Prenatal Education 9 Months to Save the World : Education begins before birth

Pregnancy

Precious moments spent in the womb represent the foundations for long-term health, emotional security, brain construction, creativity and even behavioral characteristics for every human being.

During pregnancy, it goes hand in hand with what a mother is experiencing and after delivery. We can hardly turn the clock back. Today, it is largely proved by scientific studies that it no longer has to do with any faith-based theses.

Discovering that mother’s emotions can directly influence a baby’s development in the womb is a turning point in the adoption of a new paradigm : the archaic vision of pregnancy in which the baby was just « a thing » unable to have his own feelings, is clearly behind us.

Such a vision is fully refuted by Dr. Barbara Findeisen, a psychotherapist with over 28 years of experience, in her book Womb Prints : « The psychology of the womb and birth is such a neglected subject ». She has been closely working with Dr. Burce Lipton, Ph.D., who is internationally recognized as a pioneer in New Biology. He is the main author of The Biology of Belief. He received the 2009 prestigious « Goi Peace Award » (Japan) in honour of his scientific contribution to global peace by freeing humanity from the fatalistic dogma of genetic determinism, bringing knowledge that is empowering us on the path of our self-determination. In Nature, Nurture and the Power of Love, his research has led to the fact that environmental signals are responsible for selecting the genes produced by the fœtus. Our DNA is no longer seen as rigid, but as flexible and constantly modified by nurture and how we perceive it, by giving shape to our body and our psychological attitude. Given that our perception has the final say as regards physical ressources, it is no doubt our responsibility to choose our filters of reality to regenerate ourselves so that we have a direct impact on our « genetic data base ». Thus, our fate is no longer determined by our genetic heritage and if we keep this as a postulate, to get to the bottom of things, it leads us to the concept of Maternal Empowerment : Mothers are able to build a better world !

I. What does it mean?

Scientific studies show a fetus receives chemical signals from its mother that could have a negative impact on how a baby develops after birth.

The psychological state of a mother has a direct impact on the health of a baby after birth.

Therefore would it not be wise to start feeling at peace with oneself before deciding to have a baby? It can become a way of life, a way of being. Moreover it would be easier to keep experiencing peace during pregnancy. Simple things should be done during pregnancy to stimulate your own secretion of hormones such as endorphins (well-being hormones) and oxytocin (the love hormone). For example, talking to your baby while in a state free of stress, would permit the releasing of these two chemical signals which are shared with the fetus through the umbilical cord. On the one hand, it is believed that these two hormones are crucial for development of the fetus, but on the other hand, stress hormones may play a terrific role. One of the hormones our brain releases when we are under the influence of stress is adrenaline. It can be highly useful in an emergency situation in which our survival instinct is needed but in everyday life it may be responsable for the increase of blood sugar levels, artery pressure, breathing rate, blood flow to skeletal muscles and heart rate. Moreover these hormones are addictive and both the body and mind become used to secreting one group more than the other. Our whole vision of life might be determined by this habit our mother gives us while in her womb. If a universal rule could then be found, it would sound like « the more you stay positive, the more you will prepare your baby to be so as well ! »

II. Who are the players in the field?

Global Prenatal Initiative

The GPI, known as the Global Prenatal Initiative, is a citizens organisation from the UK which has decided to gather and share scientific knowledge on prenatal issues and which has organized events all around the world. Its main aims are simple :

To raise awareness in all sectors of society on the long-term impact of the 9 months of pregnancy thereby attaining individual and global peace, sustainable development and poverty eradication.

To emphasize the impact of parenting, and especially the key role of the mother during pregnancy and birth, for the future of humanity.

To advocate putting Prenatal Education at the heart of all education, health, social development and policy making. This is about to be done in the UK through the legislative validation process of the 1001 critical days Manifesto and in China where senior authorities are searching for new programmes to better anticipate pregnancy.

III. What are the alternatives ?

1. Home birth

homebirthSeen as a good alternative The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) in the UK, support home birth for women who have uncomplicated pregnancies.

Women may choose home birth because they prefer the intimacy of a home and family or desire to avoid an over-medically centered experience, which hospitals offer. There is no reason why home birth should not be offered to women at low risk of complications and it may confer considerable benefits for them and their families. It is common sense in Northern European Countries such as the Netherlands, where the rate of home birth is one of the highest in the Western World. Some 30 percent of Dutch women deliver at home while around 60 percent do so in hospital, mostly for medical reasons, and another 10 percent deliver in special out-patient birthing clinics. In other European countries such as Germany, France, Britain, Belgium and the Scandinavian countries home deliveries account for no more than two percent. Thanks to the empowerment of midwives and doulas, it is far from being difficult to give birth at home, compared to France, where midwives have no insurance if anything should happen during labour. Should something go wrong during labour, a midwife in France would find him or herself solely responsable and would face a prison term or pay a considerable sum of money. Thus a pregnant woman is left with one option : deliver her baby at hospital in the emergency service, where she would be « warmly welcomed ». Can you imagine the beautiful cocktail of stress hormones and then pain ? However, in those countries in which midwives are appreciated for their wonderful work, families enjoy follow-up from the beginning, even before birth, up to delivery, and midwives or doulas work with the woman to win her trust in order that she should feel comfortable and safe on d-day, thanks to exercices aimed at warding off stress and suffering. Training in hypo-birthing, sophrology or yoga is highly useful to control your body pain and give birth in a natural way without epidural anesthesia.

There are other options for your pregnancy : Birth centers are good alternatives to hospitals as you are able to stay there, with your relatives, from one to nine months. These are places in which staff cares about you and your family by offering you the best conditions through workshops, training and artistic activities.

2. Breastfeeding

BreastfeedingA crucial thing on a mother to-do-list is definitely to breastfeed her baby.

In 2012, UNICEF announced that the increasing of breastfeeding rates in the UK could save the NHS money through improving health outcomes.

Thanks to the Infant Feeding Survey, done every five years and published by the NHS Information Centre, figures show that there were real improvements from 2005 to 2010. The proportion of breastfedbabies at birth rose by 5%, from 76% to 81%. The initial breastfeeding rate in 2010 was the highest in England at 83%, compared with Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Breastfed-babies are less likely to be subject to gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome, obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes and allergies such as asthma or lactose intolerance. Its entire immune system is stimulated by the four types of breast milk at different stages of his development. Breast milk is constantly changing to satisfy a baby’s need. The first type is colostrum, followed by transitional milk, then foremilk and finally hindmilk. There are numerous benefits in breastfeeding for mothers as well. The longer a mother breastfeeds, the greater she will be protected against breast or ovarian cancer, and hip fractures in later life. The UNICEF report showed that for only five illnesses, moderate increases in breastfeeding would translate into cost savings for the NHS of £40 million and tens of thousands of fewer hospital admissions and consultations.

In conclusion, thanks to this research, we can no longer afford to ignore the deep implications of our behavior on our baby’s development. Finding time to truly work with your body and your mind during pregnancy, by transmitting positive energy to your baby is synonymous with acting as a responsible citizen. Let us do our best to build a better world together!

Author: Marie Cier

Editor: Ioana Frandes

The Youth and Its Role In Prenatal, Birth and Better Maternal Care

Fred and Moffat (Fre-Mo)

Today’s Youth is tomorrow’s parent. His role is critical in overcoming the obstacles on the path to better maternal care. The world should have faith in it and so should be the organizations that are part of women’s pregnancy journey. The youth has the goodwill, the opportunity and the critical roles to play. I have been there and I know it’s a challenge, but with energy, passion and a spirit of adventure big things are on the way.

We started a medical and birth centre in my mid-twenties with no resource, goodwill or experience in the world of medicine worse still, I myself didn’t possess  medical background. It was risk-taking but worth enduring in the end. It carried a lot of expected failures and that is why I regard it to be the best ride in this adventure. Who believed in us? Pretty not sure but we did our best to be ourselves. I anchored my dreams on service to humanity, passion for serving and youthfulness energy. To serve with passion full of energy, that is what it means. If you find the calling as a youth challenging, take a little time and look at my experience. I assure you it will take precedence to challenge yours. Most of you are younger than I was, more experienced than I am. You are more enlightened and intellectually correct which put my involvement in this noble organization into humility but with so much pride to be part and parcel of.
We have attended facilitated and served women’s care at prenatal level, birth room and postnatal at homes from our simple birth centre and how I stand with conviction with surety knowing the benefits will outlive many of the challenges ahead.  We call it focused amiable conceived care. The outcomes are encouraging. The whole care sets at prenatal level. Information is power and the positive prenatal information is empowerment. Witness the challenges of this informal settlement woman, (poverty, ignorance, drug abuse, HIV, Anemia, domestic violence, disease, dirty water to name but a few), so horrific to imagine to digest but they come out strongly to overshadow the threats in every possible way banking on the guaranteed support of encouragement, information, resources, recognizing dignity and the incorporation of compassion all throughout care.
Empowerment to an expectant woman is to lighten a dark alley in the journey by pulling down the fears, countering unnecessary complications, creating understanding between caregivers and families and the need for the expectant woman to learn to listen and keep her pregnancy safe by all means at will.
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FreMo Birthroom

At our birth centre here in the slum of Kawangware the challenges faced with these women and their families are myriad woven with social, economic and cultural system dysfunctional yet most of them have been overcome by a culture in service delivery packaged and practice adhering to the woman’s needs; the midwifery model of care that works magical and befits well to every low-risk pregnant woman.

The youth given information and opportunity is an enlightened mass who are seizing the opportunity to a brighter life of birth and pregnancy. On their part, they are incorporating science, culture and ethics to propel the agenda of their cause to higher levels. They know that Science has got its part, that path to propel positive prenatal towards successful and possible results. Culture has its part to overcome the obstacles that bring about fantasies of the modern era where civilization ridicules decency. Ethics calls on care to adhere to the true basic virtues of practice to do the best including providing right and timely information, respecting and honouring client’s body and participation and putting into practice proper care full of satisfaction.
The youth of today is tomorrow’s parent. They know, understand and are aware of their defiant environment. The prenatal process forming the backbone of their childbearing and development should be put into focus. They know their world so well, its challenge and its positives.

Irvinta

I married in my mid-twenties and my son came two years later. We had already opened our Medical and Birth center to care for local pregnant women. The culture was not the one we pride with but with the gracious Midwife Vicki Chan, incorporating the safety, compassion, support and dignified care during birth all changed. Unfortunately, my son will be born in a public facility where my wife endured a lot of loneliness and anxiety that came following. I love my son dearly, but I understand well his birth-care was not the beautifying one. Two years later my daughter was born. She is a princess who was welcomed into this world by loving, compassionate and dignified care. Irvinta now 3 years old was born at home with my wife Judith, Son Frank, Midwife, Doctor and I, a choice we took because it was a low-risk pregnancy. The birth was simple, easy and sacred so to say but little. This care received by my daughter perhaps is the greatest gift any caregiver; parent or community would ever adorn their babies. The journey was walked with love, care and support. All fears buried, love was in the air to empower the whole care. I reaped what I had sown by caring women with the standard basic care that is full of safety, compassion and social justice. Many of the families we serve have had the privilege and opportunity to experience the same. As a youth, I stood for what is right and I earned a place in my daughter’s life by giving her the care she needed and deserved.  If all the youths are brought aboard to identify how critical their involvement in prenatal and birth, we will all see the beauty of the world that God foresaw after creation. It was all beautiful. The youths will make the difference and our life will be beautiful.


Author: Moffat Osoro
Founder Member FreMo Medical and Birth Centre.
Nairobi- Kenya.
Editor: Ioana Frandes

What about teaching peace before and during pregnancy?

picFinding peace can be everyone’s goal but before conceiving a baby and during the pregnancy it’s even more important. We all know that babies in the womb can sense mom’s emotions.
Findings from researchers show a fetus receives chemical signals from mom during pregnancy that could have a negative impact on how a baby develops after birth. The psychological state of a mother – during pregnancy and after delivery – has a direct impact on the health of a baby after birth.
So how about starting feeling in peace even before conceiving a baby. It can become a way of life, a way of being. And it will be easier to keep experiencing peace during pregnancy. Indeed, it can feel like such an overwhelming time as a pregnancy puts new demands both physically and emotionally. Here are some simple tips to keep a positive attitude and stay away from negative thoughts and worries:

 

  •  Meditation and prayer are useful tools to help maintaining a positive attitude. Practicing everyday can make a huge difference by bringing peace and relaxation to your body and mind
  •  Turn off the news allows to stay away from drama and the constant violent or negative images shown,
  •  Find a balance between work, family, responsibilities and self-care
  •  Practicing gratitude for the blessings in your lives produces also health benefits
  •  Talk to your baby: take a few minutes every day and sit quietly. Clear your mind, rest your hands on your belly and talk to your baby. Focus on the miracle going on inside. It will be a chance for your baby to hear your voice free of stress and feel the love and happiness.

 

peaceEvery woman should tune into her body to see what it needs for its optimum health and balance. Also tune into her higher self to receive accurate guidance about her health. They should trust their own inner authority as a truth barometer about what’s healthy.
Inner peace should not depend on external circumstances. It can be embraced by always taking the moment to be present in life. And when it comes the time of delivering, no matter what’s going on around; the mother will be ready to live this moment in a peaceful way which is essential for her and her baby.

Author: Amelie Paterne

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