Why study Birth Psychology?
Birth psychology is the study of health practices surrounding the first 1,000 days of life. We know that influences during conception, pregnancy, birth and the first year of life affect our health throughout our lifespans and lay the foundation for our personal development, affecting future generations.These influences may be chemical, physiological, psychological, relational, and spiritual. Practices that support the roots of our health are prenatal and perinatal (before and around birth), and start at preconception with awareness about transgenerational and intergenerational influences.
We also support human development by creating optimal conditions for conception, pregnancy, birth, and bonding and attachment for the mother-baby dyad and family. Support during this vital time is physiological, psychological, and spiritual, and sometimes called a bio-psycho-spiritual model of care. This support is best delivered through a holistic approach that includes the baby’s experiences as well as those of the parent, family, and professional who supports the childbearing year.
Support and interventions during this vital time can make a huge difference in the lives of the individual being born, as well as the mother, family, society, culture and the world. We know that how we are conceived, carried prenatally, and born, and how we are birthed directly affects who we become. Trauma during this time can impact the baby, mother, parent and family. Trends such as stress, depression and anxiety during pregnancy may affect the baby and birth process. Healing-centered approaches, such as mindfulness, prenatal bonding, soothing connection between mother and her partner, somatic trauma resolution skills, and layers of professional support may open the way for better birth outcomes and greater quality assurance for obstetrical and maternity care. Birth psychology draws on principles from epigenetics and neuroscience, and an inside out approach so that families feel seen, heard and understood, which is the basis for a resilient nervous system and therefore outlook as families get their start.
Birth is a lifelong event. Our experiences, perceptions, and beliefs travel along a continuum starting at preconception, and create patterns that are at play in our daily lives. For example, babies who feel unwanted may harbor a persistent sense that they don’t belong as children and adults, This can feed an unconscious negative sense of self as they interact with others. We want to support babies to feel a sense of belonging, and families to engage with conception and pregnancy with consciousness and a sense of wonder. Much of what happens during the prenatal, birth and postpartum journey may be impersonal, but mothers and parents may often perceive them as personal failures. Birth psychology brings our earliest patterns to light, and provides a foundation for health. We normalize difficulty and teach skills to help professionals educate families and their profession for optimal prenatal and perinatal outcomes.
What all babies really want to know is exactly what all of us want to know:
Am I welcome?
Am I wanted?
Am I seen, felt and heard?
Do I belong?
Am I safe and protected?
Am I loveable?
Do I matter in this world?
In this field, we have found that babies and families supported by birth psychology go on to thrive, and people supported by our paradigm go on to find their purpose and live a life of connection and satisfaction.
PPNE students come from all walks of life--from parents to obstetricians, from psychological professionals to bodyworkers. They have reported remarkable findings, like a decrease of C-section rates in their obstetrical practices, and how loving connection creates an environment that changes the genome of developing babies in the womb.
Awareness of the importance of conceiving consciously, skills and tips for educating families about prenatal bonding, attachment theory are among some of the discussions that fuel our program discussions. Our graduates also report that the PPNE program is life changing for them, helping them to become aware of their own early patterns and how to heal them. Literally, what we do matters, but also, matters to us as practitioners, and how we are on the inside as individuals. Birth psychology education is transformational.
Every parent wants a healthy baby, and every prenatal, birth, and postpartum professional wants the best outcome. Our course will help you get there.