My studies started here, and training with Joseph Chilton Pearce, Bruce Lipton and others involved in Heart Math in California. I'm not really sharing anything that you haven't heard before, however, I've gathered all the information/evidence based science and reports from various leaders/web sites etc., in this and created it here for your reference. It's time for change, we have to get this. Time to be kinder to these infants...time to listen to our hearts as parents, time to open them to understanding, even if it's beyond our own scope of understanding because we didn't get this in our lifetime! We can learn to do this differently!
These findings and references represent some of the investigation I was doing during the past 4 years, including the wonderful people I was able to study with. It was also the work that compelled me to share what I was finding, not just with mothers and fathers but with society on the whole, one that has recently deviated it's course rather exponentially! I hope to see it return to sanity in this lifetime. Kathy
No mammal on this planet, except the human mammal, separates the newborn from its mother at birth and during the crucial and formative postnatal period of brain-behavioral development. No mammal on this planet, except the human mammal, refuses to breastfeed its newborn and during the crucial and formative periods of breastfeeding for brain-behavioral development that varies with mammalian species. The violation of these two mammalian universals by the human primate-homo sapiens-has brought devastating consequences upon itself in terms of damaged biological and emotional-social health that threatens the very existence of the species.
It is worth noting that the bonobo chimpanzee, which is the most peaceful primate on the planet, breastfeed their young to about four years of age; the mother carries her offspring on her body through early adolescence (particularly male offspring); and where multiple male/female sexual relationships are commonplace which are characterized by the lack of aggression or violence (Diamond, 1992; De Waal and Lanting, 1997, Prescott, 2001). Newman (1995)
has summarized the essential role of breastfeeding for healthy human development where WHO/UNICEF (1990) have recommended breastfeeding for "two years of age or beyond" that, inexplicably, is not supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP, 1997). Laudenslager, et al. (1982) have documented impaired immune system development from mother-infant separations (includes lack of breastfeeding). We shall see that breastfeeding of the human primate for 2.5 years or greater is essential to optimize the health benefits (biological and psychosocial) of breastfeeding for child and mother.Bowlby/Montagu and Attachment v Watson/Holt and non-Attachment.
There is a long history of warnings from child and human development authorities on the dangers inherent in separating infants from their mothers. Bowlby (1950), in a report on Maternal Care and Mental Health and in Child Care and the Growth of Love (1951) to the World Health Organization (WHO) warned the world of the consequences of increasing mother-infant/child separations associated with institutional child day care:
"Deprived children, whether in their own homes or out of them, are the source of social infection as real and serious as are the carriers of diphtheria and typhoid."
"The break-up of families and the shunting of illegitimates are accepted without comment."
"One must beware of a vested interest in the institutional care of children."Renee Spitz (1946/1965)
documented that infants isolated in cribs with little or no physical contact and physical affection can die from an emotional wasting away, which he called marasmus, even though medical and physical care were normal. Montagu (1971) has provided a history of two national historical sources that have opposed bonding in the mother-infant/child relationship and which established wrongful child rearing practices in America for this past century and which continues to this day.Watson (1928)
in his book Psychological Care of Infant and Child stated: "…a sensible way of treating children…Never hug and kiss them, never let them sit on your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say good night."Luther Emmett Holt (1894),
the leading pediatric authority of his day, stated in his textbook: "To induce sleep, rocking and all other habits of this sort are useless and may be harmful"; and later in 1916 advised that the crib should not rock in order that "the unnecessary and vicious practice may not be carried on". Holt could not have been in greater error, as we now know that gentle rocking (movement) of the infant/child is essential for normal brain-behavioral development and bonding. See http://www.violence.de/tv/rockabye.html
, which was premiered at the 1970 White House Conference on Children.Liedloff (1975)
has documented the importance of baby carrying and affectional bonding between mother and infant/child in her single culture study. Joseph Chilton Pearce reinforced the significance of bonding in Magical Child (1977):
"Bonding is the issue, regardless of age. Bonding is a psychological-biological state, a vital physical link that coordinates and unifies the entire biological system. Bonding seals a primary knowing that is the basis for rational thought."Cook (1996)
has provided a review of how infants and nations are placed at risk with early child institutional care that ensures lack of bonding. For over a century we have been given wrongful and disastrous advice by "authorities" in pediatrics and psychology that continues to this day. Ferber (1985), a pediatrician, states:
"If your child is like this, you may be comforted to know that headbanging, body rocking, and head rolling are very common in early childhood and, at least at this age, are usually normal. If your child exhibits any of these behaviors there is little need for concern about emotional difficulties or neurological illness" p.193; and "In the infant and young toddler, rhythmic patterns are of little significance and you will not need to intervene" (p.197).
Dr. Ferber could not be in greater error and his statements indicate that it is imperative that all pediatricians be required to view the Time Life documentary, "Rock a Bye Baby" and the other video documentaries which document the inherent pathology of body rocking and other stereotypical behaviors consequent to the sensory deprivation of mother love (SSAD). These video documentaries are available here. Spock (1972), and Ferber (1985)
have advocated letting the infant/child engage in pathological chronic crying, e.g., crying itself to sleep, that has pathological consequences of extreme adreno-cortical stress reactions that adversely affect brain-behavioral development (Selye, 1956; Prescott, 2001). Another commentary by Dr. Ferber is so egregious that it also deserves reporting:
"A normal child will not injure himself seriously while headbanging, although he occasionally may bruise his forehead and, very rarely, there may be a small amount of bleeding. Concussions, fractured skull, or brain injuries just do not occur. The main damage is to furniture and walls" (p.198).
It is beyond comprehension to understand how forces so great that damages furniture and walls do not damage the immature developing brain. Microlesions of the brain that cannot be detected today can have long term developmental brain consequences years later, as the studies of Faro and Windle (1969) have demonstrated on the effects of birth asphyxia upon the developing brain.
The award-winning Time-Life documentary, Rock a Bye Baby, that was premiered at the 1970 White House Conference on Children, dramatizes NICHD supported research findings of impaired brain-behavioral development with mother-infant separations and the necessity of body movement and rocking of the newborn/infant for normal brain-behavioral development. The classic studies by Mason (1968) and Mason and Berkson (1975), which demonstrated that artificial movement by a swinging mother surrogate could prevent depression and violence in the separated infant, is required viewing by all who have an interest in optimizing healthy development of the newborn/infant/child and can be viewed at: http://www.violence.de/tv/rockabye.html
It is well known that early life experiences have a profound effect upon brain-behavioral development, which has been demonstrated from a rich variety of both animal and human studies. The studies of Salk, et al (1985) found prenatal and perinatal stress factors in 81% of teen suicides and the Jacobson group in Sweden (Jacobson, et al, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1998/2000) found increased risks for homicide, suicide and drug addictions in adulthood-- as a consequence of obstetrical medication (and other perinatal traumas)-which were as high as 500% compared to control groups with no obstetrical medications. These studies illustrate how critical early life experiences effect life-long developmental consequences upon the brain and behavior and that true prevention must begin before birth and during the formative postnatal periods of brain-behavioral development.
NICHD Studies Document Impaired Brain Development With Loss of Mother Love
When Dr. Prescott joined the newly formed National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), NIH he formed the Developmental Behavioral Biology Program and became its Health Scientist Administrator from 1966-1980. A major focus of this NICHD research program was to understand why depression and violence results from maternal-infant/child separations. Caspar Weinberger, then Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare-DHEW (renamed the Department of Health and Human Services-DHHS), directed the NICHD to expand its studies to uncover the origins of child abuse and neglect and of violence in the home.
As a developmental neuropsychologist and cross-cultural psychologist, Dr. Prescott focused the NICHD program efforts on developing research programs to understand how loss of early maternal-infant bonding-- as sensory deprivation of somatic maternal love and nurturing-- affects the developing primate brain that could account for the pathologies of depression and violence that results from such early separations.
In a number of NICHD supported studies with other scientists, a number and variety of developmental brain disorders were found in pathologically violent adult mother deprived monkeys who had a history of depression and psychotic behaviors. Dr. Prescott formulated the S-SAD (SomatoSensory Affectional Deprivation) theory of brain function that could account for these emotional-social behavioral disorders which included the limbic-fronto-cerebellar complex in mediating peaceful and violent behaviors. A number of studies have confirmed the validity of this theory. See http://www.violence.de
In a series of NICHD supported cross-cultural studies, Dr. Prescott found that he could predict with 80% accuracy the peaceful or homicidal violent nature of 49 tribal cultures from a single measure of bonding in the mother-infant relationship, namely, carrying of the infant throughout the day on the body of mother/allomother through the first year of life. The peaceful or violent nature of the remaining ten cultures could be accurately predicted from whether the culture permitted or punished youth sexual affectional relationships. In brief, these two variables of physical affectional bonding could predict with 100% accuracy the peaceful or violent nature of these 49 tribal cultures distributed throughout the world (Prescott, 1975,1979,1996). Crocker and Crocker (1994) have provided a detailed analysis of the vanishing matrilineal Canela tribe of the Brazil Amazon that dramatizes the relationship of high infant/child nurturance and support of youth and adult sexual affectional expression with non-violence.
In a series of subsequent cross-cultural tribal studies, Dr. Prescott found that 77% of 26 tribal cultures whose weaning age was 2.5 years or longer were rated low or absent in suicidal violence. Further, he found significant differences in suicidal behaviors between cultures with weaning age of 2.0 years or less v 2.5 years or greater. This finding suggests that a critical period of brain development exists at this age to mediate this effect. These and other data suggest that breastfeeding for 2.5 years or longer is required to optimize the health benefits of breastfeeding for child and mother (Zheng, 2000). These breastfeeding effects are undoubtedly mediated, in large part, by the rich presence of the amino acid tryptophan in breastmilk that is deficient in infant formula milk and which is necessary for normal brain serotonin development. See Table 2. Deficits in brain serotonin are well recognized as a brain condition that mediates depression, impulse dyscontrol and the violence of suicide and homicide (Prescott, 1996,1997, 2001).
This issue of duration of breastfeeding for optimal biological and mental-social health is particularly urgent when it is recognized that only 6.8% of American mothers are breastfeeding at 12 months; 2.7% are breastfeeding at 24months; and only 1% at 30 months or more (Hediger, 2001; Prescott, 2001). These statistics on breastfeeding become even more alarming in the light of child and youth suicidal deaths which have doubled in the 5-14 year age group over this past generation and has been the third leading cause of death in the 15-24 year age group over this past generation. Further, for the 5-14 year age group the ratio of suicide rates to homicide rates have consistently increased over this past generation, as follows: 1979--36 %; 1994--60%; 1998-- 73%. It is also a sobering statistic to note that more children and youth (5-24 year age group) have died from suicidal death in the past ten years (est 55,000) than combat lives lost during the ten year Vietnam War (47, 355). Yet, no memorial has been established for these children of suicidal death.
It should be noted that the American Academy of Pediatrics in its 1997 revision of its breastfeeding recommendations did not acknowledge the research studies that confirmed Triptophane deficits in infant formula milk which compromises normal brain development and places infants/children at high risk for the development of depression, impulse dyscontrol, drug abuse and suicidal/ homicidal violence. Further and inexplicably, the AAP did not affirm the recommendations of WHO and UNICEF that breastfeeding should be for "two years of age or beyond" (AAP, 1997; WHO/UNICEF, 1990). What does WHO and UNICEF know that the AAP does not know?
These data demand studies to evaluate the harmful effects of infant formula milk upon brain development and behavior compared to breastfeeding for "two years of age or beyond" and to evaluate the history of duration of breastfeeding in child and youth suicides and those with a history of depression and psychiatric medication. The NIH, inexplicably, refuses to conduct these studies.NICHD Early Child Day Care Study
The report of the NICHD (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Study of Early Child Care (SECC) found that infants and very young children who spend more than 30 hours a week in child care "are far more demanding, more noncompliant, and they are more aggressive" and "They scored higher on things like gets in lots of fights, cruelty, bullying, meanness as well as talking too much, demands must be met immediately", according to Dr.Belsky, one of the principle investigators" (Stolberg, New York Times, April 19, 2001) (emphasis mine)Dr. Sarah Friedman, NICHD Scientific Project Officer
was reported as saying ""We cannot and should not hide the findings but I don't want to create a mass hysteria when I don't know what explains these results" (Stolberg, 2001). Unfortunately, no measures of biological stress disorders were incorporated into this study nor was there any awareness of the early NICHD studies in the 1960s and 1970s, which documented these behaviors in the maternally deprived young.
It has yet to be recognized that cruelty, bullying and meanness that terrorizes so many of our children and youth in our elementary schools and high schools have their roots in the emotional trauma of mother-infant/child separations associated with institutionalized day care and from other separations These collective emotional-social traumas are sufficiently great to establish an unstable brain that combined with other stress experiences compels many students to despair and the violent acts of homicide and suicide. It is estimated that some 20% of our nation's students have contemplated suicide at one time or another (Moran, 2000; Silverman, et al 200l; Prescott, 2001). What is wrong with America and American families that drive so many of our youth to depression, despair and suicide?Belsky (2001),
a member of the research team of the NICHD-SECC, has published his most recent findings and conclusions regarding the damaging emotional-social effects of infant and early child day care.
Evidence indicating that early, extensive, and continuous nonmaternal care is associated with less harmonious parent-child relations and elevated levels of aggression and noncompliance suggest that concerns raised about early and extensive child care 15 years ago remain valid and that alternative explanations of Belsky's originally-controversial conclusion do not account for seemingly adverse effects of routine nonmaternal care that continue to be reported in the literature. (Abstract)… Ultimately, hard headed work is called for to gain insight into the developmental mechanisms that give rise to the aggressive and noncompliant behavior so often found to be related to early, extensive, and continuous nonmaternal child care. For sure the road does not end with the NICHD-SECC (p.35, ms, emphasis mine).
Unfortunately, the road that gained insight into the developmental mechanisms that mediate the aggressive, noncompliant and other disordered emotional-social behaviors, e.g. depression and suicide consequent to mother-infant/child separations-- which was illuminated by the Time Life documentary "Rock a Bye Baby"-- was blocked and terminated by the NICHD in the late 1970s. The NICHD unlawfully abandoned its agency responsibility to continue to support research on the causes and consequences of violence against children and failed to recommend implementation of national health programs for the prevention of this violence. These unlawful NICHD/NIH actions has not only set-back scientific advances in this field for over a quarter of a century but more importantly has resulted in the epidemics of depression, drug abuse, psychiatric medications and violence that characterizes this nation today with a substantial loss of child and youth life due to suicidal and homicidal deaths that are mostly preventable.