Below you will find an overview and resources pertaining to one of nine of the Evolved Nest's Components. Click below to return to the Evolved Nest's Components' Overview page to see the full list and to click on the other eight components' pages.
What to do:
Childbirth is naturally timed to indicate when the child is ready to be born (sometimes exiting the womb early because of problematic development or maternal stress).
Modern practices often interfere with nature’s timing. Humans have changed this heritage with psychological interference (e.g., anticipation of pain, causing fear and contraction of muscles instead of relaxation. Natural oxytocin and epinephrine are released by the mother during unimpeded labor, suppressing pain, coordinating uterine contractions and supporting emotional bonding through hormone releases that facilitate memory and social reward (Lévy, Kendrick, Goode, Guevara-Guzman, Keverne, 1995).
Vaginal birth may parallel the extensive licking that other newborn mammals receive from their mothers (Montagu, 1978). Similar to mammals who go unlicked, cesarean-birthed babies have respiratory, digestive and elimination problems. In fact, the physiological stress of natural birth triggers high levels of mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) which is related to nutrient utilization critical for normal development and survival of hippocampal and other brain neurons, affecting memory and other functions in adulthood (Simon-Areces, Dietrich, Hermes, Garcia-Segura, Arevalo et al., 2012).
How Do I Learn More?
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Discover the Evolved Nest articles on pregnancy and birth on Kindred Media here.
Discover Darcia Narvaez's posts on Psychology Today here.
Here are a few samples:
Baselines For Babies – The Best Parenting Style For Kids Is Not The Best For Babies
The Roots Of Pathology: Authoritarianism Towards Babies
Make America’s Children Healthy (Again): Part One
Why Keep Baby Happy? A Baby’s Cry Is A Late Signal Of Discomfort
In conveying to her University of Notre Dame students the impact of modern birth on the baby’s consciousness, Darcia Narvaez speaks as the persona, Babyheart, to explain this experience from the baby’s point of view. As told by persona, Babyheart. Transcript form the podcast here.
Darcia Narvaez, founder of The Evolved Nest, talks about one of the nine components of the Evolved Nest, birth, with Suzanne Arms, New York Times bestselling author of the book, Immaculate Deception
Dr. Narvaez discusses the evolved basic needs of babies and how they are met through a unique application of ethics within a responsive environment.
Dr. Narvaez discusses the nature of the human species. Humans are unique animals with sets of basic needs: animal, mammal, social and human basic needs. Participants will learn about human rights and how babies’ rights need to be respected. Babies cannot reach their full potential without the human evolved nest.
Darcia Narvaez interviews John Geisheker, Executive Director and General Counsel of Doctors Opposing Circumcision (D.O.C.), about what parents should know about infant circumcision.
NOTE: Babies are children under about age 2.5 years.
NOTE: The terms motherliness, mothering, mother love, good enough mothers refer to empathic care or nurturing that mothers and other adults can provide.
The Evolved Nest is happy to launch the 28 Day Baby Care campaign in celebration of Attachment Parenting Month, in October 2020. You can find out more about support for your attachment parenting choices on our Evolved Nest Components page, and on the Attachment Parenting International website.
There is a lot of misinformation about babies and their needs, and parents are often encouraged to ignore baby’s signals. Bad idea. Babies are “half-baked” at birth and have much to learn with the help of physical and emotional support from caregivers. Taking care of baby’s needs is an investment that pays off with a happier, healthier child and adult. Here are 28 days of reminders about babies and their needs.
The full 28 day card campaign can be found on the Evolved Nest's website here under Self-Nesting Tools here. Find the card series below and on our social media pages.
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Community practices refer to everything outside a particular family, so that means policies and practices of neighborhoods, counties, cities, states, schools, and workplaces. Institutions that govern our lives also need to be responsible to promote flourishing in children. Here are some ideas for ways for community practices to support children and families.
Evolved Nest Articles on Community and Cultural Support, and How They are Missing in America:
The Layers Of Structures That Support Individuals, Families – And How The Pandemic Changed Them
Early Partnership Childhood Care: What Should Centers Provide?
Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health. APPPAH illuminates the life-long impact of conception, pregnancy and birth on babies, families and society. APPPAH’s mission is to educate professionals and the public about, and advocate for, the life-changing discoveries made in the area of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health.
Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. It recognizes and awards birthing facilities who successfully implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (i) and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (ii). The BFHI assists hospitals in giving all mothers the information, confidence, and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely, and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.
Birthing the Future. The mission of Birthing The Future®, is to gather, synthesize, and disseminate the finest world wisdom about birthing and the care of mothers and babies from pre-conception to the first birthday.
Black Mamas Matter is a Black women-led cross-sectoral alliance. We center Black mamas to advocate, drive research, build power, and shift culture for Black maternal health, rights, and justice. We envision a world where Black mamas have the rights, respect, and resources to thrive before, during, and after pregnancy.
The Black Maternal Health Caucus. Congresswomen Alma Adams and Lauren Underwood founded the Black Maternal Health Caucus (BMHC) in April 2019 to improve health outcomes for black pregnant and postpartum people. According to a press release from Adams’ office, the caucus “aims to raise awareness within Congress to establish black maternal health as a national priority and explore and advocate for effective, evidence-based, culturally-competent policies and best practices for health outcomes for black mothers.”
Black Women Birthing Justice. Black Women Birthing Justice is a collective of African-American, African, Caribbean and multiracial women who are committed to transforming birthing experiences for Black women and transfolks. Our vision is that that every pregnant person should have an empowering birthing experience, free of unnecessary medical interventions. Our goals are to educate, to document birth stories and to raise awareness about birthing alternatives. We aim to challenge medical violence, rebuild confidence in our ability to give birth and decrease disproportionate maternal and infant mortality.
The Blavatnik Family Women’s Health Research Institute is to optimize quality of care for women across the life span and to narrow gaps in treatment and outcomes in underserved populations.
CAPPA, Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association. For over a decade, CAPPA’s mission has been to offer comprehensive, evidence-based education, certification, professional membership and training to childbirth educators, lactation educators, labor doulas, antepartum doulas and postpartum doulas worldwide. CAPPA is proud to provide new and expectant families access to these professionals here.
Cesarean Statistics for Your Local Hospital. Find C-section and VBAC, vaginal birth after Cesarean, rates for your local hospital.
Doulas of North America. Pardon us for bragging, but we are the oldest, largest and most respected doula association in the world. Our founders are among the foremost experts on doula care, and DONA International certification is a widely respected measure of quality and professionalism. We are an international, non-profit organization of doulas that strives to have every doula trained / educated to provide the highest quality / standards for birth and/or postpartum support to birthing women and their families.
Every Mother Counts is a non-profit organization working to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. We work to achieve quality, respectful, and equitable maternity care for all by giving grants and working with partners and thought leaders to increase awareness and mobilize communities to take action.
International Cesarean Awareness Network. The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc (ICAN) was formed over 25 years ago in order to support women in their journey towards understanding the risks of cesarean section and with the purpose of helping them have healthy births and healthy lives after undergoing the surgery that changed them.
Midwives and Mothers in Action, MAMA, The MAMA campaign is a collaborative effort by the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM), Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), Citizens for Midwifery (CfM), International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC), North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), and the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC). This partnership is now at work to gain federal recognition of Certified Professional Midwives so that women and families will have increased access to quality, affordable maternity care in the settings of their choice.
MomsRising is a nonpartisan organization pushing for cultural and legislative change around various pressing issues, like gun safety, paid family leave, and maternal justice. MomsRising members serve on state maternal mortality review committees, partner with legislators on local and state policies, and call, visit, and write to elected leaders, among other ventures.
Midwifery Today. Well-written technical articles by doctors, midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, nutritionists, herbalists and other practitioners. Birth stories that are beautifully written and have something to teach the practitioner. Stories about midwifery practices in other countries. Well-written academic articles on the subject of midwifery by experts.
PL+US. Paid Leave for the United States. s the national campaign to win paid family leave by 2022. Founded by Katie Bethell, who Fortune Magazine named one of the world’s greatest leaders, the organization in partnership with employees, employers, consumers, and investors has won paid family leave for nearly 6 million at companies like Walmart, Starbucks, CVS and more.
Postpartum Support International, PSI. Postpartum Support International (PSI) was founded in 1987 by Jane Honikman in Santa Barbara, California. The purpose of the organization is to increase awareness among public and professional communities about the emotional changes that women experience during pregnancy and postpartum. Approximately 15% of all women will experience postpartum depression following the birth of a child. Up to 10% will experience depression or anxiety during pregnancy. When the mental health of the mother is compromised, it affects the entire family.
Black Mamas Matter Alliance’s Report: Setting the Standard for Holistic Care of and for Black Women