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WITH 

COLLEEN O'FLAHERTY

TRANSFORMING OUR UNDERSTANDING
OF PREGNANCY AND THE BIRTHING EXPERIENCE

Scientific research from the last four decades has proven that the foundation of a child's  emotional and physical development begins in the womb. 

 

“PARENTING AND DEVELOPMENT BEGIN BEFORE BIRTH” Dr. Monk et al 2019

PD has been created to give parents the tools to give their unborn child the best foundation for:

  • Child and adult brain and hormonal adaptation

  • Attachment theory

  • Perinatal stress and resilience processes

  • Child socio-emotional regulation 

  • Outcome measures focusing on attachment and long-term parental and child physiology

The goal of PD is to empower and support parents during pregnancy and birth by providing them with knowledge and the tools to mitigate stress. These resources and support systems aim to help expectant parents navigate the emotional challenges that arise during this transformative period. Equipping parents with information and strategies to reduce stress, promotes a healthier and more positive experience for both the parents and the baby.

 

Proper stress management during pregnancy and birth can have long-term benefits for the emotional well-being and development of the child and contribute to a more positive parent-child relationship.

Reasurch has demonstrated that PD helps mothers/gestational parents to achieve:

  • Fewer C-sections

  • Fewer preterm births

  • Fewer signs of postpartum depression

  • Very strong mother-infant attachment and reciprocity 

  • Increased self-reliant and confident mothering

Pregnancy Dialogues™

Colleen is an experienced and knowledgeable professional natural and traditional medicine practitioner in the field of stress impact on emotional development and physical health. With over 40 years of experience and collaborations with pioneers in the field, she brings valuable insights to the APPPH Pregnancy Dialogues™ program.

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INTRODUCING PREGNANCY DIALOGUES TO THE UK & IRELAND

WHY

Clinical research supports the importance of positive maternal-fetal attachment for the long-term emotional development and physical health of children and adults. In line with this understanding, the APPPH has developed the Pregnancy Dialogues (PD) program. PD is a non-therapeutic, facilitator-led program that follows a specific framework consisting of six weekly group sessions. The program is designed for pregnant mothers or gestational parents, to promote positive maternal-fetal attachment

AIMS

PD aims to improve communication and attachment, as well as promote natural childbirth by guiding the mother/parent to understand the effects of stress on the unborn child, how to identify stress in themselves and how to mitigate its effects on the foetus. The communication methods utilised are verbal and non-verbal cues, sound frequencies and visualisation. This is particularly useful for women who have had negative, or stressful experiences with previous pregnancies.

UNIQUE HOW

The Pregnancy Dialogues program focuses on validated prenatal intervention components and takes a non-diagnostic/non-fault correcting approach. It is not intended to be a therapy or depression intervention program, nor does it aim to replace normal ante-natal/parenting classes. Instead, it serves as an additional layer of support based on research, knowledge, understanding, and experience to help reduce maternal stress levels and promote positive fetal/maternal attachment.

CHALLENGES PREGNANT WOMEN
FACE TODAY

During the period of pregnancy, a woman experiences significant transitions and emotional sensitivity. It is during this time that distractions, stress-inducing situations, and conflicting information from the modern world can potentially interfere with positive attachment and bonding with the baby. 

 

These external factors may create challenges and impact the emotional well-being of the expectant mother. Recognizing and addressing these challenges can be important in promoting positive maternal-fetal attachment and ensuring a healthy emotional bond between the mother and the baby. It is crucial to provide support, resources, and guidance to help expectant mothers navigate these challenges and promote a positive and nurturing environment for both the mother and the baby.

THE RESEARCH

The PD pilot study conducted by Dr Henrick and APPPH which spanned six years and 300 mothers and five fathers demonstrated the following outcomes:

  • Fewer C-sections

  • Fewer preterm births

  • Fewer signs of postpartum depression

  • Very strong mother-infant attachment and reciprocity 

  • Increased self-reliant and confident mothering.

 

Some facts extracted from the research

  • ‘Accumulating research shows that prenatal exposure to maternal stress increases the risk for behavioural and mental health problems later in life.’

  • ‘The results of this review on the effects of prenatal exposure to maternal stress suggest that pregnant women and their unborn children ought to be recognized as vulnerable populations, and protected accordingly from undue hardship and distress.’

  • 'Prenatal maternal stress predicts subsequent elevations in youth depressive symptoms’

  • High Prevalence of Insecure Attachment in Patients with  Primary Hypertension 

  • 'Parent-infant attachment quality has gained prominence as a trauma-resilience factor as well as a predictor of adult physical health."

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE PROGRAMME

The six weekly sessions cover a specific format – each session covering a specific theme. 

 

Each session lasts 1hr – 1hr 30. The  maximum number of participants for each group is six. By the end of the six weeks you will have a thorough understanding of the effects of stress, your personal stress triggers, and tools to mitigate stress. 

 

The course does not try to lead you along a stress free life – that is not reality – its aim 

Groups can be conducted in person or via zoom.

COURSE OVERVIEW

What to Expect... 

A SIX WEEK COURSE CONDUCTED IN PERSON OR VIA ZOOM 

Your group is carefully chosen to reflect interests, locality based on where you live, what stage of pregnancy and 

FOR ZOOM GROUPS IT IS NECESSARY TO HAVE A 15 MINUTE PRIVATE INTRO SESSION WITH COLLEEN BEFORE THE COURSE STARTS.

The course comprises:

  • Each SESSIONS approx 1.5-2 hrs

​       (no more than 6 people per group)

Each week has a specific theme and  follows a framework of components that has been proven to equip the mother with tools that transform the pregnancy & birthing experience.

There is no prescriptive 'teaching' and is not a parenting class.

The focus of the sessions is on participants own reflections and views.
 

  • Parental-fetal promoting attachment exercises between sessions

 

  • After all the babies have been born there is an informal follow up group swith the purpose of:

Introducing the new babies to the group
Hearing how each birth went and how life has been since the birth
Collecting follow-up research information (if part of research)

 

  • Follow-up Individual phone interview  with Facilitor 6th months afer birth


One of the components of the sessions is music/sound and each participant will receive a specially designed soundscape based on healing/relaxation frequencies to assist and build confidence for every mother/parent to eventually create their own sound for their baby.







 

JOIN A MOTHERHOOD COMMUNITY WHO SHARE IN YOUR VALUES AND UNDERSTANDING

​FACT 60% OF WOMEN FEELDISSCONECTED FROM FRIENDS AND RELATIONSHIPS AT SOME POINT IN PREGNANCY AND POST LABOR.

SCIENCE PROVES THIS MEANS THIS IN PREGNANCY

PREGNANCY DIALOGUES AIMS TO TRANSFORM THIS BY..

TRANSFORMING TRAUMA~ PROVEN OUTCOMES

​FACT 60% OF WOMEN experience, Misscarage, Still Birth, whatever h=came before, overcome with Black ba

SCIENCE PROVES THIS can negatively affect the bonding with baby

PREGNANCY DIALOGUES AIMS TO TRANSFORM THIS BY..

Contact

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