BENE NATUS - WELL BORN
Foundation Woman and Nature organized The 3rd International Symposium for doctors and midwives entitled: "Optimal childbirth - the challenges of modern obstetrics'. The symposium was held on September 24 - 25, 2010 in Wrocław. It was attended by nearly a thousand people from around the country and abroad. Among the lecturers were the names of some of the world's leading scientists from various fields of medicine.
To begin with the conference president of Foundation Woman and Nature Dr. Preeti Agrawal explained why the new approach to our children birth is so important:
- Childbirth, the natural and physiological phenomenon, for the last decades is being considered a pathology, leading to variety of unnecessary medical interventions. Recent research on medical interventions during natural birth estimates that 90% of medical procedures used in Polish hospitals are unnecessary. What counts in our hospitals, is speed, not the quality of labor: doctors and midwives are working under large time pressure, often they do not have a psychological approach to parturient, or knowledge about physiology of childbirth. Knowledge about new scientific discoveries in the field of physiology and prenatal psychology reaches medical communities with a great time gap due to lack of interdisciplinary approach to birth.
Dr Eva Gundberg, Swedish gynecologist-obstetrician with years of experience, author of "The joy of childbirth," (as a propagator of the idea of vertical childbirth lectures in both Americas, Europe replica watches and Asia) talked about the importance of birth for individuals and entire societies. Dr. Gundberg examined the social beliefs on the birth:
- We believe that the child's brain is immature, that the baby neither registers anything nor remembers; after birth does not miss its mother because it does not know yet what to expect, does not feel anger, pain or anxiety. In other words - it is common belief that children do not care how they are born. Mother are convinced that labor is painful, so often they ask for caesarean section. Doctors also are afraid of the natural births, their receiving requires patience, time and experience: with planned deliveries everything is running smoothly, quickly, always during the day, never on weekends or holidays. The economic aspect is also important - induced and planned births are more financially viable. The result is that 90% of births in South America ends with caesarean section, and in most countries of the world's number of cesarean deliveries increases. More and more often doctors are treating the mother as a machine, and children as a product of pregnancy.
- What are the consequences for the whole society? Aren’t war, violence, trouble with ecology, economics, religion and emigration caused by the fact that we were born in a way that shaped within us bad and hostile beliefs about reality that surrounds us? The child, violently removed from the mother's abdomen during a short operation is terrified, it has a strong sense of threat to life, forever loses prime mover and the ability to establish close relationships with other people. With caesarean section in the first moments of the life world for the child appears as a hostile and dangerous place. In the deep structures of child's brain permanent connections are formed that will influence its whole future life. Not only cesarean sections have such negative consequences - isolating children from their mothers after the physiological deliveries and other medical interventions also have an impact on the subsequent perception of the surrounding world.
Dr Gundberg asked: iwhether in the majority of cases we do not feel separated from each other, lonely, misunderstood, unloved, we do not have a sense that the world is bad, hostile, and life is a constant struggle? What really shaped the way we view reality? What can be changed? Doctor believes that in the hands of obstetricians is an opportunity to create a new society - the replica watches society of people who love each other.
- In the hands of each obstetrician is the future of every person born with the help of his hands, and the future of our planet. Work should start at the basics, starting with the understanding that everything what mother feels, senses also her child. That childbirth is a key moment in the life of every man (as Michael Odent writes: "What is your birth, such your life"). The way we came into the world, shapes our whole vision of reality and way of feeling. By changing the approach to childbirth, we have a chance to change the future of our planet.
Another lecturer, Professor Ludwig Janus is a physician and psychotherapist, author of several books on prenatal and perinatal psychology, for many years presided over the International Association of Medicine and Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology (ISPPM). Lecture by prof. Janus was in a way an attempt of deepening the theory of Dr. Gundberg from psychological perspective.
Prenatal and perinatal psychology began to develop just in the 20th century. Freud assumed that our childhood experiences affect our lives, but their beginning is dated on the so-called Oedipus Period, the time at which shapes our gender identity. Otto Rank, a disciple of Freud, in 1924 found that the human memory goes much deeper, up to the time before birth. The way in which we came into the world and feelings that are being experienced in the wombs of our mothers shape our entire vision of the world. Man even before he learns to speak, has a whole range of feelings and emotions. The earliest, preverbal and premeval experiences of a new world we store in the lifetime memory.
Human babies, like no other primates, are completely defenseless for a long time. Also, the whole family model looks completely different than in other mammals: for human important roles play, father or grandmother. Human child compensates its extreme vulnerability by the greater than the other primates ability to form social bonds. These first relationships with the environment, established by the child after birth (not accesible later in verbal memory) operate as a matrix, which we apply to reality.
Professor Janus repeatedly checked and confirmed this thesis in his practice, working with hundreds of patients who experienced some trauma: in fetal life, during labor and just afterwards. Reaching for the knowledge of our preverbal experiences is sometimes salutary in the therapeutic work and always works/acts where all other methods of therapy fail. Healing the trauma of birth can heal the patient's life.
- Basis of high self- esteem, ability of establishing and keeping relationships and the general attitude to life are formed already in the prenatal period and during the first year of human life - Janus said. Subsequent health and quality of social contacts are shaped exactly by the terms of this primary socialization. Therefore - our biography goes back nine months from the date of our birth. But modern medicine reduces human to a biological being, completely neglecting his emotional needs. Thanks to the development of obstetrics childbearing has become more secure, it is possible to achieve a balance between medical and psychological aspects of childbirth. - Said Professor- This balance can revolutionize the conditions of early child development and greatly contribute to bringing peace in our communities.
Professor Kerstin Uvnas-Mober from Sweden spoke about the role and influence of oxytocin in parturition and quality of postpartum. Master Anna Bosanquet, a midwife from England, spoke about the history of obstetrics, trying to figure out at what point in our history technology has replaced nature, breaking the continuity of experience as it has always been in the hands of women? How did it happen that the act of birth of a new human being, which for thousands of years was the domain of women, came into the hands of men? When it was completely dominated by them, when the nature was replaced by equipment, and what are the consequences for all of us?
Professor Bogdan Chazan, an experienced obstetrician-gynecologist, assessing the state of Polish obstetrics as bad, asked a very important question - why, despite the development of technologies, in Polish hospitals is still so high maternal mortality? Why do we assume that the fetus and newborn are patients? Do cesarean sections contribute to the reduction of fertility in women? Is there a correlation between children's low birth weight and performed at the request caesarean section? Where are we going, constantly increasing the number of cesarean deliveries? What is the optimal cesarean delivery period?
Dr Nils Bergman of South Africa, who together with the midwife Agneta Jurisoo developed a method of caring for newborns known as Kangaroo Mother Care KMC-www.kangaroomothercare.com, began his lecture with a statement that most people hearing about KMC, think it is some kind of alternative medicine. Whereas his method based on scientific evidences supported by several researches successfully applied all over the world, since 1983. To understand Dr’s Bergman method, we should know how the human brain works. In the brain of child shortly after birth separated from mother, significantly increases the level of cortisol, a struggle hormone, blocking other functions, including nutrition. When the separation akes too long, the child "turns" in its brain survival system, and short-term stress caused by a single increase of cortisol level, changes into a long-term, toxic stress, leading to permanent deprivation of brain connections. In all mammals newborns are the once responsible for feeding. People think that in their case it is different, that the mother gives the signal when to start feeding. This is misunderstanding. Human infant immediately after birth has enough strength and skills to get to the maternal breast: by kneading it causes the mother's brain increases the level of maternal oxytocin and prolactin, stimulating the breast for lactation. Communication between the mother and a newborn takes place on the level of autonomic nervous system, mainly through touch. Breast-feeding and associated with feeding close skin-to-skin contact allows to create new brain connections and promotes the child's proper and rapid development - mental and physical. But let's look what is happening in our hospitals with the children after birth? Those born prematurely go to the incubators, and those born in the time - to the neonatologists for medical tests. Warm mother, with overflowing with milk breast and sense of security that gives her smell, touch and sound of her heart beat, is substituted by machines or strange hands of doctors. A newborn child, terrified by new reality is brutally separated from the only person it knew - from his mother.
They say that our children go to the incubators because they are unstable - Dr Bergman concluded - when they are unstable precisely because they are in incubators! Mother and child constitute one psycho neurobiological organism. Their separation after birth is rape should never happen!
Dr Bergman developed the Kangaroo Mother Care method recognized in the treatment of newborns and premature babies in England, USA, Sweden, Germany, Belgium and South Africa. What is a Kangaroo Mother Care? This method relies on ensuring mother and child close skin-to -skin contact after birth and thereafter. It has been proven that this method relaxes the baby, allows him to fall asleep, almost immediately reducing stress levels (In preterm infants born in the 25th week of pregnancy even 20 minutes in the arms of mother reduce cortisol levels by 60%). Practising Kangaroo Mother Care significantly decreases stress levels also to the mother (stress can delay or even completely block the process of lactation). During close contact skin-to-skin child's body temperature is maintained at a constant level, increases its resistance to infections, improves quality of sleep, stabilizes heart and respiratory rate, steadily increases weight, decreases cortisol level: in the brain form a "good" brain connections, allowing later in life to develop empathy, higher affects, and satisfying relationships. KMC also has numerous psychological advantages: allows to strength parenting feelings, tighten bond with the child, enhance sense of parental efficacy.
In September 2010 Dr. Bergman invited by Foundation Woman and Nature, conducted a cycle of courses concern Kangaroo Mother Care.
Professor Marian Gabrys, gynecologist-obstetrician from Wroclaw, said that we are witnessing a breakthrough in obstetrics. Term bene natus once was reserved for the elect. Time for all people to have the right to be well born - appealed the professor.