Natural Parenting Pioneer Bios
If you are interested in looking into what the current natural/attachment parenting movement is all about, it is important to explore the people that helped to shape it. Here is a brief look at some the people I know of that have great wisdom to share in their beliefs.
SHEILA KITZINGER – a leading natural childbirth author and educator. Sheila has written many books on the subject including the highly acclaimed “Special Delivery”. She continues to lectures professionals and parents around the world.
“Health is not a medical artifact. Economics, politics, the social system in which we live, conditions in the work-place, poisons in the environment, and personal relationships are all elements in causing health and disease. Doctors treat illness; they do not make us healthy.For the vast majority of women physical health and a sense of well-being during pregnancy is nothing to do with how often they visit the doctor, but with the social conditions in which they live.”
From Sheila’s book – Birth over 35, Sheldon Press.
Visit her site at sheilakitzinger.org
RAHIMA BALDWIN-DANCY – CPM and author of “Pregnant Feelings” and “You are your Child’s First Teacher”, this book is widely considered essential reading for insights into and advice on early childhood development. She has also collaborated on a video “Normalising the Breech Delivery”.
FREDERICK LEBOYER – a French physician who was responsible for creating the awareness in maternity wards of the senses of the newborn, many doctors of whom at the time, thought newborns to be blind at birth! His revolutionary book “Birth without Violence” changed the way in which many parents and professionals bring babies into the world. The “Leboyer Birth Method” with it’s soft lights, hushed voices and immersion in water is widely chosen by parents wishing a loving and respectful welcome into the world for their baby.
RUDOLF STEINER – philosopher, scientist, theologian, inventor and educator. One of his greatest contributions to society was his remarkable insights and research into child development. From his keen observations into the phases of development of the child, he created a form of education that meets the needs of every aspect of the child, “head, heart and hands”. There are currently over 700 Waldorf/Steiner School worldwide, making it the fastest growing independent school movement in the world.
Learn More at Steiner Articles
MICHEL ODENT – a French obstetrician whose teachings and observations of women labouring in hospitals brought about the current awareness of natural childbirth. Based on the premise that pain is magnified by fear and discomfort, Dr. Odent teaches that women need a relaxed and supportive environment to give birth optimally. He is currently working in London training Doulas, and also still speaks worldwide.
INA MAY GASKIN – and her husband Stephen were the founders of “The FArm” in Tennessee, USA. A self-sufficient community that was started by creating a safe place for women who wanted to birth with freedom. Ina May is known as the “mother of midwifery” and editor of “The Birth Gazette” a midwifery magazine. “When we as a society begin to value mothers as the givers and supporters of life, then we will see social change in ways that matter.”
Visit her site at thefarm.org
ASHLEY MONTAGU -an Australian Anthropologist – Author of The Elephant Man, The Natural Superiority of Women and Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race and nearly 50 other books, all ground-breaking and acclaimed, sparking movements and discussions throughout society. His work relating to parenting included his theory that newborns were akin to marsupials, in that after birth, babies require an additional 9 months of womb-like environment in which to be prepared for the “world”.
Learn More at Ashley Montagu Institute
GRANTLY DICK-READ – An English gynaecologist who rejected the need for pain relieving drugs during childbirth on the grounds that pain was principally a product of preconceived fear and tension ( he called it the ‘fear-tension-pain’ syndrome). He believed that women who were properly prepared could control labour pain themselves – without having to resort to medication. In order to achieve this, he stressed the importance of education, exercise and relaxation.
WILLIAM SEARS- “America’s pediatrician” and an proponent of attachment parenting! He has authored many books on childbirth and parenting. His popular website offers support and advice to parents. Visit him at Ask Dr Sears
JEAN LIEDLOFF -an American writer, spent two and a half years deep in the South American jungle with Stone Age Indians. The experience demolished her Western preconceptions of how we should live and led her to a radically different view of what human nature really is. According to Jean in her best selling book, The Continuum Concept is the idea that in order to achieve optimal physical, mental and emotional development, human beings — especially babies — require the kind of experience to which our species adapted during the long process of our evolution.
DR. FERDINAND LAMAZE – famous for developing the “Lamaze” birthing method around 1950 in France under the name “childbirth without pain.” After witnessing women in the Soviet Union give birth without anesthesia after they had undergone Pavlovian conditioning to breathe and relax during contractions. Elisabeth Bing, renowned childbirth educator continues to promote Dr. Lamaze’s work and is a co-founder of Lamaze International.