By Valerie Rohde
Have you ever flipped through the pages of a book to dig in more deeply and as you're reading you felt it was written specifically for you? That is exactly how I felt when reading The Attachment Pregnancy by Laurel Wilson and Tracy Wilson Peters. I found myself underlining, starring, and annotating right along just about every page, it is that resourceful. As a biologist by education and a researcher by trade, as well as a semi-new mom to a 17 month old son, and trying to conceive our next child, this book came along at just the right time in my quest to gain more knowledge about attachment and our attitudes toward life and others in general.
The Attachment Pregnancy is laid out in such a way that is easy to read for any mom, yet very informative with many scientific processes that occur in the brain and body explained in detail and broken down so you can easily understand and make sense of the information as it applies to you. Throughout the book, the authors emphasize and explain the importance of the motherbaby bond: "as you meet your baby's needs for connection, pleasure, love, and affection, you literally change his or her brain chemistry and neurobiology, preparing your child for a lifetime of security, success, and psychological wellness. This idea is no longer the stuff of sentimentality; it is underpinned by modern brain science and mother-infant attachment research" (p 10). The book is divided into four parts : Be-ing, Observing, Nourishing, and Deciding : that each focus on a different part of your journey to motherhood and attachment.
In Part 1, the authors define Positive Mental Attitude (PMA), and how you can consciously make the decision every day by using the Three R's to practice and find the positivity in any circumstance. Chapters 4 and 5 discuss Conscious Agreement and Conscious Attachment, and how to build supportive relationships with those who come in contact with you during your pregnancy. Anyone can benefit from understanding how external influences can have such an effect on us when we are acting unconsciously, and "because people often make decisions based on the expectations of others and their own subconscious reactions to others," it is important to follow the four steps to practice Conscious Agreement and experience the freedom of tuning in to your intuition and to your "source" ("your reason for being, God, etc.," p 54).
Part 2 of The Attachment Pregnancy focuses on the importance of observing your surroundings and circumstances during the first trimester of pregnancy, how to reduce stress using the four As, your physical bond with your baby, nutrition, and seeking out relationships grounded in "trust, security, and love [to teach] your child that the world is a safe and secure place" (p 130).
Part 3 hones in on the role that your partner plays in supporting your attachment to your baby. The authors explain your partner's experience of pregnancy and help demystify some of the differences between hormones in males and females. Understanding these differences can help make the process into parenthood smoother when you can recognize the reasoning behind why your partner might be reacting in a way differently than you would. It isn't that he doesn't want to be involved or supportive; he is just doing it in a different way. I was also enlightened by chapter 12's explanation of napping and the necessity of listening to our body's cues for rest, rather than giving in to caffeine or sugar.
Part 4 is a wonderful conclusion to the book that discusses bonding through labor and birth, and just begins to scratch the surface of some of the decisions you may make for your family and gives some excellent resources to consider. I particularly loved the idea of creating a birth vision board as opposed to, or in conjunction with, a traditional birth plan to unleash your creativity and really focus on what speaks to your innermost being.
I encourage you to read this book now, even before you conceive, if possible! Begin your conscious agreement journey right away with the practical tips and activities in each chapter to strengthen your positive mental attitude and set the stage for a joyful, healthy, attachment pregnancy from the start. The more prepared you are now, the more natural your attachment will be when you get that positive pregnancy test. For moms who are already pregnant, this is one book you will want to read as soon as possible to become knowledgeable about all the ways you can positively impact your growing baby and nourish your mind and spirit in the process. No matter where you are on your parenting journey The Attachment Pregnancy is chock full of wisdom and you will be grateful for the chance to read it thoroughly. I love the inspirational quotes throughout, and the chapter summaries make it easy to reference and remember specific key points. This book is more than just a sentimental read about having a positive attitude for you and your baby; it is a resource you will return to again and again. Thank you, Laurel Wilson and Tracy Wilson Peters, for the exceptional job on this resourceful guide!
Valerie lives in metro-Atlanta with her husband, son, and 3 pups. She is a biologist by education but is most passionate about her family and in supporting other women and their families during their own journeys to parenthood as a childbirth doula, educator, and lactation consultant. With her own journey to parenthood facing miscarriage and infertility, she has become very interested in nutrition and has experience preparing meals for those following the paleo lifestyle. She has an intrinsic love for writing and you can find her thoughts as a contributing blogger on several sites and on her own at www.brilliantbeginningsbirth.com is chock full of wisdom and you will be grateful for the chance to read it thoroughly. I love the inspirational quotes throughout, and the chapter summaries make it easy to reference and remember specific key points. This book is more than just a sentimental read about having a positive attitude for you and your baby; it is a resource you will return to again and again. Thank you, Laurel Wilson and Tracy Wilson Peters, for the exceptional job on this resourceful guide!