pregnancy, birth & lactation services… at home
This month’s Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine has a great feature article by Myrna Martin and Kate White. The article, ‘Pre- and Perinatal Experiences for Health and Healing’, discuss the emerging science of pre- and perinatal psychology. For those who don’t know what this term means, pre- and perinatal psychology (perinatal psych from now on) is a discipline that is able to demonstrate through scientific research that:
Babies have experiences in utero and can be affected chemically, hormonally and by the birthing process. Research has also shown that babies who are spoken to and played with prenatally and postpartum develop at a faster rate, with higher cognitive and physical developmental scores… holistic practitioners have developed… tools to connect with the unborn, including interactive kicking games, massage, and the use of music and light. Parents can communicate their intentions to the unborn in a loving manner, even if it’s just a thought. (italics mine)
I’m excited by this article because in January I hold my first BEBE child birth education class, called Bonded Beginnings. My childbirth education training was completed under the skilled hand of Dr. Jill Chasse who has been deeply impacted by her association with the Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH). BEBE childbirth education focuses on prenatal bonding and attachment that continues through the labor and delivery into the postpartum period and into your life together as parent and child.
I am so excited to be able to offer childbirth education from a perspective that is about WAY more than just the pregnancy, labor and delivery. It’s about the intentional creation of a relationship with your child even before birth, and wisdom that a baby is not just a blank slate with no personhood; Babies are people who feel, desire and love- and they do all these things even before birth.
My mission statement for Hearthside is posted on the front page of this website- I do, indeed, see the entire childbearing process as one long continuum. Your relationship with your child can begin even before conception as you begin parenting your baby by choosing healthy foods and taking folic acid in preparation for his or her little body to snuggle deep inside you. Your relationship with your child begins when you visualize how your life will accommodate this little one, to welcome him in or to adjust to her needs. When you see the faint pink line, your relationship expands as you take in the reality that this child exists, that this child is growing, is interacting with her environment within you, creating hormonal signals and communicating with your body, telling it to stop menstruation and to begin changes to the breasts so baby can eat in nine months- and your body speaks to your baby, too.
When we see or hear that little heart beating, we are overcome with joy- and our baby bathes in that emotion as the joy hormones flood our veins. When we feel that first little flutter and we gently pat our bellies, our babies feel that acknowledgement through that answering pat. That motion and stimulus then creates new neural pathways leading to faster development- and a budding awareness of self-worth… And when the labor rushes being, the communication between mama-body and baby-body becomes even more intense- baby-body tells mama-body “I’m ready” and mama-body responds “Come out, dear one. We are waiting”.
We don’t meet our children at birth. We’ve already been parenting for at least nine full months when our child is born. My childbirth education class aims to help you discover ways you can build your relationship with your preborn baby, helps you understand and prepare for a healthy, gentle birth for mama and baby and helps you consider optimal parenting for your first days and weeks with baby earthside. This is a totally unique approach to childbirth education based on Perinatal Psych research, Jill Chasse’s books and my own experiences and insight. If we are going to have healthy, whole children, we as parents need to understand all the ways we can give our children our best- and that includes prenatally. I welcome you all to join me as you welcome your baby!
For more info, please see:
The Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health
Baby-Empowered Birthing Education