Posts Tagged ‘prenatal psychology’

What Shirley Temple Taught Us About Pregnancy

I have written often about the shaping power of prenatal life, and the huge influence a mother has on her child’s development during pregnancy. Mounting evidence tells us that circumstances in the womb program our health in critical, life-altering ways. The prenatal environment is equally as important as genes, perhaps even more important, in determining lifelong physical and mental health. The field of prenatal psychology has amassed decades of research to illuminate the impact of a pregnant mother’s inner life upon her child’s personality and lifelong wellbeing.

Shirley’s Mom Knew The Power of Prenatal Life

ShirleyTempleGraumansTileMany wisdom traditions instruct the pregnant mother to fill her mind with thoughts and images of the splendid qualities she and her partner dream of for their child. This makes pregnancy a wonderful time to read biographies of inspiring peacemakers and innovators whom you admire. We still know so little about the how’s behind the important functions of imagination and joy in pregnancy for the lifelong qualities of the individual, who is steeped in whatever his or her mother experiences during those nine months, so why not?

It seemed to work for Shirley Temple’s mother, who embraced these practices and gave birth to one of the most endearing actresses in our history, who went on to be a devoted humanitarian. Included as a footnote in my book Parenting for Peace, here is a passage from Shirley Temple’s autobiography, Child Star: {Read more at}

Birth in 4012


Mid-Pacific Conference on Birth & Primal Health

Michael Stark, Jackie Chang, Jan Tritten, Robbie Davis-Floyd, Sarah Buckley, Peggy O’Mara, Sara Wickham, Lesley Page

A panel of some of the world’s leading experts on birth shared the stage at the close of last month’s Mid-Pacific Conference on Birth and Primal Health. Their assignment? Offer a vision of birth in 4012.

Here sitting at one table were such folks as Peggy O’Mara, Sarah Buckley, Robbie Davis-Floyd, Michel Odent and other heavy-hitters in the birth world — including the president of the Royal College of Midwives, Lesley Page, and Michael Stark, president of the New European Surgical Academy and “father” of the Misgav Ladach method for Cesarean section. With a gathering like that,  you’re going to hear many intriguing ideas about how birth will evolve in the next two millenia.

Some visions of birth in 4012 were inspiring, some were challenging, one was utterly bleak. But the most stunning moment emerged when Laura Uplinger came to the podium. Laura is a world citizen who has spent most of her adult life devoted to sharing education about the power of prenatal life. (She had spent most of this conference in a booth tirelessly translating dozens of talks from English into Spanish for the large South American contingent of attendees.)

Laura closed the panel with a vivid portrait of the future of as if she were reporting from that future. (more…)