First Hours after Birth: Family Integration and Mutual Regulation

We’ve also all heard expressions of exhaustion and relief from the mother and seen a temporary lack of interest in her baby. The exclamations might sound more like these: “It’s over! I can’t believe it’s over!” “Can I just lie here for a minute?” “I can’t hold the baby right now. You take it.” ”Please just leave me alone right now.” “I’m so glad it’s over.” “We’re never doing this again!” Sometimes it takes a while before the mother can turn her attention from the intensity of the birth to her baby.
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About Author: Penny Simkin

Penny Simkin, PT, is a physical therapist who has specialized in childbirth education since 1968. She estimates she has prepared over 14,000 women, couples and siblings for childbirth, and is a co-founder of DONA International. Today her practice consists of childbirth education, birth counseling, and writing, combined with a busy schedule of conferences and workshops. Penny and her husband, Peter, have four grown children, eight grandchildren, three grandchildren-in-law, and a pug named Lola.

Through independent study and her work as a birth counselor, she has developed a counseling approach for pregnant survivors of sexual abuse. This work is described in the book, When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on the Childbearing Woman, which she co-authored with Phyllis Klaus. Today her practice consists of childbirth education, birth counseling, and labor support, combined with a busy schedule of conferences and workshops.

She co-founded Doulas of North America and The Pacific Association for Labor Support.

Penny’s latest publication is the third edition of The Birth Partner: The Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions. Other recent products for birth educators and doulas include a client handout called “The Road Map of Labor,” a birth video titled The 3Rs: Relaxation, Rhythm, and Ritual, and a Birth Sling—an aid to the dangle position for second stage labor. Currently, she serves on several boards of consultants and editorial boards, including the journal, Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care; the International Childbirth Education Association; and the Seattle Midwifery School. Penny and her husband, Peter, have four grown children and eight grandchildren.

Penny has also written Labor Progress Handbook: Early Interventions to Prevent and Treat Dystocia, with Ruth Ancheta (2000), and Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, with Ann Keppler and Janet Whalley (2001).

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