Attachment Parenting In Practice – Pregnancy and Birth

Hazel Leese-Dixon

As a parent, I tend to follow what is known as Attachment Parenting principles.  Essentially this style of parenting is intuitive and focuses on encouraging your children to become emotionally secure people.  The journey to achieving that is often bumpy and perhaps doesn’t always turn out quite as you hoped.   Never-the-less, in my opinion, Attachment Parenting provides the most definitive way to nurture children into secure adults.  It operates from pregnancy onwards.  The principles applied during pregnancy and birth, are expanded upon once your child comes into the world.

Before I got pregnant, I had read bits of information about gentler parenting practices.  I knew I wanted to breastfeed and I knew I wanted to cuddle my child-to-be if she or he started to cry.  In other words, some things I felt instinctively and some things I read about.  I think Hypnobirthing was my first clear step towards Attachment Parenting.  I loosely followed the The Mongan Method for my birthing experience.  Their website can be found online.  For me, I wanted my birthing experience to be a pleasant as possible for me, and moreover, I wanted my child’s journey from womb to world to be as peaceful as possible.  I felt that could be achieved more easily without drugs and over-zealous medical interventions.  There is evidence that suggests that the more gentle the birthing experience for mother and child, the better for both their consciousness’s (http://sarahockwell-smith.com/2012/11/04/5-reasons-why-your-birth-can-affect-your-baby-and-your-parenting/) and (http://www.craniosacral-therapy-information.org.uk/Articles/Birth%20trauma%20-%20a%20baby%27s%20view.pdf.)  Thus my birth plan included a birthing pool, relaxing hypnobirthing music, a Tens Machine and soft lighting.  Obviously birth plans don’t always go to plan and you have to go with the flow but my intention was to make it as peaceful as possible.

Alongside the birth itself, the experience for the growing infant in the womb can be very affirming and positive through the calming sound of the mother’s voice (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25372560) and (http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/health/positive-and-negative-thoughts-may-affect-fetal-genetics-25548.html).  On the other side of the coin, stress can have negative impacts upon the growing baby (http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/stress-marks) and (http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=51730).  During pregnancy, I sang three nursery rhymes to my unborn baby, who became my lovely daughter.  I generally sung these songs a number of times a day, whilst doing the dishes or similar.  I also talked to her in a gentle voice and played my hypnobirthing music.  I believe these had positive impacts upon her consciousness.

I believe that my daughter would be less confident and secure without the Attachment Parenting principles I instigated from pregnancy. Moreover, as indicated, there is research to support the merits of Attachment Parenting (AP).  My daughter is a very happy child, and, at age 3, doesn’t really have any troublesome behaviours. She manages change extremely well and is confident in new environments.  I continue to use AP on daily basis and intend to utilise its’ many merits as my daughter grows into an adult.

 

 

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