Monday, July 23, 2012

Fascinating Slideshow on Infant Statistics and Attachment

 Original Post Dec 2, 2009 at 4:44 AM on Cafemom

A psychologist friend sent this slideshow to me because 1. she knew I'd enjoy it and 2. she knows I've been unhappy with the damage to the bond and relationship with my middle child due to the epidural hormone inhibition and ensuing postpartum depression and there's a bit in there that cites research regarding brain development in the infants of depressed mothers that shows that breastfeeding protects babies from damaging asymmetry causing negative emotion-related psychopathology. Which means it prevents attachment and developmental problems caused by maternal depression (however, there is clearly damage done by the depression, it simply doesn't fall into the negative, it just prevents baby from rising as high into the positive as non-depressed mother's infants).

It's pretty long, so you'll need 1. Adobe Acrobat or similar program and 2. time to go through it. I'm sure something is lost without the speaker presenting it, but it's still very informative and not too hard to follow for the most part. It does get technical in several parts.

Some quotes:

Separated infants cry much more
..........................KMC babies               ...Cot babies
Number of cries        ...4                              ...41
Seconds cried          ...70                           ...2839

I especially liked slides 225-230 in regards to Kangaroo Care:
Two hospitals in a town in Ecuador, the poorer using [skin to skin contact], compared to the richer using incubators, in a controlled clinical trial... “Enrolment was terminated early because a highly significant difference in severe morbidity at six months emerged, in favour of SSC” [sic]

Slide 234 shows that breastfeeding is improved with skin to skin contact as well as overall health (and that duration of breastfeeding improves healthy outcomes as well).

In all mammals, brain grows in utero until it reaches 80% of full adult size… then BIRTH… then the brain grows the last 20% to final full adult size. Homo sapiens also has a brain that grows along this pattern… the brain reaches 80% of final size at the age of 21 months

Actual birth takes place at 9 months… which makes the human birth one year too soon: Exceedingly Immature

Humans essentially complete gestation outside the womb

In the UTERINE HABITAT, the umbilical cord delivers all the basic biological needs to the fetus. In the NEWBORNS HABITAT, the mother’s breast delivers all the basic biological needs to the fetus.

“Crying, the highest behavioural state, is DETRIMENTAL. It impairs lung functioning, jeopardizes the closure of the foramen ovale, increases intra-cranial pressure, and initiates a cascade of stress reactions”.

“Crying depletes energy reserves and oxygenation, increases intracranial pressure, white blood count and base excess, reestablishes fetal circulation, and interferes with the infant’s ability to interact appropriately with caregivers.”

Mother and offspring live in a biological state that has much in common with addiction. When they are parted the infant does not just miss its mother; it experiences a physical and psychological withdrawal from a host of her sensory stimuli, not unlike the plight of a heroin addict who goes cold turkey.

“Society reaps what it sows in the way that infants and children are treated. Efforts to reduce exposure to stress and abuse [specifically MATERNAL INFANT SEPARATION --Bergman] in early life may have far-reaching impacts on medical and psychiatric health and may reduce aggression, suspicion and untoward stress in future generations.” Martin H Teicher

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