Conscious Conception & Birth


Axness, Marcy: Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers

Carman, Elizabeth & Neil: Cosmic Cradle: Souls Waiting in the Wings for Birth

Chamberlain, David: The Mind of Your Newborn Baby; Windows to the Womb: Revealing the Conscious Baby from Conception to Birth

Church, Dawson: Communing With the Spirit of Your Unborn Child: A Practical Guide to Intimate Communication With Your Unborn or Infant Child

Grille, Robin: Parenting for a Peaceful World

Hallett, Elisabeth: Soul Trek: Meeting Our Children on the Way to Birth

Houser, Patrick: Fathers-To-Be Handbook

Kitzinger, Sheila: Homebirth and Other Alternatives to Hospital” & “Birth Crises

Leboyer, Frédérick: Birth without Violence; Le sacre de la naissance” & “Shantala

Luminare, Carista: Parenting Begins Before Conception: A Guide for Preparing Body, Mind and Spirit – For You and Your Future Child

McCarty, Wendy: Welcoming Consciousness: Supporting Babies’ Wholeness From the Beginning of Life

Nathanielsz, Peter: Life in the Womb: the Origin of Health and Disease

Odent, Michel: Primal Health: Understanding the Critical Period Between Conception and the First Birthday; and, Birth and Breastfeeding: Rediscovering the Needs of Women During Pregnancy and Childbirth.

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov: Education Begins Before Birth; Hope for the World: Spiritual Galvanoplasty (

Uvnäs-Moberg, Kerstin: The Oxytocin Factor: Tapping The Hormone Of Calm, Love And Healing

Verny, Thomas: The Secret Life of the Unborn Child

Wambach, Helen: Life Before Life

A Poverty Solution that starts with a Hug
(New York Times Sunday Review)

Conversation with Robert William Fogel, 1993 Nobel Laureate Economics

What we Learn Before we are Born (TED Talks)

Alexander Tsiaras: Conception to birth – visualized (TED Talks)

Births Attended by Midwives Safe, Need Fewer Interventions (MedScape)

Birth Without Boundaries (website with blog)

APPPAH (Assoc. for Prenatal & Perinatal, Psychology & Health) 

ISPPM (International Society of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology & Medicine) 

HypnoBirthing Institute, USA 

Human Rights in Childbirth

Charter on the Rights of the Child Before, During and After Birth

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was an historic step forward, because children were acknowledged as having their own rights. Children were no longer regarded as “not-yet-adults”, but as independent human beings and independent people entitled to care, protection, safety and the right to articulate their interests. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child guarantees development rights designed to allow children to develop their full potential.

Research on children’s early development, particularly as carried out and discussed within the International Society of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine (ISPPM) and the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH), shows that children’s individual and social life begins before birth. The period before, during and after birth should be seen as a continuum in which a wide variety of developmental and learning processes are inter linked and interrelated and depend on one another. The foundations for our basic feelings of security and trust are laid during this period. One of the basic requirements for successful, healthy development is a mutual relationship. Even before birth, children are independent human beings, and the rights of the child need to be extended to take account of this. The following Charter on the Rights of the Child Before, During and After Birth attempts to specify these rights – basic emotional and physical requirements that must be met if a child is to enjoy healthy development.

1.Every child has the right to be respected as an independent person even before birth.

2. Every child is entitled to a secure prenatal relationship and bonding.

3. Every child has the right to respect for, and protection of, the continuity of its experiences during pregnancy and birth.

4. Every child has the right to consideration being paid ­ right from the beginning ­ to the emotional and psychological impacts of any medical measures undertaken, and to responsibility being accepted for them.

5. Every child has a right to assistance to ensure a loving, relationship-oriented welcome to the world that allows it to establish secure postnatal ties.

6. Every child is entitled to nutrition of adequate quality before and after birth. If possible, every child should be breast fed.

7. The rights of the child are associated with the right of future generations to be given the opportunity by society to develop their own potential as couples and as parents.

8. This right to the development of parenting skills is associated with the right of the child to responsible, sensitive and relationship-oriented parents or guardians.

9. In order to guarantee these rights, society’s institutions have an obligation to support parents in performing their duties.

Clearly these rights are subject to the relative rights of others, particularly of the mother and family. Those with responsibility need to balance the relative rights with understanding of the issues involved, including those of the child.

This Charter is based on the Viennese Resolution of the International Society of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine (ISPPM), on the comments made by Gaby Stroecken and Rien Verdult on prenatal bonding and children’s rights, on the resolution adopted by the International Congress on Embryology, Therapy and Society 2002 in Nijmegen (Netherlands) and on the Moscow Resolution of the Russian Society of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine; these resolutions are available at

The ISPPM website provides an extensive list of literature on the topic.

The Charter was adopted by the ISPPM’s General Assembly on 3 June 2005 in Heidelberg.

A. & J. Bischoff
Friedhofweg 8, D – 69118 Heidelberg, Germany
Phone: +49 6221 892729 Fax: +49 6221 892730
[email protected]

In a May 2018 document called NURTURING CARE FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF and their partners state:

We now understand that the period from pregnancy to age 3 is the most critical, when the brain grows faster than at any other time; 80% of a baby’s brain is formed by this age. For healthy brain development in these years, children need a safe, secure and loving environment, with the right nutrition and stimulation from their parents or caregivers. This is a window of opportunity to lay a foundation of health and wellbeing whose benefits last a lifetime – and carry into the next generation.”

Download the full WHO document here 

There is a growing acknowledgement that those first early years of a child’s life are absolutely crucial. Getting it right as parents with professional help and public resource to support where needed has the potential to make a huge difference to how that child will grow into an adult contributing to society. Putting this approach at the heart of what Government does, across all party divides, has the potential to be life-changing literally which makes the work of the APPG so important”.

Tim Loughton, British MP for East Worthing & Shoreham and Co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group Conception to Age 2: first 1001 days

Maternal and infant mortality rates are still unacceptably high in many countries, including India, while improvements are being made, we must continue to make pregnancy, birth and infancy not only safe and healthy but happy and empowered too. 

“In the UK one in five mothers suffers from depression, anxiety or in some cases psychosis during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth. Suicide is the second leading cause of maternal death, after cardiovascular disease. Mental health problems not only affect the health of mothers but can also have long-standing effects on children’s emotional, social and cognitive development. Costs of perinatal mental ill health are estimated at £8.1 billion for each annual birth cohort, or almost £10,000 per birth. Yet fewer than 15 per cent of localities provide effective specialist community perinatal services for women with severe or complex conditions, and more than 40 per cent provide no service at all.”

 While Maternal and Infant Mortality are no longer separate goals on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they fall under Goal 3 : Good Health and Well Being, the Indian Government is committed to lowering the numbers of the 45,000 women who die annually during childbirth. “This works out to losing nearly five mothers every hour,” WHO Country Office for India told PTI.

“Around 1.2 million children died of preventable causes in India in 2015 before celebrating their fifth birthday, a Unicef report has said in a grim reminder of abysmal state of child healthcare in the world’s fastest growing major economy.” Hindustan Times

Women’s Rights

‘It was the birth I was waiting for’: Why urban Indian women want to have babies at home. Pregnant women across socio-economic categories experience a deeply-wounding lack of autonomy in the hospital system.

In Brazil, we have caesarean section parties”: How doctors push high-profit surgical deliveries.”

Physical abuse is not restricted to India and Brazil. In 2014, the World Health Organization released a statement titled

The prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during facility-based childbirth” accepting the widespread problem. So far 90 organisations have endorsed the statement.