What is Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology?

A new field of study has emerged in the last 30 years showing us that our awareness and knowing of ourselves begins very early, even before birth. Newborn and prenate capabilities are startling researchers, and changing the way we think about prenatal and infant development.

By studying what babies know and are capable of, we are learning about ourselves.

Our memories from this early period are usually not conscious, but studies show that what happens to us during and before birth has a profound affect on the way we relate to others, the world around us, and to ourselves. This field of study is called Prenatal and Perinatal (PPN) Psychology.

Professionals in the PPN field have learned how to prevent as well as identify and resolve experiences that are, or have been stressful or traumatic to babies. These experiences can include being unwanted, relinquished for adoption, pregnancy with chronic stress, and birth trauma.  Birth trauma can occur when the newborn experiences obstetrical interventions such as forceps, vacuum extraction, C-section, extremely long or fast labor. When emotional distress occurs prenatally or during birth, it can inhibit optimal bonding and attachment with the mother, setting a template for stress within that relationship and/or the family. Working both with the mother and baby, it is possible to resolve these stressful experiences, and create and deepen your connection with your baby.

We have also learned ways to help adults heal from very old, unconscious experiences that have shaped their lives—and because they originated so far back in their history, often go unrecognized.  Patterns of behavior and negative beliefs about self and relationships often can be traced back to the prenatal and birth experience. Getting to the origins of the emotional wound and resolving it allows for full healing, and significant, lasting health both emotionally and physically.

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