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Children and EEs/EHEs
Record Type: Review   ID: 896

In the Newborn Year: Our Changing Awareness After Childbirth

Hallett, Elisabeth Brutto

The author, much to her surprise, found her awareness was changed in many ways she had not been forewarned about during the year following the birth of her son Kevin. By the time he was four, she decided to collect the stories of other parents to discover whether her experience had been unique or others had experienced something similar. She received hundreds of responses, and she learned that "the entire year after childbirth is a unique time of change and potential; our response to it is as individual as we are" (p. 7). The responses are summarized in four parts. The first is concerned with the process of "meeting our new baby," and it is about the central relationship that grows between parent and child and the experience of meeting this new individual human being. For her, these experiences had the power to transform awareness, especially in the year following birth. Part 2 consists of "the day-to-day record of my own impressions during that time" (p. 8). In the third part she explores in more depth the changes in awareness that others wrote to her about.

The fourth part contains accounts of experiences of "powerful dreams, visions, and apparent psychic experiences" during the first year, "when people often seem more open to the subconscious mind, and possibly to other dimensions of reality" (p. 8). Her aim in writing the book is to reassure others that they are not alone and to "increase our ability to protect and enjoy the newborn year. It is a fragile and powerful time, when changes in awareness present both opportunity and danger. By sharing our experiences we will be better able to recognize these changes, to prevent the pain that results from ignoring and mishandling them, and to foster their life-enriching potential in ourselves and one another" (p. 8).

The import of the experiences she collected, and her own, she characterizes as a journey "from the personal to the cosmic and back again.…we focus on one small face, and touch the universe" (p. 215). And so, I have found, is the pattern of every type of EHE when approached, as in Hallett’s study, within a developmental context. Then EHEs offer important keys to understanding where we come from, who we are, and where we are going.

Publisher Information:Summertown, TN: Book Publishing Co., 1990. 219p. Ind: 218-219; 3 ports
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