Can We Talk to the Unborn? - By Dr Stephen Juan
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Can We Talk to the Unborn? - By Dr Stephen Juan

Posted by ProjectC 
"Haptonomy is a part of the human sciences. It concerns the very base of human existence from which every being flourishes and develops in order to follow his personal way of life."
-- Haptonomy


***

"The benefits of haptonomy flow onto to the mother as well. For instance, many women have difficulty in labor due to the fact that the birth canal of the pelvis is simply too narrow. In particular, the final 2 centimeters of needed space are normally missing in the human female. Drugs are often given to increase dilation. When there is no progress in this regard, eventually the baby and mother are at risk. This missing 2 centimeters often results in a difficult labor, a forceps delivery, and even a caesarean delivery. But according to Dr. Janus, it has been demonstrated that mothers who engage in haptonomy with their baby experience "a loosening up of the pubic cartilage and the sacropelvic joint. This in turn gives the birth canal an extra 2 centimetres of width---the crucial 2 centimetres that are normally missing in human females." Thus, the baby-mother communication works to their mutual benefit."


CAN WE TALK TO THE UNBORN?

By Dr Stephen Juan
Third Millennium
Source

Research has now established that we begin to communicate with other humans before we are born. It is called haptonomy. Haptonomy is the scientific study of our ability to communicate at a deep, deep level. But unlike talking, haptonomic communication combines words, thoughts, and feelings. It has been described as "a combination of listening and feeling", "spontaneous empathy", "psychotactile contact", or "the science of affectivity". But whatever the name, it is a special sort of relating---one human being to another. Dr. Ludvig Janus is a clinical/developmental psychologist in Heidelberg, Germany.

In his book, THE ENDURING EFFECTS OF THE PRENATAL EXPERIENCE (Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson, 1997), Dr. Janus cites research demonstrating that a communications link between the unborn child and other humans is very real indeed. He shows how it is possible for parents to establish such a link. And he also describes the results of establishing this link for both child and mother.

Yet the major figure in this new field of research is Dr. Frans Veldman, head of the International Centre for Research and Development of Haptonomy in Oms, Ceret, France and chief organizer of the first UNESCO conference on haptonomy in 1990. In experiments conducted by Dr. Veldman, it was discovered that during the final trimester of pregnancy, if a father places his hand upon the bare abdomen of his pregnant wife an extraordinary thing happens. Watching under ultrasound imaging, the unborn child "responds to the invitation to relate, moves itself toward his hand resting on the mother's belly and snuggles up into it." When the father's hand is taken away, the baby moves away. In any case, there is a distinct desire for the unborn baby to establish communication contact.

Dr. Janus claims that babies who have been born after engaging in haptonomy with parents "develop very well after their birth and that all measurements of their development distinguish them in a dramatic way from other babies". Compared to others, such babies develop higher IQs, better verbal skills, better perception and attention skills, less irritability, and fewer weight problems and gastrointestinal disturbances.

The benefits of haptonomy flow onto to the mother as well. For instance, many women have difficulty in labor due to the fact that the birth canal of the pelvis is simply too narrow. In particular, the final 2 centimeters of needed space are normally missing in the human female. Drugs are often given to increase dilation. When there is no progress in this regard, eventually the baby and mother are at risk. This missing 2 centimeters often results in a difficult labor, a forceps delivery, and even a caesarean delivery. But according to Dr. Janus, it has been demonstrated that mothers who engage in haptonomy with their baby experience "a loosening up of the pubic cartilage and the sacropelvic joint. This in turn gives the birth canal an extra 2 centimetres of width---the crucial 2 centimetres that are normally missing in human females." Thus, the baby-mother communication works to their mutual benefit.

Of course, mothers have to be open to the possibility of this form of communication with their baby. A mother can "talk" to her baby in many ways. For example, she can wake up a sleeping baby inside of her---without saying a word. This is frequently seen in hospitals during prenatal exams. For instance, if during an ultrasound exam, a mother is told that there is no spontaneous movement of her baby observable on the monitor, and that this might be evidence of a developmental disturbance to the pregnancy and to the baby, the mother is invariably shocked, especially when she cannot see the monitor. Invariably, this shock to the mother is enough to wake up the baby. Intense baby movements almost always immediately appear on the monitor.

This phenomenon was discovered in the 1980s by Dr. Eric Reinhold of Stuttgart, Germany. Dr. Reinhold humorously observed, "Without saying a word, mother wakes you up. The first time now, but it probably won't be the last". Sometimes it is almost as if the baby is desperately trying to "tell" mother something. For example, instances abound of pregnant women having to leave rock concerts because their baby refuses to calm down after exposure to the high decibel noise levels. According to Dr. B.R.H. Van den Bergh of the University of Leuven in Belgium, this highlights both the sensitivities of the unborn child and yet another aspect of haptonomy. Dr. Janus observes that "a huge, unused, human potential lies buried in this area of prenatal relating.

The infant mortality rate has been dramatically reduced in the last hundred years and now there is the chance that children come to the light of day not only physically healthy but also are given all that is required for good psychological development". Dr. Veldman advises that parents take time to "establish affective links" with their unborn child. It is easy, natural, but it "sometimes takes time to learn to communicate with feeling".

In an article in the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND MEDICINE (1), Dr. Veldman writes, haptonomy research "demonstrates that faculties every human being should possess are nowadays more and more under-developed, they lie fallow, or are atrophied, if not totally absent. However, these faculties are of fundamental interest for contacts, interactions and human relationships." He laments that in our world dominated by concerns of economic rationalism and the bottom line, we too often ignore this world of "communication with feeling"---the affective side of our nature. He writes, "There is no room for feelings, emotions: for affectivity. The dimension of feeling---and all that concerns the affective life---is considered as lacking in interest and therefore has no place in this world, as it is of no economic or political value. This dimension would only disturb, in a awkward way, the economic processes of development and production".

So if our babies are trying to tell us something, are we always willing to listen?

(1) Veldman, F. (1994) Confirming Affectivity, The Dawn Of Human Life. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND MEDICINE 6:1:11-26.
(2) Juan, S. (1999) Talking To The Unborn. The Sun-Herald (Sydney), Tempo, 27 June, p. 9.