Category Archives: Current issues
Don’t believe us? Check out this cool article on what researchers have discovered about the connection between mums and babies.
“Mothers and their babies are often said to share a deep, intimate connection…but even so, this new discovery is weird. Simply by looking and smiling at each other, moms and babies synchronize their heartbeats to within milliseconds of each other.
Researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Israel found that visible affection from their mothers had tangible physiological effects on three month old infants. Previous studies in animals have shown that social interactions between “attachment partners” can actually affect the animal infants’ body, but this is the first time such an effect has been observed in humans. Writing in Infant Behavior and Development, the researchers explain what they discovered:
Mothers and their 3-month old infants were observed during face-to-face interactions while cardiac output was collected from mother and child. Micro-analysis of the partners’ behavior marked episodes of gaze, affect, and vocal synchrony. Time-series analysis showed that mother and infant coordinate heart rhythms within lags of less than 1 s.
Bootstrapping analysis indicated that the concordance between maternal and infant biological rhythms increased significantly during episodes of affect and vocal synchrony compared to non-synchronous moments. Humans, like other mammals, can impact the physiological processes of the attachment partner through the coordination of visuo-affective social signals.
However, humans can actually synchronize in ways other animals cannot — while other animals are dependent upon physical contact for this synchronization effect to occur, a mother need only look at her baby affectionately for the heartbeats to synchronize. It hasn’t yet been tested whether infants can form similar levels of attachment with other people, such as their fathers.”
(Article from http://io9.com/5865557/mothers-and-babies-can-instantly-synchronize-their-hearts-just-by-smiling-at-each-other; Via Infant Science and Development. Stock image by Noam Armonn, via Shutterstock.)
If you, or someone you know, are expecting a baby between early March and October 2012, read on…
An important part of my midwifery training includes sharing the experiences of pregnancy, birth and after with women.
Initially, we would meet to see if you were comfortable. You can speak to my lecturer and complete the consent process, then starting in Feb next year (2012) I would attend a number of your antenatal appointments, be present at the birth, and visit you several times after that.
What do you get out of it?
I’m there to support you at whatever level you are comfortable with. That might involve being there to listen, supporting you practically during labour, supporting your supporters – whatever works for you. You would also be making a wonderful contribution to the education of future midwives.
What do I get out of it?
I get to observe and learn more about our maternity service through YOUR eyes, and learn about the ways midwives can support women. You can be working with a midwife, an obstetrician, or a hospital team – all are great learning experiences for me! I’ve always found it a huge privilege to share this time with women and their families!
I’m a mother and love working with pregnant women and their families. I’ve been a childbirth and breastfeeding educator for the last four years and have supported a number of women during birth and after. I’m based in north Wellington.
If you think this all sounds great…
Drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can answer any questions you have.
One Stuff reader asks political parties about their policies on paid parental leave.
What do you think?
Here is an interesting point to mull over… as things currently stand paid parental leave is provided only to mothers/parents in paid work. On the surface of it this makes sense – the rationale being that they are being compensated for the paid work they cannot do while caring for their children. However this means that families who choose to have a parent at home full time (particularly in the case of subsequent children) are financially penalised for this choice. Does this send a message that we see ‘at home parents’ as second class citizens? Or that the work they do is not valuable? Would our society look different if we offered (for example) a paid parental stipend to ALL parents for the first 13 weeks (or longer)?
A few more articles on the topic…
- New Zealand Herald article
- Are parents valued? – The Family Commissions online panel
- Two articles on Australian paid parental leave – one and two
We’re interested in your thoughts and experiences.
Did you access paid parental leave?
Have you returned to work? Why? Why not?
Do you think New Zealand’s current parental leave provisions are adequate?
What would you like to see change?
Do you know who you will be voting for in the elections?
You may be interested in this brief blurb from each of the main parties about how they will be supporting families.
As you already know from previous posts, I’m just a little bit interested in watching all things birth and baby on YouTube. So I was thrilled to see some quality viewing coming up on Sky TV over the next few weeks on just that topic!
Sky TV has just started showing One Born Every Minute, a weekly foray into the world of a busy birthing unit at a UK hospital. This week’s first episode followed the experience of two families’ births. A real range of experience in just the first show, I’m looking forward to seeing more!
One Born Every Minute screens on Vibe Channel, Sundays 7.30pm and replayed on Wednesdays at 9.30pm.
It was great to see the first episode of homegrown kiwi TV show Raising Children in NZ on TVNZ 7 recently. The show is airing on TVNZ 7 on Wednesday nights at 7.05pm and again on Thursdays at 4.05pm.
This week’s episode was an introduction to those early weeks and looked a little at attachment and being responsive to your baby. It was great to see respected names like Lauren Porter from the Centre for Attachment talking to new (and experienced!) parents about the importance of learning about your baby’s emotional needs and meeting them in the early days.
To view last week’s episode, go here.
We’d love to hear what you thought of the show – post your comments below. And remember, if you’d like to receive our posts regularly, use the Sign me up button on the right of our blog.