The Other Side of the Glass

Part One was officially released June 2013 in digital distribution format. To purchase to to If you were a donor and want to download your copy send an email to

The trailer

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Self-Attachment - home and hospital

Self-Attachment in the First Hour of Life: A Biologically Programmed Process and
The Foundation for a Happy Life
by Janel Martin-Miranda, excerpts from

When baby and mom are unmedicated during labor and birth, and when left in the arms of his mother to rest, to gaze into her eyes, and to smell her and feel her loving touch, he will begin to crawl to her breast when his biological impulse guides him. With only his mother's touch and support, he will smell her nipple, lick at it, and attach himself to her breast. This process completes a significant sequence in the baby's nervous system.

Baby here was born at home and did self-attachment process. Babies born at home almost always experience some degree of this and this might be why babies born at home have such a high rate of success in breastfeeding compared to babies born in hospitals. Babies born in the hospital setting rarely are left in their mother’s arms because unnecessary cleaning, weighing, and shots and eye ointments that are known to interfere with bonding are done first. Mothers, under the influence of drugs may be not be as receptive.

Regardless of where birth occurs the baby should be left with the mother or the father for all interventions, and while mother is being cared for.

Physiologically, this Self-Attachment process is the ccompletion of a biologically programmed process that begins with the baby's initiation of labor (via his hormonal signal to the mother.) Scientists know that the human baby has a biological impulse to begin his or her labor and birth, and that this process completes with the baby attaching to the mother's breast. This process of labor, birth, and meeting and reconnecting after separation from the womb will forever define the mother-child relationship; negatively, unless we consciously repair it.

Following are pictures of two births where I supported the baby and mother do the self-attachment process.First, is a cesarean birth and next a VBAC. Father is holding son skin-to-skin after cesarean birth and while waiting for mother to be able to hold baby. Notice the bliss on the mother's faces.

Self-Attachment is supported by the last decade of brain development and the ground breaking research by Lennart Righard, MD, a pediatrician and researcher in the field of birth and breast-feeding (The Lancer, 1990. Volume 336; pages 1105-07), and by the work of pioneers in the Pre and Perinatal Psychology field.

Dr. Lennert published a study in 1990 “that looked at two groups of newborns. In the first group the infant was placed on the mother’s abdomen and within fifty minutes most infants and self attached to the breast and were suckling correctly. In the second group the newborn babies were removed from the mother’s abdomen, bathed, measured, and replaced on the abdomen. The infants in this group from an unmedicated birth self-attached but half of them had a faulty suckling pattern. Most of the infants from a medicated birth were too drowsy to be able to suckle at all.” (From the cover description of the video, “Delivery Self-Attachment”, produced by Lennert). Purchase video at:

Didn't get to this with your baby? Not to worry. Jack Newman, MD, Canadian breastfeeding guru and author of, encourages the process of self-attachment within the first six weeks to assist babies in latching and breastfeeding. The six-week window for completing the self-attachment reflex corresponds with the Baurer's and Stepping reflexes of the newborn. Infant Self-Attachment by Teresa Pitman, colleague of Dr. Newman and co-author of, The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers. Read the article at

Your baby is past six-weeks? Still not to worry. Self-attachment is a central part of the birth trauma healing. Ninety-nine percent of humans are not allowed to do this important process. The good news is that it can be experienced even in medicalized and drugged births and at any age. The earlier the better, of course.

In twenty-five years of work with infants, children, and adults, my teacher, Dr. Raymond Castellino ( has discovered that the Self-Attachment process of reconnecting outside the womb is a crucial event that must happen in order for optimal ability of a human being to attach to his or her parents and for the parents to bond with the newborn. He has found this to be a basic biological need of the human being. The critical break leads to a multitude of human issues seen in our culture. In his model of prenatal and birth healing, he has discovered that the biological impulse and need for the self-attachment is a universal and a biologically, physiological impulse. When one does the birth trauma healing the impulse is for the human to spontaneously pursue self-attachment.

Following are pictures of me supporting my grandson and daughter to do the self-attachment process exactly after one hour of interventions and observations. It is never too late for mother and baby to connect.

The last pictures are comparing my daughter's two son's births. The first one shows her bliss (one might even say she was ecstatic if one had been there to hear and see her) after the self-attachment with her second son. The other shows her and first son post-operative hours later, both drugged and exhausted after he was born by Cesareann surgery.
s harmed. Post-partum depression is the woman's psyche trying to bring up the emotions for resolutions. There are few resources for truly processing this wounding. Traditional talk therapy is inadequate and psychologists and counselors are not trained to recognize the deep violations and manifestations of traumatic birth experiences. Traditional "Human Development" courses begin in childhood, and maybe infancy now. That is the "bad news" -- a whole lot of it.

The "good news" is that forty years work of prenatal and birth trauma healing pioneers, Emerson, McCarty, and Castellino now show us that this critical need in the central nervous system for self-attachment can happen at any age. And, with their pioneering work with babies and adults, we know now that resolved trauma from labor and birth babies will instinctually do the self-attachment process as will children and adults. (By the way, many women are led by their inner knowing to seek out the natural, vaginal birth in order to heal their own psyche.)

In twenty-five years of work with infants, children, and adults, my teacher, Dr. Raymond Castellino ( has discovered that the Self-Attachment process of reconnecting outside the womb is a crucial event that must happen in order for optimal ability of a human being to attach to his or her parents and for the parents to bond with the newborn. He has found this to be a basic biological need of the human being. The critical break leads to a multitude of human issues seen in our culture.

In Dr. Castellino's model of prenatal and birth healing, he has discovered that the biological impulse and need for the self-attachment is a universal and a biologically, physiological impulse. When one does the birth trauma healing the impulse is for the human to spontaneously pursue self-attachment.

Medical caregivers have the power to make the biggest difference imaginable if they would merely see the needs of the birthing baby and mother to have quiet, no strangers touching, and no medically unnecessary interventions in first two hours of life, and whatever is done is done in the arms of the mother or the father. THIS could change the world.


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greasy joan said...

Wow... very profound. However I'd like to know more about self attachment if a baby is older than six weeks. I'm a mom of five home born babies and none was allowed to self attach although all were breastfed.

My new baby had a traumatic birth (for me) but an intuitive, sensitive midwife who did not interfere. I don't know if she was malpositioned or what.

At any rate, I'm interested in learning about self attachment in babies older than 6 weeks.

Baby Keeper said...

Thanks. You can check out my site and the self-attachment page here

I'll be adding more info about healing of birth trauma.

Thanks for the post.

Eclinic said...

Medical Videos help to educate all on various health issues, their causes and effects.

"Soft is the heart of a child. Do not harden it."

A public awareness reminder that things that happen behind the scenes, out of our sight, aren't always as rosy as we might think them to be. Perhaps its a restaurant cook who accidentally drops your burger on the floor before placing it on the bun and serving it to you. Here it's an overworked apathetic (pathetic) nurse giving my newborn daughter her first bath. Please comment and rate this video, so as to insure that it is viewed as widely as possible, perhaps to prevent other such abuse. -- The mother who posted this YouTube. How NOT to wash a baby on YouTube Are you going to try to tell me that "babies don't remember?" There is no difference to this baby's experience and the imprinting of her nervous system/brain and one that is held and cleaned by the mother or father either at the hospital or at home? By the way, this is probably NOT the baby's first bath. The nurse is ungloved. Medical staff protocol is that they can't handle a baby ungloved until is has been bathed (scrubbed if you've seen it) because the baby is a BIO-HAZARD -- for them. Never mind that the bio-hazard IS the baby's first line of defense against hospital germs.

Missouri Senator Louden Speaks

Finally, A Birth Film for Fathers

Part One of the "The Other Side of the Glass: Finally, A Birth Film for and about Men" was released June, 2013.

Through presentation of the current research and stories of fathers, the routine use of interventions are questioned. How we protect and support the physiological need of the human newborn attachment sequence is the foundation for creating safe birth wherever birth happens.

Based on knowing that babies are sentient beings and the experience of birth is remembered in the body, mind, and soul, fathers are asked to research for themselves what is best for their partner and baby and to prepare to protect their baby.

The film is designed for midwives, doulas, and couples, particularly fathers to work with their caregivers. Doctors and nurses in the medical environment are asked to "be kind" to the laboring, birthing baby, and newborn. They are called to be accountable for doing what science has been so clear about for decades. The mother-baby relationship is core for life. Doctors and nurses and hospital caregivers and administrators are asked to create protocols that protect the mother-baby relationship.

Men are asked to join together to address the vagaries of the medical system that harm their partner, baby and self in the process of the most defining moments of their lives. Men are asked to begin to challenge the system BEFORE they even conceive babies as there is no way to be assured of being able to protect his loved ones once they are in the medical machine, the war zone, on the conveyor belt -- some of the ways that men describe their journey into fatherhood in the medicine culture.

Donors can email to get a digital copy.
Buy the film at

The film focuses on the male baby, his journey from the womb to the world and reveals healing and integrating the mother, father, and baby's wounded birth experience. The film is about the restoring of our families, society, and world through birthing loved, protected, and nurtured males (and females, of course). It's about empowering males to support the females to birth humanity safely, lovingly, and consciously.

Finally, a birth film for fathers.

What People Are Saying About the FIlm

Well, I finally had a chance to check out the trailer and .. wow! It's nice that they're acknowledging the father has more than just cursory rights (of course mom's rights are rarely acknowledged either) and it's great that they're bringing out the impact of the experience on the newborn, but I'm really impressed that they're not shying away from the political side.

They are rightly calling what happens in every American maternity unit, every day, by its rightful name - abuse. Abuse of the newborn, abuse of the parents and their rights, abuse of the supposedly sacrosanct ethical principal of patient autonomy and the medico-legal doctrine of informed consent, which has been long ago discarded in all but name. I love it!

In the immortal words of the "shrub", "bring it on!" This film needs to be shown and if I can help facilitate or promote it, let me know.

Father in Asheville, NC

OMG'ess, I just saw the trailer and am in tears. This is so needed. I watch over and over and over as fathers get swallowed in the fear of hospitals birth practice. I need a tool like this to help fathers see how very vital it is for them to protect their partner and baby. I am torn apart every time I see a father stand back and chew his knuckle while his wife is essentially assaulted or his baby is left to lie there screaming.
Please send me more info!!!!
Carrie Hankins
CD(DONA), CCCE, Aspiring Midwife

Thanks for sharing this. It was very touching to me. I thought of my brother-in-law standing on the other side of the glass when my sister had to have a C-section with her first child because the doctor was missing his golf date. I'll never forget his pacing back and forth and my realizing that he was already a father, even though he hadn't been allowed to be with his son yet.

Margaret, Columbia, MO

In case you don't find me here

Soon, I'll be back to heavy-duty editing and it will be quiet here again. I keep thinking this blog is winding down, and then it revives. It is so important to me.

I wish I'd kept a blog of my journey with this film this past 10 months. It's been amazing.

I have a new blog address for the film, and will keep a journal of simple reporting of the journey for the rest of the film.

I'll be heading east this week to meet with a group of men. I plan to post pictures and clips on the film blog.

I'll keep up here when I can -- when I learn something juicy, outrageous, or inspiring related to making birth safer for the birthing baby.

Review of the film

Most of us were born surrounded by people who had no clue about how aware and feeling we were. This trailer triggers a lot of emotions for people if they have not considered the baby's needs and were not considered as a baby. Most of us born in the US were not. The final film will include detailed and profound information about the science-based, cutting-edge therapies for healing birth trauma.

The full film will have the interviews of a wider spectrum of professionals and fathers, and will include a third birth, at home, where the caregivers do a necessary intervention, suctioning, while being conscious of the baby.

The final version will feature OBs, RNs, CNMs, LM, CPM, Doulas, childbirth educators, pre and perinatal psychologists and trauma healing therapists, physiologists, neurologists, speech therapists and lots and lots of fathers -- will hopefully be done in early 2009.

The final version will include the science needed to advocated for delayed cord clamping, and the science that shows when a baby needs to be suctioned and addresses other interventions. Experts in conscious parenting will teach how to be present with a sentient newborn in a conscious, gentle way -- especially when administering life-saving techniques.

The goal is to keep the baby in the mother's arms so that the baby gets all of his or her placental blood and to avoid unnecessary, violating, and abusive touch and interactions. When we do that, whether at home or hospital, with doctor or midwife, the birth is safe for the father. The "trick" for birthing men and women is how to make it happen in the hospital.

Birth Trauma Healing

Ani DeFranco Speaks About Her Homebirth

"Self-Evident" by Ani DeFranco

Patrick Houser at

Colin speaks out about interventions at birth