Sexuality During Pregnancy

A pregnant woman’s body undergoes many changes, which can be unsettling both to her sense of self and sexual identity. In the first trimester, your breasts become enlarged, which may be welcome or not along with your growing belly. Questioning your

perceptions of yourself and your desirability is very normal.  It can be helpful to consciously relax and let go into these many transformations as Nature’s plan miraculously unfolds. Know that you are beautiful as you are creating life. You are literally stretched in a very good way to become more loving towards yourself in every respect and in relationship with your partner and baby. This is the ideal time to take care of yourself and to receive all of the love that you need.

Pregnancy and sexuality are very much positively linked as lovemaking creates your baby! Sex during pregnancy is safe until the baby is delivered unless your doctor asks you to refrain for medical reasons. Both physical and emotional closeness will enhance your well-being. Expecting couples need to express love, tenderness and reassurance towards each other as both are undergoing many psychological changes, while moving towards new roles of parenthood. Make sure to provide times for intimacy and stress relief.  Nonverbal give and take can be shared through touching, stroking, frequent eye contact and more slowed down lovemaking (in the third trimester). Sexual positions may need to change in order to feel more feel comfortable and not put weight directly on your stomach.  I inform women to buy a wedge for their backs and to experiment with spooning and other positions. Some pregnant women have more sexual arousal than normal because of pressure on the uterus and sexual organs, which can heighten arousal or not.

 Open up to your radiance and sensuality with new expressions of your sexuality!

March 2, 2010 at 5:38 pm Leave a comment

How does your birth history affect you today?

Do you know the facts and details of your own birth, which can leave lasting imprints?  Have you ever asked your mother about it? Most parents do not know the value of learning about their own birth story and being able to share it in a relaxed open way! Attachment researchers, under the direction of Dr. Mary Main, discovered when giving the “The Adult Attachment Interview”, that if expectant parents could “coherently” tell their own birth story, no matter what the circumstances, then there was over an 80% chance that their children would become securely attached. Secure attachment is the most important goal of the first year of life, when the bonded baby is able to feel a sense of trust with his parents.  I normally ask my expectant clients to find out their own birth history, so that we can help integrate this important first moment in their own lives. Birth patterning and early parenting programming can repeat itself, unless it is resolved. This important information informs you about your original core patterning which can be unconsciously repeated in the next generation unless you examine it consciously.

  What do you need to know about your birth?

  • Were you a wanted baby? At conception? At birth?
  • Did your mother have any prior miscarriages or abortions?
  • Were there any unusual pre-birth or post- birth hospitalizations?
  • What drugs were used during delivery?
  • Were you born by normal birth or caesarean section?
  • Were there any birthing traumas? (cord around neck, breech? forceps?)
  • What was your bonding and attachment history with your parents?
  • Did your mother experience post partum depression?

Sometimes getting this information can be emotionally charged, both for you and your mother.  Be gentle with yourself and with your mother as she was doing the best that she could under the circumstances.  After you gather this information, reflect on it.  What patterns may be emotionally embedded?  Did you experience early fear or trauma?  Think about how these feelings may be affecting you own outlook as a person and a parent.  If strong feelings arise, you may need to talk about these issues with a trained professional.

Conscious parenting informs you so that you can heal your past to provide more optimal birthing and parenting conditions.

February 18, 2010 at 2:44 am Leave a comment

The Joy of Babies

This video reminds us of the complete joy that babies experience and can share with us.

February 4, 2010 at 12:55 am Leave a comment

Echoes from Your Birth

Have you ever felt that something has greatly affected the course of your life, but you don’t know what it is? You may find an answer by learning about your birth experience.

From early childhood on, I was convinced that I was adopted, although looked exactly like my dad, with no rational basis for this view. My awareness of lifelong feelings of abandonment with a strong sense of not really belonging to my real parents eventually led me to my own field of prenatal and perinatal psychology. In my doctoral program, when asked to get my birth history, the light went on. I had a difficult birth and was separated from my mother with a six week hospital stay. This important fact was never discussed with me. There had been no opportunity to bond with my own parents or them to me, which is why we all felt like strangers to each other. No repairs were ever made which could have saved me from unnecessary imbedded anxiety.  Resolving these early issues over time gave me the gift of self compassion. Also, my nervous system relaxed for the first time in my life. The events that surrounded my birth had been completely overwhelming. I was not given the opportunity to slow down and to integrate my earliest experiences until I was an adult. The baby part of me could finally feel loved and wanted by my adult self.

Being born should be one of the greatest moments in life. If you have a traumatic beginning, full of interventions and interruptions, there may be stored emotional wounding until it can be resolved. Many of us experience a traumatic birth, which may or may not have been preventable.

My greatest joy is that now I help babies, kids and adults heal from their gestational, birth and early life traumatic imprinting. I want everybody to feel be freed of early shock and trauma that they received. This process of repair is an easy one with infants but more therapeutic remediation is required with adults. You can have the gift of a great start in life with re-patterning and choice.

February 4, 2010 at 12:28 am Leave a comment

Are You a Good Mother?

Newborn babyEvery mother asks herself, “Am I good enough?  Am I doing something that is harming my baby?”  Often, comments from relatives or friends, parenting books, or even parenting blogs, can reinforce these doubts.

Donald Winnicott was a famous British pediatrician and psychoanalyst who devoted his life to studying what is best for mom and baby. He stated that every new baby must receive “good enough mothering”. What does that phrase mean? In Winnicott’s view, each ordinary devoted mother develops a unique, loving caretaking style that needs not reflect a perfect mothering theory. There is room for daily mistakes and imperfections.  However, he emphasizes that it is important that the infant and mother  have time to become bonded to one another and  form a loving unit or “dyad” during the first early months of life, when all infants have continuous needs for care, feeding and emotional interaction.  Winnicott states that society’s important role is to nurture the earliest mother-baby bond, as the child’s dependence upon his own mother is the foundation for healthy emotional independence. The job of the father and family in these earliest months is to support the new mother with food,  love and understanding, so that she can fulfill her role of mothering  to develop the infant’s basic trust within his own family and world.

Rather than trying to be “perfect,” each mother can simply pay attention to really getting to know her baby’s needs, disposition and personality. This involves responding to baby’s nonverbal cues, figuring out the nature of his cries, and providing lots of holding, eye contact, and talking. She also needs to trust her maternal intuition and gut feelings about what is best for her own baby – and not worry about all the advice she gets from friends and family. It is normal for a new mother to temporarily withdraw from the world for the first two months to assure her baby’s protection and well-being. Winnicott called this process “maternal-preoccupation.”  It is important to care for your baby from an open heart, rather than from a fearful, worried place.

A longer version of this piece appears  in St. Louis Kids magazine.  Click My Articles to read it.

November 9, 2009 at 3:04 am Leave a comment

How to Cope with Infant Trauma

crying-newborn-baby-photoOften I hear people say that that “it is a good thing that the baby was so young” when he or she was exposed to traumatic events in the womb, infancy and early childhood as the child can’t remember or feel these incidents. This harmful view implies that the child is OK nonetheless.  Until the 1980s, the medical and psychological professions believed that babies had “infantile amnesia” prior to age three.  It was thought that babies could not feel pain from medical surgeries and were not capable of remembering, as they were in a preverbal state without a fully developed brain.  New evidence in prenatal and perinatal psychology, including research and writings by David Chamberlain, William Emerson, and the neurobiologists Alan Schore and David Siegel, have shown that prenates and young babies do have emotions, feel pain, and are capable of memory and intelligence.  Parents need to understand this topic in order to prevent, recognize, and heal early trauma.

This is an excerpt of a longer article, which you can read by clicking here.

November 1, 2009 at 3:04 am Leave a comment

Reduce Your Risk of Premature Birth

Premature BabyPremature births are rising at an alarming rate in the U.S, 36% in the past 25 years.  Being born prematurely reduces the time that the baby has to grow and develop. It is the major cause of infant death and is associated with developmental delays, mental retardation, and mental health issues.  Studies show that even a few extra days in the womb can make a huge difference in positive outcomes for the baby.

 What do women and their partners need to know? First of all, you can avoid many of the causes of prematurity, including smoking, exposure to environmental toxins, and drug and alcohol use.  Ask your doctor about microbiogical screening in early pregnancy to treat hidden infections, including of the vagina, kidneys and bladder.  If you have chronic illness such as hypertension, diabetes, or lupus, you need to monitor them carefully.  Your risk of premature birth also increases if you are African-American, under 18, or over 40.

Today, many couples use in vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive.  A common practice has been to implant several embryos, which often results in multiple births.  Unfortunately,   these children are at a much higher risk of premature birth.  A recent study from the March of Dimes highlights the risks of multiple pregnancies and prematurity associated with IVF.  Please read it if you’re considering fertility treatments.

October 24, 2009 at 9:55 pm Leave a comment

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