Hartman, LCSW

As an active member of APPPAH for many years, I was happy to join Leubgythe (Nancy) Holm and Barbara Decker in the planning of this dynamic APPPAH Regional conference being held at Bastyr University this September 16 and 17th, 2016. There are many medical practitioners who will benefit from the work that we have already achieved with other medical facilities.

Hypnotherapy is now being incorporated into the integrative medicine practices at leading hospitals, like the Cleveland Clinic, the University of Maryland Medical Center, the Mayo Clinic and many others.

“The Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine takes a holistic approach to healthcare. We incorporate alternative therapies, such as hypnotherapy, to help patients embrace the body, mind and spirit in the healing process. Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine and The Wellness Institute of Issaquah, Washington, share a common goal to empower patients to learn personal healing skills so they can attain better overall health."

The Wellness Institute has been collaborating for three years with the Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine in Lyndhurst, OH. All behavioral health clinicians working at the Center are psychotherapists trained by The Wellness Institute, which insures that they are competent to incorporate hypnosis and hypnotherapy into their therapeutic interventions.

Integrating behavioral health clinicians collaboratively into the medical practice is cost effective, because it ensures that both behavioral health and primary-care clinicians can use the same electronic health records, and makes registration, check-in and appointment scheduling processes the same no matter what kind of clinician a patient is seeing.

Knowledge of how we incorporated our work will be addressed in the afternoon breakout session at the APPPAH Regional Conference. www.birthpsychology.com/


Cheryl R. Azlin, RN, Psy.D.

My role in the planning committee for this conference focuses on working to inform more physicians, nurses, psychologists, and healthcare professionals in perinatal fields about the tools and resources that APPPAH provides with an invitation for more participation in the organization.  As a healthcare professional, I am particularly excited about the unique role that APPPAH plays providing access to international research on topics of perinatal healthcare through its website and journal, as well as interviews and educational resources.  This Seattle Regional Conference is particularly focused on creating a rich inter-professional dialogue addressing recent research relevant to perinatal medicine, psychology, pediatrics, primary care medicine, nursing, midwifery, and somatic therapies.  We are excited to have the opportunity to have medical and healthcare experts that can speak to these topics as well as to look at environmental, socio-economic, and health disparity factors that impact healthy pre and perinatal development.  We are attempting to address the most recent issues that are threatening or challenging healthy prenatal development, including the psychological impact of the threat of infectious disease (such as the Zika virus).

This conference provides a sophisticated array of topics that will truly bring the conference participant up to date on pre and perinatal psychology and health.  We also are addressing the impact of prenatal, birth, and childhood trauma on development with a focus on preventative measures that can be taken to yield better outcomes. I believe that we are entering an era where the power of prevention in the pre and perinatal period will be universally known and the powerful impact of prenatal parenting, attentive family and supportive relationships, and the damage of unrelieved stress will be understood to have significant impact on biological development and lifelong health.  This conference will provide a wonderful introduction if you are new to these topics, and an effective update for those who follow these topics regularly.  I hope to see you there!