Our most important problem is the widespread lack of satisfying infants’ biological and psychological needs, resulting in unrecognized traumas of commission and omission with long-term psychological and behavioral effects. American culture has changed, but the vital needs of infants have not changed.
A significant effect of early trauma is that the primary relationship between the infant and mother is disrupted. When this happens, the relationship between the infant and humanity is disrupted. Directly and indirectly, everyone pays a price. What's done to children, they will do to society.
Early traumas get passed on to succeeding generations. This happens without awareness because surviving trauma requires unconscious emotional repression and denial of the problem to defend against deep emotional pain. In addition, conformity and mistaken cultural beliefs about infants play a powerful role in perpetuating the problem.
Consequently, we grow up perceiving ourselves as separate rather than connected to others. The long-term effects of infant traumas contribute to many of our personal, social, and political problems like lack of empathy and compassion, distorted values, alienation, compulsive behaviors, focusing on self-interest while ignoring common interest, and antisocial behavior.Professional Complicity and Financial Interests
Mainstream professionals contribute to the problem. For example, the medical profession controls birth, contributing to birth trauma and maternal distress. Unnecessary birth interventions are financially rewarded.
Many psychologists focus on treatment of older children and adults and ignore prevention of early trauma. Financial reward is with treatment. Psychiatrists often avoid deep exploration of causes and prescribe drugs for symptom treatment to a culture that wants a quick fix.
There are more drugs to come. With funding by pharmaceutical companies, scientists study the structure of the brain seeking biological “disorders” that can then be treated with new drugs. They ignore that experience alters biology, and “disorders” are typically related to early traumas.
What We Can Do
An ounce of prevention is worth many pounds of cure. Our solution involves a public education movement to raise awareness of the problem and urge action to better satisfy early biological and psychological needs. This movement includes disseminating information through news items, articles, social media, websites, broadcast media, videos, interviews, presentations, and events. Interested people of all ages could help spread the message to those who may have children in the future.
A significant target group would be young people who are future parents. For example, they can be reached by contributing to their education programs with course materials and updated textbooks. Professionals associated with existing problems are also targeted. For example, hospitals must use only evidence-based practices associated with birth with attention to the biological and psychological effects on newborn infants. Also, we propose new research that can add to existing evidence and affect professional and public attitudes.
An additional effort would be advertising in all forms of media to expand and ensure visibility of our messages. Our intention is to have multiple educational programs and closely monitor them to learn which ones are most effective. A legislative campaign to build support for paid parental leave, for example, would be an important addition to meeting the needs of children.
When children benefit, all of society benefits, through greater cooperation, empathy, compassion, and connection. After one generation of change, succeeding generations will change because the new parents will be more aware and capable of satisfying infants' needs. For the individual and common good, people must be made aware and educated about our most important problem and its solution.
If you can help, please send a message at the Contact page.