12 Hour Course

The following is a series of one hour talks, originally prepared for “Interchange”, a group of Lactation Consultants in Cape Town, for their CERP’s. The neuroscience of the newborn brain profoundly impacts our birthing practices, our care of preterm infants, breastfeeding, newborn care in general, and support to mothering and parenting. This course therefore allowed a  deeper and structured explanation of all of this without having to repeat pieces of the underlying neuroscience.  It was originally presented over four Saturdays through a term, but can provide the basis for an intense two day workshop, or better a longer workshop with interspersed practical work.

1.  Perinatal Neuroscience

Basic neuroscience
Mammalian birth behaviour
Human birth behaviour.

2. Perinatal Separation

Mammalian separation effects
Separation neuroscience human infants
Origins of separation, Place Model

3. Perinatal Research

Separation perspective on research
Separation and autonomic nervous system effects (own work)
Other research ongoing (prolactin, crying, attachment)

4. Applied Neuroscience

Sensory aspects of newborns and NICUs
Developmental care and NIDCAP  theory
Details and rationale for skin-to-skin techniques

5. Practical Neuroscience

Opportunity to experience “applied neuroscience” demonstrations hands-on (incl. demonstration light meter and sound meter’’ demonstration positioning, moving and handling, demonstration of technique with KangaCarrier, Thari)

6. Scientific Evidence for Skin-to-skin Contact

Adaptedness and epigenetics
Gleanings from literature

7. Neurobehavioural Approach to Breastfeeding

Anthropological origins
Neuroscience based definition of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding a premature

8. Human Milk and the Brain

Milk as brain food, and the  “better intelligence?” debate
Milk contents
Milk Banking, and Human Milk Analyzer

9. Neurobehavioural Approach to Feeding Frequency

Evidence on frequency and stomach capacity
Implications for feeding premature and fullterm babies.

10. Maternal Perinatal Neurobehaviour

Maternal neurobehaviour at birth (active birth, doula)
Neuronal plasticity at birth, effects post-partum
Consequences of disruption.

11. Applied Mothering Neuroscience

Practical application of neuroscience
Promoting parenting skills
Hierarchy of development

12. Neuroscience, Parenting and Society

Fathers role in this neuroscience
Overview of perinatal neuroscience
Implications for women, infants and society