Stress Free Pregnancy – interview with Kate White from APPPAH
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Stress Free Pregnancy – interview with Kate White from APPPAH


hi everyone I’m so excited to be here
today to talk with one of my big references in the world of prenatal and
perinatal psychology she has been one of the persons that by sharing her
knowledge and word has inspired me to move forward on the work that I do
prenatal and perinatal psychology made a major difference in the way that I teach
pregnant women to connect and communicate with their unborn babies and
the major difference in the way that I teach my prenatal yoga classes – so for
all of you that are with us today I’m happy to introduce you to Kate white
she’s an award-winning prenatal and perinatal educator and an advanced body
worker she is trained in somatic therapies prenatal and perinatal health
lactation brain development infant mental health and has specialized in
mother baby diet care using somatic prevention and trauma healing approaches
for nearly 20 years her work combines somatic therapy birth
preparation recovery from difficult birth trauma resolution and brain
development to give families with babies and small children the best possible
start she is the founding director of the education department of AAPA the
Association for prenatal and perinatal psychology and health she has her own
private practice and offers seminars through the center for prenatal and
perinatal programs in Charlottesville Virginia United States she’s also a
mother of two lovely children at the end of this conversation be with us I will
share on my stress free pregnancy podcasts and YouTube channel all the
links and information if you wish to know more about her work and the work of
the apostasy ation so before we dive in on the work of Appa and all of that
let me just Thank You Kate for being with us today it’s so good to have you
with us and it’s so interesting everything that you do on the field of
prenatal and perinatal psychology and some of our listeners don’t even know
what that is so could you just start by explaining what is prenatal and
perinatal psychology today you two paths
is really the study of the babies experience of of birth it’s really a
human development study that looks at how experience is starting even
preconception can lay down a template for health lifelong so we particularly
study preconception conception than the prenatal period from the baby’s
perspective and birth and then the postpartum bonding and attachment so
it’s and we’re now looking much more at the mother baby dyad and how the
importance of really supporting that mother baby diet in the world can make a
difference for that human developing and not only about human that’s inside the
woman but the future generations so it’s a it’s a study of health for this really
important foundational time in the human’s development yeah and it is
studies and researchers that have been going for a long time for decades right
yes well it started in 1924 with the publication of the trauma of birth with
a man named Otto wrong so it’s it’s over a hundred years old but it it hasn’t
really been accepted in mainstream and it has it’s its way of development that
we’ve been able to track over the years of where it lived for a long time it
lived for a long time in psychodynamic therapy psychoanalysis but now it’s
being translated much more into health with the knowledge of epigenetics and
neuroscience and the understanding of the nervous system and nervous system
development and that stress the impact of stress on the mother in particular
and how that can impact a baby and how we bill make our bodies in relationship
with our with our parents with our mother and and then they’re realizing
that if we can really support a mother and a family starting preconception it’s
much better for the developing baby and and birth and postpartum and the future
generations so the science now has legitimized
our field even though it’s been around for a very long time yes exactly and one
of the things that I also see is that sometimes people
approaching us because of trauma but this can actually be a field where you
can just start working on it and being aware of what is going on without even
having have any kind of trauma at birth but you just want to learn how it how
does the environment that you are creating inside for your baby can
actually affect your baby life after birth right so how can that really
affect the baby well well let’s see there’s a lot of different ways so
there’s so much to say about this one question first of all I want a name for
a lot of moms out there listening or anybody who’s very deeply curious about
their own early history with a lot of what happens in the prenatal time is
impersonal like it can be a lot about the environment inside that the
conditions that have been there for a long time maybe you’ve inherited some
conditions from your ancestors maybe the location of the placenta is not ideal
and maybe some of the connections that the baby makes through their umbilical
cord are not ideal so there’s a lot just a name in the quality is of the of how
we come into form that’s that by chance or things happen so that a lot of times
when I start talking about this stuff moms will begin to think oh what did I
do yeah yeah exactly
yes yeah it’s one of the things that I also tell mommies it’s not about what
you did wrong is what about what you can do as soon as you have the aware man’s
awareness that you have that influence right yes it’s it’s all repairable I
just want to say that – it’s all very much repairable and that’s the good news
is that where our nervous system is plastic and we can create better
conditions for our genetics to express and it starts in utero you’re right that
we have a relationship with our environment starting with our first one
and that’s the mother and so for those cultures that really support the mom
sure you’ll see a better outcomes in on all levels of human development in those
countries especially country like Norway or places where they have good maternal
um leave maternity leave paternity leave and things like that but for a mom who
wants the start at the beginning let’s say you want to get pregnant so for a
mom who wants to get pregnant they’d be really great for you to sort of sit down
with your family tree and sort of look at some of the ancestral health that’s
there and cultivate and harvest from your ancestors patterns of health and if
there’s any challenges how to address them we can work with just awareness
like you say where this is the first step yeah definitely
yeah yeah second thing to do is just to notice your own parenting style like
that now is the time for you to understand how you were parented and the
science of attachment bonding an attachment is pretty is so well
researched that you can now discover a little bit more about yourself before
you get pregnant and there’s some really this is called conscious early parenting
like how can you really become much more conscious about how you are going to
conceive and bring a baby into form so you and your partner really or your
husband depends on how it is that you are many times I need single mothers who
want to have a baby so how is it that you’re going to to bring a baby in and
what are your patterns inside your body and how is it that you are experiencing
stress in the time right now and can you really get clear inside so really
cleansing your body and keeping away from things that you know that will be
disrupting to a good pregnancy plastics and you know chemicals and things like
that so that’s the first step to self-reflection like how do you what
kind of a mother do you want to be and what comes up for you when you think
like that yeah exactly that is one of the things that I they also address with
with my students and my my pregnant woman is that being a
mother is not only when the baby is out so when I have a class where I have a
group or I give a lecture or anything the first thing that I ask is for how
long have you been a mother and usually there are no not many answers because
there’s also a language and a thoughtful thing about you know I become a mother
when the baby is out no it’s not about how many months you have been pregnant
it’s how many months for how many months have you been a mother right so yeah so
I think the the language also needs to shift a little bit because when they
think like that yes I haven’t been the mother for 12 weeks yes you are you
helping the mother even before that the moment that you thought that it was time
to go it was time to start to be a mother that’s when you really start to
be a mother that’s they actually started so this is
something that even pregnant women today are very surprised by but how can that
influence the environment that you are creating inside for your baby so I think
all of this talk is very much needed in today’s world specially when we have so
many women that you know they are pregnant but they still continue with
their daily lives their daily routines everything still depends on who the
mother is sometimes you can talk with a mom and get them to really get it and
sometimes moms need the daily routine of their work and and and really how they
feel in their lives so it’s it’s very individual but you can you have some
broad strokes right so let’s talk a little bit about what those are in terms
of what we know a tappa the very first step is conscious conception so when
you’re looking at the data around pregnancy there’s there’s less than half
of our conceptions I think world why but
perhaps just the us are not intended or not wanted so for those babies that are
on the bar there’s miss timing that’s what they I like to call it that because
often when a woman finds out she’s pregnant like oh good I mean now I get
to see this or preparation but but it’s really important for blueprint
experience in human development for us to have be consciously conceiving as
opposed to haphazardly conceiving and those of us who you know come Thomas we
don’t intend to get pregnant but we do so once you there’s a way that that’s
important the babies are conceived in love and they’re wanted that’s the first
message that you give to the newborn the new baby the new person coming in is
that you’re welcomed and that you’re wanted and that’s a major imprint so in
our work we talk about imprints we talk about those are like an experiences that
we have as soon as we come in to form inside and the science really supports
this now with epigenetics just how the sperm and the egg come together and in
that the egg now chooses the sperm and there’s a then you’re off you know to
whatever pattern how that baby develops and so then then there’s a prenatal time
and this is what you’re talking about like really connecting and consciously
with the baby and we know from development from the very very first
couple of weeks that the environment really does influence how the all the
cells for how they develop how they form what where does the developing baby put
their energy into a into a way to to prepare for a stressful environment
outside the womb or one where they’ll be feel protected and wanted and loved and
safe and this is where moms can be really really like contributing to the
health of their baby in utero what being on nutrition and beyond um you know
getting regular check-ups which is where the science has been until now so for
someone like you you can begin in your classes just the same send positive
energy to your baby or tell your baby that you love your
baby in fact we recommend love breaks during the day when you sit down
actually exactly that it’s so important and another thing that I that I also
addressed to my pregnant moms is about the environment where the baby is and
what is the baby exactly in right now so of course we
have the the amniotic liquid and all of that so it’s just like being inside of a
swimming pool and some of the experience that I do with mothers is exactly that
go on the swimming pool with yourself inside and have an awareness of how that
feels also to get the connection for the life after birth because that’s exactly
what the baby is used to right that’s the environment that it was created that
the mother had the awareness that it was created and suddenly that second
connection that happens when the baby is outside it’s again just a a continuty of
that environment that it was creating in a womb and how the mother can also you
know slowly engage this new child or introduce this new child to the world
outside of the earthly world instead of just the water world where we were all
living in right so that’s very important to have the awareness of this prenatal
and perinatal psychology for all of this connection that it comes then on the
outside of ourselves the slowness the pacing that you’re talking about is
really important simply because a baby’s nervous system goes so much slower than
us even though they’re developing it’s I mean there’s lots of stages that we can
talk about like outside the womb the babies nervous system then the vagus
nervous still myelinating and so it’s still developing the kinds of tissue
that will create positive communication inside the baby’s body inside our bodies
so BOM and baby mom mom will be essentially the baby’s nervous system
and you want to very slow regulated pace inside your
body for the health of it it’s like my long-term mentors John Chitty says baby
is hitchhiker on the moms nervous system mm-hmm
how a mom feels baby will feel yeah baby will perceive as if it was their own
feelings yes yeah so the moms Bobby body is the baby’s outside body
I mean bit mom and baby are connected that way you’re right there you called
it their fusion it’s yes and baby feels so baby’s used to feeling baby as a
feeling entity you know just from the very beginning you know sort of sentient
and aware in a week through their senses and so their senses are how they
experience the world it’s not their left brain that’s telling them words and how
to make sense of things it’s their right brain in their body and their senses in
their a sense of rhythm and their sense of taste that comes through the EM not
excluded and how their mother feels all those neural chemicals that that course
through the body of the mother they’ll come into the baby baby is experiencing
also baby has their own journey you know like my sense of like myself can come
through the movements and the gestures and all the things I do in utero baby
does outside so baby practices in utero baby has a full life inside there but
there are Karthik just like you say there’s there in this pool of of
information it’s not just like water fluid it’s more than that it’s their
world and it’s fluid in it and it’s related to their mother’s experience so
if you have a mother who’s having a high-stress job and that’s oh so rigid
or fearful or anything if she’s in domestic violence or in poverty and is
stressed and maybe will feel then but that’s baby’s world right but on the
other side if you have a mom who can really communicate with baby regardless
of her environment it will make a huge difference
so we teach prenatal bonding at Appa we teach conscious parenting from the very
start and we teach including the baby and its really supporting the mom to
have that relationship starting even preconception just as you say yes that’s
one of the things that I wanted to talk about here is how can the pre in
prenatal psychology that awareness that we have help in situations of trauma and
how is we are now shifting from you know situations of Strama
just to understand the the Wellness of the blueprint to understand all of that
well the blueprint is always there I mean we’re all have that inside of us
like that energetic form of the energy of how we come into form it’s it’s like
an ignition in our body a powder and the flow and the pattern of presence inside
and that energy you know has a shape and we can feel it you know as how I got
into doing all this was through the craniosacral therapy I mean I I have a
client who remembered her birth on my table and so not what happened 20 years
ago and I was kind of fascinated like how could that how could you have a
memory of birth when you’re in your 50s or 60s that’s a little joys it it led me
down this path you know that’s when I found app’ it’s amazing it’s amazing I
think it’s it’s wonderful that we create more and more awareness about this the
way that I came in was because I I met an of our balance she is one of the
outspoken about the work that also upon us and on my practices in yoga and I had
to adapt so much yoga to the pregnancy period because I did understand that the
classical teachings if I would just apply to a pregnant woman
I was not approaching what was more important for me which was the babies
dancing so I had an intuitive awareness about you know what I wanted also to
experience but then when I talked with with honor and
told me about work that you were doing the word that Apple was doing finally I
found a family that we’re talking about the environment that it was being
created and then there we are again hopefully that’s increasing yes and the
louie lastik connection so I think that the way that we all start I think it
it’s sometimes it’s just a surprise and other times it’s just wow there’s
someone that thinks the same way that I do right and this has was over 20 years
ago when you started right yes yeah that’s how I got my start was through
was through this woman’s memory and how her memory of her birth affected how I
felt in my body and it turns out my birth was like her birth and so her
near-death experience was ignited my near-death experiences I yeah I wanted
to know what was that and so how did that happen and I didn’t know anything
about it honestly um so that’s my journey that’s how I got started
and so we we found ourselves here mostly through understanding the adult
experiences of trauma and then tracking tracking tracking back to this prenatal
time and then really realizing that babies have experiences and that for a
long for up until now really our modern methods of helping with pregnancy and
birth have been through the supporting the mother and they’re in her
experiences of birth but there is the babies experience and that the babies
vulnerability in honorable so dependent these babies and yet they have really
big experiences in their bodies so when I have someone who comes to me animals
to learn about this out of time and wants to be a therapist I ask them ok
well how are you with understanding survival states how are you with
understanding states of ecstasy or deep spiritual experiences because that
that’s what you encounter when you begin to work with the baby and with the baby
mom you’re working with states of different different states in
the body from the babies experience as well as the mother yeah yes I am I am
here and one of the things that I think it’s very interesting and it’s one of
the things that I tell mommies is Wendy’s generates tourists and you start
to bonding with your baby and communicating with your baby you are
actually he made communicating ulcer with yourself and you are discovering
yourself sorry I missed the question yes so that’s totally fine so when we are
starting to bond with our baby and start learning how to communicate with our
babies we’re actually learning to communicate with ourselves it’s an inner
it’s an inner study also it’s like a self-study that we are doing and
motherhood at the beginning of our pregnancy just suddenly explodes with of
course sensitivity and all of that and awareness and suddenly we want to learn
more we want to understand more that happened to me with all my pregnancies
and it just I must say that in all my pregnancies it just got worse getting
that better I just wanted to learn more and more and more I was so curious and I
was so happy with the with the search that I was doing that I just wanted to
know more about the feelings finally I came to know the work of a PI so now
tell me you are in charge of education program at Apple so what this has to
offer to all of women and I think also men that want to understand a little bit
more of what is prenatal and perinatal psychology what are the moment we we
developed an online education program for educators so if you would like to
learn more about this and become an educator you can earn a certificate we
have 11 competencies that we offer let’s say you know and includes the studies of
epigenetics in neuroscience but the babies experience
of pregnancy and birth labor the way the babies bonds and attached and how that
affects learning especially in utero and I’m someone historical trends that have
that are in our paradigm and then some of the newer science around resilience
and how I can support pregnancy how you can really start to intervene with
education during this time and make a huge difference in that family and a
huge difference and the babies experience so you could expose to all of
our early thinkers and then things that they’ve written and then programs that
they run all that sauce 11 modules of that they’re a certificate and then we
have a lot a live lectures and and and and that that those courses are for how
long the FIR the certificate program program is a year-long and participate
in our our community of students we have now over 400 students worldwide and we
have now 200 active students I have a lot of students in Europe by the way and
then I have then you can take a year and may have a Facebook community page and
you get a mentor someone who can help you understand the importance of this
period because I think that when you start to engage in pre and perinatal
psychology your own inner inner story will rise up to help like your owners
like your own inside baby will say hey oh now you’re getting to it so this is
my story listen up so a mentor will help you make sense of your experience and we
find that a lot of our students that happens so there’s a lens you start
going down this path your own your own sense of awareness and your own
consciousness gets gets more honed and more aware more awake about these early
early times they lie in your body it’s a so matter
model it’s implicit so if you if you want to come in and not be an educator
and just listen to some of the live for lectures we have lectures every Monday
at noon you can you can purchase that and become a part of our community
without being a student and just there’s a lot of resources also in the upper
channel on YouTube it’s amazing how many knowledge you can get just from that
it’s it’s incredible and I think and then if you want to know more you want
to go talk with the experts and specialists and I think that the
mentoring part it’s so important to have someone that has already gone through
the path and they will help you because I think in that in some situations and I
find that in Mother’s we got a little bit confused because it’s everything
it’s so new but we are also sensing all of that that it’s so good that to be
able to share with someone that are just there to you know to she Robin to you
know to keep on going with you and I think that’s that’s wonderful that you
get you have created that mentor role yeah we have 18 mentors now but if you
do we have many on-demand classes also so you can just purchase some of our
lectures we have something called the toolkits for facilitators which have
exercises that you can learn and about the information that to support a parent
better so the toolkits have have instructions for helping moms make sense
of their experiences and promoting connection with the baby in utero
understanding the babies pacing and things like that those are in our
toolkits it’s on our website which our classroom we have a classroom which is
in teachable and it’s has its own URL which I’ll send to you or make sure you
have yes yes you must be great to have it also when when we write all the
information about the di-pi yeah definitely I think I think that’s that’s
so amazing all the work that that you are doing and how how it has been done
and how it has been going for so many years and I think that more and more
parents are getting more interested about it so if we you get an a
certificate what to expect so you know I think one of the things that
that couples want to know is Chris regarding is certification so then you
can help women you can help man you can help the couple you can of course have
the unborn baby but we wait situations how do people come to you and what are
the issues that regularly they come to you if you have that certification and
they would need help with well most of the people that citrus out have already
a vehicle like you like a yoga instructor and you have a capacity to
educate people through your method whether it’s yoga or childbirth
education or being a doula I have cycle psychotherapeutic
professionals that want to work with fertility or working in hospital to help
people you know with with their experiences of childbirth there are a
lot of trauma therapists that come that want to learn about the early period and
we have a pretty demanding program it’s a master’s level program but but
all the information is really very good and then we have ways to help you learn
it somatically a little bit through the internet but mostly if you want to learn
actual skills it really requires that you go to in-person classes which we
don’t have right now for app’ the closest thing we have are the toolkits
that I’ve created that will give you little somatic skills to practice mm-hmm
understanding practitioner skills so if you come to me if you get in touch with
me and you’re interested I can I can direct you to where on our website where
I you can get the information but even if you go to birth psychology comm we
have many many free articles that’s how I got my start that’s reading everything
yeah that’s how I started definitely that’s how I started once you get bitten
by the bug here about an early time of early consciousness and the development
and how you can really make a difference for people lifelong if you intervene at
this very special time in people’s lives it’s a trance time of transformation
it’s a time when you know you have a chance to really like Bruce Lipton says
you know be a – programmer of the experience of your
of your child I mean this is a time when you can lay down some foundational
beliefs about your about the world but the baby’s world the baby census cells
that’s how you care for yourself as a pregnant mom as a relationship with your
partner and in relationship to the to your lights if you do nothing else but
really bring your consciousness to these nine months and then how you give birth
and then that first year after a baby’s life just those two years you can that
will set that baby up for such optimal development
I mean uncredible not like you won’t have challenges because you might but
they’re repairable as long as you’re conscious and you’ve been consciousness
to it and connection connection with your baby and your partner and yourself
and then you can go back to having whatever pace or life that you really
feel like you want at that time you may want to be different but that that just
those two years that’s all we’re asking for moms to slow down and connect with
themselves in a different way and their baby in their body because this is one
of the things that also inspired me to do this work is how that is going to
influence future generations imagine that if we have millions and millions of
people are over the world already with this consciousness how would these new
beings be right and of course every pregnancy is very personal it’s a very
personal path but as you said having this consciousness having this this
awareness with us and the only these two ears right can be such a major
difference that I think society is pretty much aware you know in terms of
breastfeeding you know you have time even if you’re working they can give you
time for breastfeed and so on for instance in my country in Portugal you
can come with one hour after work and leave one hour before you ends so that
you have more time for a breastfeeding I think the world also need to be very
conscious about pregnancy what if our society would also respect the time of
pregnancy for a mother that is working you know full-time back in the old ages
it wasn’t like that I remember that to me in the Hindu
tradition even what the mother would look at at this time what the mother
would hear the people that the mother were connected with when she was
pregnant all of that was to support her on her pregnancy and not to make her
feel more pressure working whatever that would be so they didn’t want to create
any kind of discomfort because they knew it’s the new baby the new sense being
was being generated inside of her so what it would be if we had millions and
millions of people in this world now couples and pregnant women you know that
were conceiving and having this awareness and consciousness this is a
major field and it’s so important for everyone or everyone to know about well
if we conceived in love and carried our babies the way we’re talking about we’d
have a different world I need to have a gentler more peaceful more loving world
it’s like um our founder Tom Bernie says that will meet ecology becomes world
ecology you know it we do believe that if people were consciously conceived
carried and supported consciously birth and attached with you know and bonded
with and supported as a sentient being we would have a whole different world so
that’s why we do this we do this for Humanity for all of us and it can be
something so small as one mother maybe diet but that is an action of making it
bigger forever for everyone on the planet yeah I think I think that’s
that’s a major cue and and I think that I’m very inspired by your work by your
giving yourself to us because that’s exactly what you’re doing you’re giving
yourself to us you’re giving it giving your expertise your work to all
of us so that we can actually understand that in the time that it’s so you know
especially I think even you know it’s very chaotic we have the time to just
feel and sense the little ones that are are that are growing up and develop
inside of us and how we can make a major difference in the way they perceive the
world outside hey I really yeah I really want to I really want to thank you for
this interview it was so good there was that so much to talk about here I think
it would never end it would never end so that’s why I urge people to look at the
work that our PI is doing you’re gonna have the links here both on the stress
free pregnancy podcast and the stress free pregnancy podcast so please please
take time and just in just enjoy some of the videos that are wonderful with some
of the major experts that you have on the Appa YouTube channel and that’s
amazing that you could be with us today and that we could all learn from you
thank you so much thank you thank you see you next time thank you alright

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