September 25, 1995 in Features

Encourage Stress-Free Bonding

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Pop quiz: You’re eight months pregnant. Do you:

A. Zip out to see “Mortal Kombat.”

B. Stay up late for “NYPD Blue.”

C. Rent a gentle film and bliss out at home.

If you’re wise, C makes perfect sense. Intuitively, many pregnant women feel an urge to calm down, replace frightening images with soothing ones, and prepare quietly for birth.

According to Spokane psychotherapist Kent Hoffman, couples can begin the bonding and attachment process while the baby is still in the womb. Hoffman is leading a four-week series of classes for expectant couples on that topic at St. Joseph’s Family Center in October.

“That first year outside the womb is the cornerstone of a child’s emotional life,” says Hoffman. By beginning in pregnancy, figuring out how to attune to the child’s needs, learning to decipher a baby’s various cries, and recognizing the way infants communicate through the eyes, parents can give their children a secure base for life.

A solid attachment allows a child to grow up trusting and confident. But when the process goes awry, the child may be at risk for emotional difficulties as an adult.

“If we don’t do this,” Hoffman says, “the culture at large pays a heavy price.”

Hoffman’s class for couples will be at St. Joseph’s Family Center on Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 5-26. The cost is $55 per couple.

Follow-up courses will be offered for these couples when their children reach 1 and 2 years of age.

For more information, call 483-6495.

, DataTimes


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