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Presentation Information

Heather Clarke

Pre and Perinatal Psychology to Improve Birth Outcomes

  • Speaker: Heather Clarke , CNM, DNP. FACNM
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 ACM CPD, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU

Traditionally, obstetrics has failed to regard the unborn child (prenate) as a conscious being with the ability to feel or be influenced by its perinatal experiences. The field of pre and perinatal psychology dates back to 1981 with Dr. Otto Frank, an assistant to Dr. Sigmund Freud published his book on the trauma of birth” Since that time, the sciences of embryology, hypnosis, neurobiology and epigenetics have provided evidence to show that from as early as conception, the prenate is influenced psychologically and physiologically by events which occur in the womb. Through implicit or cellular memory, a newborn traumatized during the perinatal period, may develop dysfunctional behavioral patterns to cope with unresolved emotional triggers.. The earlier in life the unresolved issues were first experienced, and the response, can prompt epigenetic changes beginning as early as in utero. These intrauterine epigenetic changes can manifest as mental and/or physical disease in adulthood. By understanding theories of pre and perinatal psychology, clinicians can introduce practices and protocols to help their clients avoid, resolve or mitigate the impact of perinatal trauma.