Unique Science of BirthWorks
What we offer is evidence-based and academic theory informed. More and more research about primal health, skin-to-skin, zero separation and the deep significance of bonding and breastfeeding reveals we can trust – Birth is Instinctive!
Our evidence-based approach assures the best trained BirthWorks professionals, most well-prepared happy parents, and healthiest babies.
Find Ease in Labor and Birth!
The baby of a woman in optimal pelvic positions finds more space to move through the pelvic cavity, with its supporting muscles, of the pelvic diaphragm to descend into the pelvis for birth. We teach optimal nutrition that gives these muscles elasticity and tonicity to work more effectively at birth.
Birth is an engineering feat. Babies are already very competent at the moment of birth and in the passage through the pelvis always find the most available space to turn to be born. It is up to the mother to move into positions to give that space. This learning builds confidence and often shortens labor.
We speak our hormones.Understanding the paradoxical nature of hormones in labor, helps a woman and her birth team know ways to support her. These hormones have behavioral characteristics that are part of our ancestry to create the mother-baby bond at birth. “Is this a safe place?” is the question to ask the mother, so she can secrete hormones that help labor progress.
Benefits for the Baby!
Telomeres are part of DNA that shorten with each cell division and determine how fast our cells age, wear down, and die. Babies who breastfeed only (no formula or solid foods) in the first six weeks or more of life, have longer telomeres, which slows aging later and have a generational effect. Giving solid food before six weeks of age is linked to shorter telomeres, and it can cause inflammation and oxidative stress in infants’ guts. This is another reason exclusive breastfeeding is the best nutrition for young babies.
PRIMAL HEALTH RESEARCH
PRIMAL HEALTH RESEARCH
Dr. Michel Odent is on the BirthWorks Board of Advisors. He is a French surgeon and childbirth specialist who compiled decades of epidemiological studies on correlations between the “Primal Period” and lifetime health. BirthWorks proudly works with him to share this essential science!
The experiences of a baby during the primal period – from conception to the first birthday – impact health into adulthood, spanning a wide variety of medical disciplines. Special care must be taken to ensure good experiences during this sensitive and crucial time.
The primal period is defined as the time from conception to the first birthday. It includes fetal life, the perinatal period and year following birth, so basically the time from conception to one year old. From Dr. Michel Odent: “The period of human development when the basic adaptive systems – those involved in what we commonly call health – reach their maturity was called ‘primal period‘: it includes fetal life, the perinatal period, and the year following birth. I also underlined the need for a simple term in order to get rid of the artificial and obsolete separations between the nervous system, the immune system and the endocrine system. I suggested the term ‘primal adaptive system’ when referring to this network: a way to avoid awkward terms such as ‘psycho-neuro-immuno-endocrinologic system’. Health is how well our primal adaptive system works. ‘Primal health’ is the basic state of health in which we are at the end of the primal period; after that we can take advantage and cultivate this basic state of health.”
Although some diseases are purely genetic diseases, epi-genetics shows that both genetic and environmental factors are at the origin of most pathological conditions and personality traits. Gene expression is to a great extent dependent on environmental factors during the primal period. So questions about timing come before those about genetic or environmental factors.
Some examples include how caesarean birth appears as a risk factor for obesity in childhood, and the gut flora of obese people is different from the gut flora of lean people, and the way the human gut flora is established in the perinatal period cannot be the same after a birth via the bacteriologically rich perineal zone compared with a birth by caesarean. It is also probable that studies here inspire interpretations based on explorations of the expression of Mitochondrial Uncoupling Protein2 (UCP2) in hippocampal neurons, which confirm the positive effects of stress in the perinatal period on brain development, such as correlations between different types of birth (forceps delivery, vaginal route after breech presentation or caesarean and comparative IQ. The database also explores the impact of oxytocin (and relation to type of birth and its impact on autism and eating disorders. These are just some examples of the depth and significance of the research.
This database is the unique tool providing some clues about this critical developmental period. It contributes to unprecedented classification of health conditions according to their critical period for genes-environment interaction, as many correlations established by epidemiologists can inspire plausible new interpretations.
“Primal health research is this framework of studies exploring correlations between what happens during the primal period (fetal life, perinatal period and year following birth) and its impact on health and personality traits in later life. The book Primal Health (published in 1986) predicted a new generation of research confirming that our health is shaped during the primal period, and soon after Dr. Odent opened a research center in London. Later, he was asked to write an updated version of the book, but with the constant evolution in research, he felt it most effective to compile and share research which he started doing quarterly in 1993. Since 1998, this database allows us to observe the development of primal health research (now a recognized term in the literature) and draw further, significant conclusions.
NURTURE SCIENCE AND IMPROVED NEONATAL OUTCOMES
Dr. Nils Bergman and Jill Bergman are relentlessly committed to understand the impact of the mother-baby connection for optimal neurodevelopment. Their recent research proves skin-to-skin contact literally saves babies lives! BirthWorks proudly educates on work (also called nurture science, neuroscience, kangaroo mother care) and with them offers Kangaroula professional trainings!
NURTURE SCIENCE AND IMPROVED NEONATAL OUTCOMES
We have known that mother (or surrogate)/baby skin-to-skin contact after birth reduces mortality in infants with a birth weight less than 2.0 kg (4.4 lbs) by 40% once they are clinically stable, which averages three to seven days, but this new important study proves much more: “Among infants with a birth weight between 1.0 (2 lbs) and 1.799 kg, (3.96 lbs) those (infants) who received immediate kangaroo mother care had a lower mortality at 28 days than those who received conventional care with kangaroo mother care initiated after stabilization.”
The science now shows that the goal of Zero Separation from the moment of birth has been validated, with a further 25% reduction in infant mortality, helping premature and low birthweight babies to survive and thrive and potentially saving 150,000 lives each year according to the World Health Organization. This important study calls for a global paradigm shift in infant care including the development of “Mother Newborn Care Intensive Care Units” to create as close as possible, zero separation environments. The results of this study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in a grant to the World Health Organization, were so significant that the trial was stopped early [no need to do further research as planned to prove the hypothesis] on the recommendation of the data and safety monitoring board owing to the finding of reduced mortality among infants receiving immediate kangaroo mother care.
- Long-term academic evidence for practical applications can optimize best standard newborn care for optimal health outcomes
- Understanding the mother-baby connection is most significant to health and development, so we must prioritize doing all we can to keep the mother-baby dyad together
- Zero-Separation of mother-baby is our biology and that the baby should never be left alone
- There is an Innate Fetal Agenda – the mother precisely controls every element of how her infant’s development unfolds – including physiology, heart rate, hormones, appetite, temperature and intensity of activity
- Brain wiring is place dependent – the critical moment of birth is when cells that are wired are fired
- There is a key role a Kangaroula can play in whether a baby experiences “nurture” or “protest and despair” at birth
- What we do can help avoid Infant Brain Dysregulation and enhance social connection through life (to avoid the tendency for later social withdrawal)
- Best ways to support both full-term newborns (born over 37 weeks) and premature babies (born at <37 weeks) which is around 1-in-10 births and these babies often have severe health issues and extended hospital stays
- Read these blogs: How is Kangaroula Support Valuable? Why should I get a Kangaroula? or What is a Kangaroula? How does a Kangaroula Support?
- Visit their websites: https://ninobirth.org or http://www.kangaroula.com
- Link to original published article, Immediate Skin-to-Skin Contact After Birth Improves Survival of Pre-term Babies, New England Journal of Medicine, 27 May 2021
- Press release (with concise summary) of the research findings: https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/482580
- PDF version of original article (to download or print easily): https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa2026486?articleTools=true
There is a lack of support for new parents and babies between birth doula and postpartum care, as well as a huge gap in typical medical practices, where babies (especially if premature or in intensive care) are routinely separated from their parents. Research shows this is detrimental to babies’ initial, very important (and ongoing) health, in particular neurodevelopment – of their brains and nervous systems! Plus, it saves lives!
Zero separation of mother and baby, especially in the first seconds, minutes and hours of life is critical – even in premature babies – because it equates to less stress and optimal development. What happens in the first few days impacts long-term well-being, breastfeeding success and even the baby’s ability to connect socially (long-term social emotional learning).
Kangaroulas offer intentional care helping parents be informed before labor, experience ideal support during birth, and optimize best practices once babies are born. Kangaroulas “educate” by modeling through actions ways that enhance health, create ease and support by honoring the mom-baby connection, and shift practices which (maybe well-intentioned) are often detrimental. Also, earning your Kangaroula credential is wonderful, to offer enhanced services to your clients (and make more money) by helping their babies – not just survive but thrive!
Learn more here: Kangaroula Training Workshops & Certification