It is no surprise that a child prefers its mother’s voice to those of strangers. Beginning in the womb, a foetus’s developing auditory pathways sense the sounds and vibrations of its mother. Soon after birth, a child can identify its mother’s voice and will work to hear her voice better over unfamiliar female voices.
My first inkling of early trauma emerged while receiving bodywork. While previous therapy was helpful, touching early prenatal and birth traumas hidden beyond my conscious awareness required including my body in therapy. Massage leading to emotional release began the process. This was followed by dance/movement psychotherapy where I learned to notice and express what was held in my tissues. I was fascinated by memories of feeling unwelcomed and unwanted, losing a twin, being plucked out of the womb with forceps from a mother too drugged to remember if she had held me after birth, or to realize the wrong baby was brought to her three days later.
For over 30 years, the field of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology (PPN) has taken the dynamic understanding of human development deeper by studying how babies’ earliest experiences in the womb, during birth and bonding, and as newborns shape and set in motion fundamental life patterns. These core patterns may be life-enhancing or life-diminishing.
The findings from PPN revolutionize our notions of who babies are, who we are, what is going on during this primary period of human development, and how these very early experiences form babies’ core foundations at every level–physical, emotional, mental, relational and spiritual. PPN offers a unique lens of exploring this developmental period from the baby’s point of view.