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 10 Things to Avoid During Pregnancy
Parental Wisdom                                                                                                          
Savvy Moms
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Birthlight Trust                                                                                ​

​Spiritual Midwifery                                                Ina May Gaskin

Windows to the Womb                                        David Chamberlain

Birthing in the Spirit                                              Cathy Daub

​Orgasmic BIrth                                                        Debra Pascali-Bonamo & Elizabeth Davis

Heart & Hands                                                         Elizabeth Davis

Calm Birth                                                                 Robert Neuman

The Birth Partner                                                    Penny Simkin

Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful                               Gurmukh

The Bradley Method                                               Robert Bradley

The Secret Life of the Unborn Child                 Thomas Verny

Reclaiming the Spirituality of BIrth                   Benig Mauer

Sacred Birthing                                                          Sunni Kari

Birth without Violencve                                           Frederick Leboyer

Birthing from WIthin                                                 Pam England

What is so important about the Breast Crawl?
There is something special about the first hour of life. Parents have waited many months to see their baby and surprisingly when the baby is born, he or she is in a special state of alertness- called State Four, the quiet state of consciousness, ready to meet its parents, and is especially interested in the mother’s and father’s face. In this special state, the baby’s eyes are wide open, the baby is quiet. The baby has heard and remembers the mother’s voice from uterine life and will distinguish her voice from other women’s voices, and 80% of babies remember the father’s voice. The baby is warmed by the mother’s chest and soothed by the mother’s touch. This quiet time together helps the transition from uterine life to the outside world. This special state in the infant lasts for 30 to 45 minutes or longer. All sorts of exchanges between the mother and infant are going on. The baby is taking- in the mother through many senses as is the mother learning about her baby. The baby is becoming familiar with the mother’s smell and within a few days will pick out his or her mother’s breast pad from other women’s breast pads. This is related to the particular smell of one’s own mother not her milk. As the baby gazes in the mother’s face he is recording a memory of her face so that if he is tested with a picture of his mother’s face and other women’s faces four hours later, he will choose his mother’s face over and over again. The mother is taking in her baby also, by touch, smell, as well as sight. Curiously, if she is tested a few hours later to pick out her baby from two others, she will know her baby by touch and smell within one day. In this early period of the first breastfeeding the baby and mother are giving each other numerous other benefits. Oxytocin is secreted by both the mother and baby. Oxytocin has many effects; it activates the production of prolactin for the milk letdown; it helps production of special GI hormones some of which are growth hormones and aid the absorption of food by elongating the intestinal villae. Oxytocin raises the pain threshold, creates calm in both the mother and baby, causes a feeling of sleepiness, and draws them closer together since it is the cuddle hormone, the hormone of love. As the baby pushes up on her little elbows, sucks on her hand to get the taste of amniotic fluid, a property of which is similar to one secreted by the breast, she uses smell and taste as an additional guide to the nipple. Initiation of Breastfeeding by Breast Crawl - Other benefits of this early breastfeeding experience include helping the infant feel more secure, reducing infant mortality through the numerous immunological properties of human milk, and encouraging a longer period of breastfeeding. Little behaviours that have been rehearsed in utero are used here. The baby has an ability to reach at birth, although reaching does not occur developmentally until four months, and curiously this reaching behaviour touches the mother’s breast, and massages and elongates the nipple for a good placement. Each touch of the nipple creates a surge of oxytocin in both the mother’s brain and baby’s brain. The stepping movements the infant practiced as a foetus help the baby climb to the breast, and stepping on the abdomen over the uterus helps the uterus clamp down, decreasing the bleeding and expelling the placenta. Many subtle events occur in this early period and can be observed, but more would be missed unless understood. In this special quiet time the mother and baby are becoming acquainted, the baby hardly cries at all, and they are laying the foundation of secure attachment on the baby’s part and more confidence in the mother for her ability to nourish and nurture her baby in the growing bond between them. 
Phyllis Klaus, Marshall Klaus MFT, LCSW MD

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Introduction to Life Before Birth                                                                               APPPAH article about before birth                                 

When Does Parenting Begin?                                                                                     An article about me in the Ridgewood Patch                                       





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