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  • Listening To Babies: What Can We Learn From Them Listen Now
  • Birthing & Its Impact on Relationship with Self & Family Listen Now
  • Abortion: The Prenate & the Mother Listen Now
  • Preparing for Pregnancy I Listen Now
  • Preparing for Pregnancy II Listen Now
  • Trauma Caused to Mom's & Babies by Cesarean Section Listen Now
  • How to Avoid a Cesarean Section Listen Now

How Birthing Professionals Can Include Early Consciousness in Pregnancy & Birthing

I am English living in the USA and I have found it challenging to bring up the very important subject of prenatal (before-birth) consciousness here in America. It immediately provokes a heated discussion, strong feelings, or comments about abortion politics, and women’s rights. It seems that in the U.S. if you believe that prenate’s are conscious, you must automatically be pro-life which means you are against women having the choice of abortion. Then you are on the slippery slope of this awful polarity and oppositional way of thinking that doesn’t serve anyone.

We all need to reclaim prenatal consciousness from abortion and abortion politics! It is far too important and crucial a subject to be left moldering at the hands of politicians who use it as a ticket to get elected, or to be thought about in such a constricted way. We must liberate our early spirituality, and our soul journey. Our conception and time in the womb are crucial events in our early development, when we are incarnating, and growing our body. We must re-claim this profound aspect of ourselves, just as we need to claim birth back from the medical community, and place it firmly in the hands of people who will nurture and truly understand it. Those of us who are involved in the early journey into life, professionally – midwives, doula’s, doctor’s, etc are in the important position of being able to make a huge difference by holding the consciousness of the one coming in. A discussion on abortion and prenatal consciousness is very important, but is only a small part of what we must consider when we think about early consciousness, and is not my focus here. For those interested in prenatal consciousness and abortion, there is an audio recording of a panel on which I presented at The Assoc. for Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health (APPPAH) conference 2009 entitled “Abortion: The Prenate & The Mother”. Go to the Home page of my web site, this panel essentially promotes an understanding of prenatal consciousness, and explores Conscious Abortion as the way forward.

In this short article I present a broader and deeper way of thinking about prenatal consciousness, and what it could mean to you both personally and as birthing professionals, to your clients, and to your client’s children. We are all conscious, sentient beings when we come in to life, and this is the core principle of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health, my field of work. Following are some ideas and examples about how the inclusion of prenatal consciousness could positively influence both your personal and professional lives, and the lives of those you work with:

Continue reading How Birthing Professionals Can Include Early Consciousness in Pregnancy & Birthing

How In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Can Affect Your Child

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) children are some of the most wanted children on the planet. Anyone who has gone through IVF to have a child is a courageous and determined person. IVF gives many couples a chance to have their dream of parenthood come true, and it is a miracle that medical science has found a way to make this happen. Medical procedures often focus on the biological level only, and the emotional/psychological/spiritual aspects of the experience can be neglected. Conception is a powerful and sacred moment, and pregnancy is the cauldron for our life’s deepest, core templates, also influencing our brain and neurological wiring. In my work with IVF families, I attempt to bring the sacred and the practical back together, providing a balanced, integrated approach.

I am a Prenatal and Birth Therapist who works with babies, kids, adults and parents. My work is focused on early imprints, attachment, and parenting, covering the period from pre-conception through early infancy, and including conception, womb life and birth. The imprints laid down during this time affect our lives profoundly, and if you are interested in this field of work, called Prenatal & Peri-natal Psychology & Health (PPN), you may want to explore further on both the Association for Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health (APPPAH) web site at www.birthpsychology.com, and on my web site, as below. You are also most welcome to call me with questions, feedback, etc.

From the PPN viewpoint, we are conscious when we begin to come in to our body at conception, and we continue to be fully conscious and sentient throughout our womb life, birth and early infancy. Our life does not begin after birth, as the longstanding cultural myth would have us believe. In my practice I have worked with IVF children and their parents, and will share with you some of my experiences and observations with those families. I hope this will help you in thinking about your child’s experience of coming into life this way, whether born or unborn at the point of reading. It might help you to think about IVF from your baby’s point of view as a conscious being.

There are three main areas in IVF that can potentially cause stress or trauma to babies, or that may create a need for some support in order to integrate the experience (this is not by any means a comprehensive list, just what babies and families have taught me so far): Continue reading How In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Can Affect Your Child


I found the following important article about the damaging affects of Pitocin, a drug routinely used in hospital birthing by obstetricians for inductions and augmentation of labor. Pitocin is specifically only approved by the FDA when medically indicated. I have added an important note at the end of the article about the emotional and psychological affects of this drug, which is rarely talked about. Here is the web site at which I found the following article:


May 30, 2010
Pitocin not approved by the FDA for elective (or non-medical inductions).
PITOCIN has been approved by the FDA for the medical induction and stimulation of labor. Pitocin has not approved for the elective induction or stimulation of labor.
Which means, that the common use of Pitocin in hospitals for inducing a mother post dates (without medical reason) is highly dangerous. The risks are too high for a non-medical induction. The use of pitocin in labor to ‘speed things up’ is not FDA approved. You can refuse pitocin augmentation unless it is for a medically indicated reason. It should not be used just because you are over your ‘due’ date or because its inconvenient to wait for baby to have his/her own timing. This drug has consequences that medical professionals know nothing about.

“Oxytocin crosses the placenta and enters the blood and brain of the fetus within seconds or minutes. There appears to be a correlation between fetal exposure to oxytocin and autism in the exposed offspring.”
The manufacturer of oxytocin warns the provider in the package insert:
“Maternal deaths due to hypertensive episodes, subarachnoid hemorrhage, rupture of the uterus, fetal deaths and permanent CNS or brain damage of the infant due to various causes have been reported to be associated with the use of parenteral oxytocic drugs for induction of labor or for augmentation in the first and second stages of labor.”
Because oxytocin is used so commonly to stimulate labor we note here that, in addition to the more benign effects of uterine stimulants, such as nausea and vomiting, the manufacturer of Pitocin (oxytocin) points out in its package insert that oxytocin can cause:

(a) maternal hypertensive episodes (abnormally high blood pressure)
(b) subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding in area surrounding spinal cord)
(c) anaphylactic reaction (exaggerated allergic reaction)
(d) postpartum hemorrhage (uterine hemorrhage following birth)
(e) cardiac arrhythmias (non-normal heart rate)
(f) fatal afibrinogenemia (loss of blood clotting fibrin)
(g) premature ventricular contraction (non-normal heart function)
(h) pelvic hematoma (blood clot in the pelvic region)
(i) uterine hypertonicity (excessive uterine muscle tone)
(j) uterine spasm (violent, distorted contraction of the uterus)
(k) tetanic contractions (spasmodic uterine contractions)
(l) uterine rupture
(m) increased blood loss
(n) convulsions (violent, involuntary muscle contraction(s).
(o) coma (unconsciousness that cannot be aroused)
(p) fatal oxytocin-induced water intoxication (undue retention of water marked by vomiting, depression of temperature convulsions, and coma and may end in death.

Fetal and Newborn Effects
The following adverse effects of maternally administered oxytocin have been reported in the fetus or infant:
(a) bradycardia (slow fetal heart rate)
(b) premature ventricular contractions and other arrhythmias (non-normal heart function)
(c) low 5 minute Apgar scores (non-physiologic neurologic evaluation)
(d) neonatal jaundice (excess bilirubin in the blood of the neonate.
(e) neonatal retinal hemorrhage (hemorrhage within the innermost covering of the eyeball)
(f) permanent central nervous system or brain damage
(g) fetal death
“Uterine stimulants which foreshorten the oxygen-replenishing intervals between contractions, by making the contractions too long, too strong, or too close together, increase the likelihood that fetal brain cells will die.
The situation is analogous to holding an infant under the surface of the water, allowing the infant to come to the surface to gasp for air, but not to breathe. All of these effects increase the possibility of neurologic insult to the fetus. No one really knows how often these adverse effects occur, because there is no law or regulation in any country that requires the doctor to report an adverse drug reaction to the FDA.
These findings underscore the importance of the midwife managing the woman’s labor in a way that will avoid the need for Pitocin and the pain relieving drugs that are often administered to help the woman cope with the contractions intensified by Pitocin.

DELAYED LONG TERM EFFECTS: There have been no adequate and well-controlled studies to determine the delayed, long-term effects of Pitocin on pregnant women, or on the neurologic, as well as general, development of children exposed to Pitocin in utero or during lactation.”

Here is manufacturers insert including warnings and uses of Pitocin.

Were you aware that the drug so commonly used on pregnant women without medical indication is not FDA approved?

The link to the FDA page: http://www.aimsusa.org/obstetricdrugs.htm
And the manufacturers insert is here…


Note from Karen on non-medically indicated use of Pitocin: One thing this article doesn’t talk about is the emotional and psychological affect on babies of the non-medical, routine use of this drug for induction and speeding things up for no good reason. We have lost contact with the importance of the natural rhythms of birth and how vitally they are connected to the natural daily rhythms of life. Being born without medical interference gives us a very important imprint for life that we need. Navigating through our birth, both drug and intervention free, provides us with these important imprints; birth is a very important transition that sets us up for life. In a normal, natural labor the contractions build, increasing in intensity, they go up and peak, and then they come down the other side. There is a natural space in between each contraction in which both mom and baby can rest and gather their strength for the next wave. This space is very important for rest and resourcing during labor. When Pitocin is administered this natural cycle is lost, and contractions are unrelenting, one after the other, with no rest. This is what makes it both more painful for the birthing mom, and traumatic for baby. Because makes it more painful, mom will often be offered more drugs to kill the pain of the effects of the first drug!

Kids born with Pitocin often have this kind of unrelenting quality in their energy/nervous system and therefore in the way that they approach life. This can be exhausting for the child and his parents, and is an expression of the drug and possible birth trauma combined. It’s that feeling of someone coming at you with no space for anything else to happen. It has a rev in it too, a fast moving energy. Drugs leave imprints that are an expression of both the character of the drug, and the way it expresses it self and impacts the recipients. They impact our nervous systems, and affect our perceptions of what life is about. Could it be that there is a link between this drug and ADHD/ADD??

Pitocin interferes with the natural healthy imprinting that occurs in birthing. This drug also affects the way our children can negotiate transitions, which is a very crucial part of life. We are negotiating transitions all the time, getting up, leaving the house, going to school, coming home, moving from one activity to another, so this is very important. As birth is a major transition, how we are birthed has a huge affect on the way we handle transitions. Your child may have a tough time navigating transitions if they had Pitocin in their birth. If a mom is induced with Pitocin she will often end up with many other harmful non-medically indicated interventions, even ending up with a c-section. Induction increases your chances of a c-section. These all add to the imprints and birth trauma. Even if you only consider the medical problems with this drug, as in the above article, you would have to decide that it should be refused unless clearly medically indicated. Make sure that you know what medically indicated means if you are venturing into a medical environment for your birthing, because many drugs and interventions are routinely offered when not needed at all. Remember that any drug or intervention you say ‘yes’ to is going to have a big impact on your baby too, and on your experience of having an empowering birth. When medical interventions are really needed, they are great! It is however important to understand that if you are going into hospital to have your baby, that you are going to be offered the medical model of birth, and that is all about interventions and drugs, and not about supporting the natural timing and rhythm of birthing. The doctor will usually be in charge, not you. It takes a lot of research and preparation to come up against this system once in the hospital, and it’s hard work, although it can be done. Having a doula can really help if you wish to be in the hospital but have an intervention free birth. Do consider a birthing center if you have one near you, they are a great alternative if you don’t feel safe at home with a midwife and doula.


I found this on the Alliance for the Improvement of Maternity Services  (AIMS) web site, and I think that it is very important that every birthing family fully understands their rights if choosing labor and birth, or just birth, in hospital. It is also important to know these facts when you are considering the safest place to give birth. Knowledge is power, and only when you are fully aware of the implications of the decisions you are making, can you truly be in power and truly be making real choices for yourself and your baby’s health and future emotional, physical and emotional well-being. Karen

Many pregnant women are not fully aware of their right of informed consent or of the obstetricians’ legal obligation to obtain their patient’s informed consent prior to treatment. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) first publicly acknowledged the physician’s legal obligation to obtain his or her pregnant patient’s informed consent in its 1974 publication, Standards for Obstetric-Gynecologic Services, (pg 66-67) which reads:

“It is important to note the distinction between ‘consent’ and ‘informed consent’. Many physicians, because they do not realize there is a difference, believe they are free from liability if the patient consents to treatment. This is not true. The physician may still be liable if the patient’s consent was not informed. In addition, the usual consent obtained by a hospital does not in any way release the physician from his legal duty of obtaining an informed consent from his patient.


Pregnancy, Birth & Family Dynamics: What It Takes To Get Ready

We recently had a new baby come into our family, and I was reminded once again, how much change needs to happen when a little one comes into the family. Everyone has to make space for the new member, both internally, and externally in the family roles and dynamics. In birthing families everyone’s roles are shifting. We are all taking on new roles, and it is very helpful to think about this so that you can be clear about what your role is, and how you want to behave.  It is also important for each person to think about what they want from the other members of the family in this transition. E.g. mother is becoming grandmother, daughter is becoming mother, son is becoming a dad, father is becoming a grandfather, and born siblings having to move over for the younger member. There is a process that we are all going through to make these shifts, both internally, and in our outer roles. A pregnant family may have very different needs and requirements of their other close family members at this time.

Continue reading Pregnancy, Birth & Family Dynamics: What It Takes To Get Ready

Mom fires OB during birth when threatened with a cesarean!

I found this piece on the Hypnobabies Blog/Hypnosis for Childbirth


June 1, 2010

I LOVE this birth story, because it shows how moms can be so powerful during their births!   Mom was induced at 42 weeks, but insisted that the pitocin was turned up slowly and refused to have her water broken.

Continue reading Mom fires OB during birth when threatened with a cesarean!

Pelvic Issues After Birth, Especially Cesarean Section

In France ALL women who have given birth, even normally, or who have had abdominal surgery of any kind are automatically referred to a physical therapist who knows how to work with the pelvic floor. It totally makes sense to me that this would happen routinely, because both birth and surgery can leave us with many issues to deal with afterwards that are not in the domain of doctors or obstetricians to understand or treat.

Unfortunately, this common sense practice is not happening in America, so we have to be resourceful and find our own support at these important times. For many women it is not possible to return to full health and comfort in their body without help.

It is for these reasons that I am highly recommending Isa Herrera’s book “Ending Female Pain: A woman’s Manual – the Ultimate self-Help Guide for Women Suffering from Chronic Pelvic and Sexual Pain.

Continue reading Pelvic Issues After Birth, Especially Cesarean Section

The Vulnerable Prenate by William R. Emerson, Ph.D.

This paper (The Vulnerable Prenate) is an edited and elaborated version of the same-titled paper presented at the 1995 San Francisco APPPAH Congress, and is also published in the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, 10(3), Spring 1996.


Based on the author’s extensive work with patients, this article clarifies the conditions under which prenatal experiences may be lifelong and describes the theoretical and research perspectives necessary to understand the effects of prenatal traumatization. In addition, since the incidences of personal and societal violence are at an all-time peak and increasing, the author discusses the effects of pre- and peri-natal trauma on aggression and violence. (end)

The prenate (i.e., the unborn baby) is vulnerable in a number of ways that are generally unrecognized and unarticulated. Most people think or assume that prenates are unaware, and seldom attribute to them the status of being human. I recall a recent train trip, where an expectant mother sat in a smoking car filled with boisterous and noisy people. I asked her whether she had any concern for her unborn baby, and whether she thought the smoke or the noise would be bothersome to her unborn child. Her reply was, “Well of course not, my dear. They are not very intelligent or awake yet.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Continue reading The Vulnerable Prenate by William R. Emerson, Ph.D.


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