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Midwifery, Pregnancy, Natural Birth and Parenting Articles

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How Loving Mothers and Babies prevents War and Violence

In the wake of multiple acts of violence this year in Kenya, Nigeria, Beirut, and most recently Paris,I am overwhelmed with grief for all those who have lost their lives in these massacres. Yet I feel compelled to look into the deeper origins of the violence, as it is too easy to assign blame and find reasons to retaliate and thus perpetuate the violence. Continue reading

Transcendence and Attachment

What is the Fetus Ejection Reflex?

The prevalent culture in modern society is that of dominion over and control of nature, as well as the domination of groups of people by the other groups of people that hold more power. Similarly women and their bodies are dominated by the cultural paradigm of the time, no less by doctors and midwives in the arena of childbirth. Women and doctors alike are bearers of the culture and in settled agricultural societies it has been expedient for the offspring to be warlike and to be bonded to the prevailing culture of the group, not to nature, the individual or the close family. For this reason, it has been common through centuries for midwives and birth attendants to interfere with and control labour and birth. Continue reading

Mutual responsiveness between Thokozile and her baby

Bowlby and Beyond: How Emotions Shape Your Baby’s Brain

Bowlby’s landmark hypothesis that attachment to a loving caregiver is the core element in optimal development from infancy to adulthood, was a great step in our understanding of babies and children. The questions he raised about the importance of relationships for the growth of a baby’s brain preceded  advances in neurobiological research over the last thirty years. New research is even more startling in its scope: Continue reading

Skin to skin contact after birth

Molecules of Love

Oxytocin, the hormone of love, stimulates the release of a chemical messenger called “atrial natriuretic peptide” by cells in the heart muscle. In other words, oxytocin affects the heart! Oxytocin molecules are molecules of love, the neurotransmitters of those warm feelings that make us feel warm and relaxed, kind and helpful towards others, social and friendly Continue reading

Lisa holding Tadiwa, her son who was born naturally

The Birth Trauma of Mothers

Before I address healing, it seems once again appropriate to talk about trauma, because being aware of our fears and hurts brings them into our field of conscious awareness and we then are able to prevent further trauma as well as seek the process of healing. While the small number of women I serve may experience birth as ecstatic, this is a miniscule percentage compared Continue reading

Anatomy of the Brain and Limbic System

How Brain Behaviour Works from Conception to Adulthood – Part 2

The process of conception and pregnancy is not only a physiological process, but primarily a psychological journey. The psychology of this journey into being for the unborn baby is dependent on the conscious awareness of the parents who create him, and in particular their conscious awareness of the baby in the womb. Preborn babies are predominantly ‘feeling beings’, that is, they operate to a large degree Continue reading