A Sound Beginning is here to be your guide in the mysteries of birth and your baby’s emotional and physical development over the first 2 years of togetherness. The information you are about to read is so critically important for both you and your baby’s physical and emotional well-being, that we boldly state, that this will be the most important information you will encounter during your pregnancy. This information discussed below will have a greater outcome on your child’s mental and physical health than any other information.
With that promised, A Sound Beginning (ASB) is here to help you and your baby make the most critical of life connections with each other. This connection will create a foundation of love that will be NECESSARY for consistent bonded loving with each other and in all future relationships.
So, it is truly the mission of A Sound Beginning to bring more love and compassion into the world. And it must start in the first two years of life.
This all begins by helping you create an ongoing safe and trusting relationship with each other. We often believe that these close feelings should be a natural part of a mother-baby relationship. But they are not. And fully 50% of all babies, children and adults will suffer the emotional and physical consequences of this type of love disturbed relationship in infancy. But when done right, creating these connected feelings with your baby should lead to a life long loving relationship with one’s self and you. And what’s more will be your child’s love-ability to GIVE and RECEIVE non conflicted love not only with you, but with others in the future. This type of deep, bonded, loving connection with you will only grow from your mommying behaviors known as “Attunement”.
Attuned behaviors are the gold standard of good mothering in creating a healthy child.
A Sound Beginning (ASB) is a self discovery program, with 4 major Ingredients or activities designed to help you be the most attuned mother you can be. Attunement is about meeting baby’s physical and emotional needs during the first two years of life and limiting your repetitive negative feelings of fear, anger, frustration and anxiety from creating an ongoing emotional distance between the two of you.
Most unfortunately, it is terribly common and easy to have these repeating negative feelings interfere with your baby’s love-ability. So mommy’s attunement is required to raise a child who will also be capable of true empathic, giving lovingness.
And the really disturbing research statistic that has emerged is that only 50% of mom’s show that they can be attuned enough to raise a “securely attached”, normal loving child. The other 50% will have created an “anxiously attached” fear oriented child. As a clinical psychologist and founder of A Sound Beginning, I am both astonished and saddened whenever I tell people this hard to accept truth. But the picture has clearly emerged as a revelation based on over 50 years of world wide research from the fields of brain science, neuroscience, biochemistry, developmental and clinical psychology, social science and other disciplines.
It’s hard to believe, but what these many studies have told us is: WHAT YOUR BABY LEARNS ABOUT HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU IN THE FIRST 2 YEARS OF LIFE WILL ALSO SET THE EMOTIONAL FOUNDATION FOR TRUST, LOVE, INTIMACY AND COMMITMENT IN FUTURE RELATIONSHIPS, ESPECIALLY ADULT ROMANTIC ONES.
Being in a loving relationship is much more simple on baby’s part because we are all born with an organized nerve bundle in our brain which is actually a neurological program who’s sole purpose is to drive us to connect and stay close to our mother and father. After all, OUR SURVIVAL depends on it.
And in terms of building future healthy relationships, mother’s physical and EMOTIONAL availability will nurture baby’s first close and emotionally intimate relationship. This will be your child’s beginning of feeling comfortable in the future with all forms of intimacy.
But this drive to connect will be dramatically modified through emotional experiences after baby is born. This attachment program learns about the good and bad of connecting to mom by having emotional reactions to the social cues our mother is sending us. We are highly sensitive to her voice tone and intensity (warm or harsh), to her smiling or stressed face, to the look in her eyes where we see signs (like pupil size) that show us if she is fearful or peaceful. And we are also keenly aware when we see the beauty and safety of our mother’s smiling eyes. We also constantly sense the emotional condition in our mother’s body, how she moves and if she is rigid and tight or soft and cuddly. So, we are constantly experiencing our mother as easy and safe to connect with or as scared, stressed or scary – when she doesn’t meet our basic needs for comfort through connection.
Through these daily, moment by moment, emotional experiences we develop an intuitive understanding that the world and/or the people we encounter throughout life will most likely be difficult and will evoke fear and mistrust. Or, when there is enough consistent love and comfort (without being driven by mother’s fear), then baby will learn to be secure, reassured and can relax into the world. And this will all be unconscious programming, talking to us through our emotional reactions to people and unfamiliar situations, for the rest of our life. This inner voice and anxious reactivity, often unconscious, will becoming from our neural attachment program.
So here is the real problem with living a happy life for those who have been anxiously attached. For the 50%, they will feel CONFLICTED LOVE in intimate relationships. Here is how it happens. Because they have been scared too much in the presence of mother their attachment program tells them that mother is not trustworthy. She has too often made baby feel uncomfortable. This same inner message will pop up as an uncomfortable feeling when you feel a deep closeness with a lover (it often happens with close friends also). When there is a sense of love and closeness, it is not trusted, you anticipate disappointment, you become scared and you pull away in one manner or another. The anxiously attached will emotionally shut down, fight, or physically distance themselves. Their partner will feel the distance and believed they are unloved. What should be felt as love ends up being felt as discomfort.
Anxiously attached adults will typically end up in volatile, CODEPENDENT relationships.
So you should be very aware that as mother and father, you will constantly create these loving or fearful experiences each and every day. A Sound Beginning is with you to help reduce the stresses and fears and maximize the safe secure connection/attachment between you.
Four Ingredients of A Sound Beginning
For a quick audio review of the four major ingredients of A Sound Beginning, click here.
To help you raise a child that will not be part of this 50% attachment disordered statistic and rather, create a truly loving trusting and peaceful life, A Sound Beginning is here to be your guide during the last 6-8 weeks of your pregnancy. It is a comprehensive program to help you prepare for the ending of pregnancy, and the first 2 years of being attuned to your baby so you raise a baby who feels safe and secure and loves being in loving relationships.
This program will give you all the information and methods, through recorded teachings on how to take a few minutes of “Special Time” to create your magical Womb Song during pregnancy and then teach it to your unborn baby in just a few relaxing minutes a day.
Doing “Musical Bonding” unleashes the real power of your Womb Song when you use it’s familiarity to birth your baby into this unknown world. Most importantly, your Womb Song will then be a potent calming source to both you and your baby during both loving times and stressful times. And the real key is the immediate loving message which will be communicated and provides the attuned existence of a safe and trusted, mommy connected world.
Besides teaching your Womb Song during the last 6-8 weeks, ASB will also provide you with “Reflective Imagination”. This is a self help method to prepare you mentally and emotionally for the vast changes that will become part of your life in the near future. We also want to guide you in being as personally prepared, both mentally and emotionally to carry out attuned behaviors. Love is at stake.
Also during the last 6-8 weeks ASB will offer you and your partner each week, several “Parent Talk” questions to help you discuss your thoughts and feelings about upcoming parenting activities, your personal relationship, the future of making love and building a unifying parenting effort.
Finally, you will both prepare for birth by understanding how to use your Womb Song during birth and for the first couple of weeks, Musical Birthing. And for many of you, a very powerful pain management technique will be presented, called Birth Visuals.
But before going further, many of you might be wondering how you your unborn baby can hear and learn your Womb Song. So, let’s listen now to a recording made by myself and an obstetrical research team at USC Women’s Hospital in Los Angeles. This recording was made with a microphone placed inside a pregnant uterus with music playing close to the mother’s tummy. Take a listen now and you’ll understand why your baby will learn his specially created Womb Song.
This is a one of a kind recording going inside the womb, so get ready to hear what your unborn baby hears!
If you enjoyed listening to the Womb Songs recorded from inside a pregnant womb, you will also want to listen to male, female and children’s voices and take the famous word identification test. This can be found on the Listen Page
Overall, A Sound Beginning is designed to facilitate your attunement to your baby’s needs and baby’s safe and loving attachment to you.
And we at A Sound Beginning are aware that if you have a partner, your ability to be and stay attuned to your baby will also be impacted by the feelings you have going on in your romantic relationship with baby’s daddy. If you don’t have a strong and affectionate connection with him/her, it can be more challenging to feel connected to baby. So these considerations will also be part of the ASB preparation materials.
Below is a much more detailed discussion about these topics and how A Sound Beginning and Womb Songs can help you be your best. We hope you have the opportunity to read further and work with us in guiding you in becoming the most ATTUNED mother you can be.
Your greatest and most profound relationship journey is soon to begin.
It is likely that you have come to this place after having spent an important part of your lifetime dreaming about being pregnant and then fantasizing mommy stuff – holding, feeding, singing lullabies, cuddling and loving your little baby. And we all hope for the perfect child that hardly cries and is easily soothed.
Unfortunately, a baby with such a calm personality doesn’t come along very often. And almost all new mothers will tell you that her baby brought many more joys than expected but also significant and ongoing stresses that she never imagined, and consequently was unprepared to handle. We are all grateful for the joy’s but we often don’t handle the stresses so well. Many mothers, under stress, will in some way emotionally disconnect from the demands of baby. We naturally do this to protect our own inner sense of well-being but it will scare your baby. With A Sound Beginning you will develop numerous ways to reduce your stress. The main ingredient will be the magic that happens when you play your Womb Song after birth when you or your baby is unhappy. Your Womb Song will provide you a simple way to be attuned with your baby by providing a rapid response to your babies distress, that will send the message: “I am here, and I am here to help you.“ And it will provide calming to both you and your baby at the same time. It is an amazing and magical parenting tool that fosters love, connection and a sense of safety for your baby. Just below you will learn the NECESSITY of this for creating an emotionally sound child and adult.
I am Dr. Brian Satt, clinical psychologist and founder of A Sound Beginning and Womb Songs. I have been involved in the research and study of prenatal learning and mother-child relationships since starting my doctoral dissertation in 1981. So I will be your guide on this most quizzical of life journeys.
It’s obvious that most teenage girls and women can birth babies. But then, the big question becomes, “Can you, will you, put in the necessary efforts to be the best mother you can be?” Will it be your goal to raise a mature, emotionally sound, genuinely loving and caring adult? Because if it is, the really, really challenging part is you need to achieve a level of selflessness so that you can respond to your baby’s needs WHEN SHE SAYS SO! You must be prepared to PUT BABIES NEEDS AHEAD OF YOURS, AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. When baby cries, to make baby feel safe and cared for, you should always respond in some way within a minute, or so.
Once you appreciate the necessity of responding quickly to help your baby get out of distress, you will discover just how much time and loving attention must be devoted to your baby to make sure that baby feels safe, enjoyed and loved through CONSISTENT nurturing mommy actions. This is called being ATTUNED with your baby – harmonizing in creating a calm peaceful world with each other.
We certainly hope that the Sound Beginning program becomes your collaborator and guide in helping you become the most attuned mom you can be. BUT IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO BECOME A PART OF THE ASB FAMILY, PLEASE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE ATTUNEMENT PAGE(link) ON THIS SITE TO EXPAND YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF ATTUNEMENT – THE BEHAVIORAL AND EMOTIONAL THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAXIMIZE A LOVING ATTACHMENT AND BOND WITH YOUR BABY. THIS WILL BE CRITICAL FOR YOUR CHILD’S WELLBEING.
RESULTS OF ATTUNEMENT
So, The Big Challenge is – RESPONDING QUICKLY AND LOVINGLY, EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT!
Consequently, your mommy – baby relationship will likely be the most all encompassing, emotionally complicated life journey that you will ever take with your child. When done right, your child will reap a lifetime of wonderful emotional benefits, showing up as a peaceful, fulfilled and caring person.
What is profoundly problematic is that 50 years of replicated, validated and consequently conclusive research shows we all have only a 50% chance of getting it right if we just rely on Maternal Instinct. You only have a 50% chance of developing a secure attachment between you and your baby. The other 50% will have “anxiously attached” children. The anxiously attached will struggle with consistent lovingness. The securely attached with blossom into loving children and adults.
This 50% can potentially be changed now and in the future by developing knowledge of what your baby needs and having tools to make meeting your baby’s needs more consistent and easy.
We have all of the neural programming and abilities to get it right. As mothers we were designed to have “maternal instinct”. But that INSTINCTUAL MATERNAL PROGRAMING CAN BECOME UNRELIABLE if we grow up feeling regularly hurt by being judged, criticized, ignored and rejected by those closest to us, especially our parents. If we weren’t loved enough as little ones it will feel taxing to respond lovingly every time our child needs us. Why, because it wasn’t done to us. We don’t have the model or emotional information to allow us to be as selfless as we need to be a lot of the time.
Our past pain and frustration in “loving relationships” will prevent us from being able to optimally give to our baby. Typically, the unresolved fear, sadness, and anger from those disappointing relationships shows up in the amount of frustration we can deal with and closeness we can show when frustrated.
Enhancing Your Mothering Experience
A Sound Beginning is here to provide and support you with the step by step process to raise your attunement skills and make mommyhood more fun, more loving and less stressful. Your Womb Song will be an important part of reducing stress and promoting emotional harmony. In addition, this program will help you change feelings from the past that disrupt attunement and will support your growth by helping you discover new thoughts and feelings.
A Sound Beginning is a perinatal attachment and bonding program, which provides you with that baby parenting manual you’ve been wondering about and the methods you’ve wanted to help you be the best parent you can be to your baby.
Currently, only 50% of adults are having a peaceful, satisfying life that is filled with close relationships along with a healthy romantic partnership. The craziest part of this truth is that the emotional stability required for such a beautiful lifestyle either blossoms or is derailed during the first 2 years of life. When derailed, this will almost always show up as various symptoms of an attachment/love problem throughout your child’s lifetime.
It is precisely what your baby experiences and learns about the world – she either FEELS SAFE the majority of the time or feels fear and comes to see you as not fully trustworthy.
This can happen when your baby is crying from distress and your attempts to comfort him have little effect. And it will be MUCH WORSE if you put you baby down to “cry it out” by herself. Further, baby will become regularly scared if you are depressed or exhausted and don’t hear baby crying while you sleep or you don’t respond quickly enough. If you are distracted and worried or frustrated about other matters while feeding, playing or trying to comfort baby, your child will feel ignored and scared. If your baby does not regularly experience a smiling welcoming face and voice, baby will not feel emotionally safe over time. Such emotional information will become data entered into a neural-attachment program in baby’s right hemisphere of the brain. This neural network exists to be programmed about the safety of the world AND IT WILL LAST A LIFETIME.
This programming will result in creating one of two types of people – one who regularly feels safe, connected and stable around other people or the other who regularly feels unsafe (expecting judgement, criticism and pain) and consequently will feel mistrustful. This creates an adult with the inner experience that survival is a part of everyday life. Said another way, your baby will either grow into an adult who’s thinking and behaviors are primarily guided by multiple UNREALISTIC fears and/or inner self criticism and general mistrust. Or the opposite, you will provide the emotional foundation for an adult, who’s primary interest will be based on curiosity, the love of adventure and caring while bringing non conflicted love and respect to relationships.
Think about it – every single day, every waking moment, your baby will be experiencing his life as either enjoyable or not enjoyable. Consequently, depending on how much of either feeling is experienced, your baby will come to determine and then believe that life is one way or the other, either loving and safe or dangerous and scary.
When Your Attunement is
Not Consistent Enough
Because this learning is CONSTANT during infancy, this very emotional and physical journey can be both magical and terrifying along the way. But it can and should always be filled with mom and dad’s love and closeness. “Always”, you say? Yes, “always”. Love should always underlie any anger, fear or sadness you feel around your baby.
To help you feel regularly loving and not wanting to distance from your baby when feeling stressed, you now you have A Sound Beginning, that will be with you all along the way, to help you create loving behaviors and feelings with your child, always! A Sound Beginning, as an attachment and bonding program, you will maximize your baby’s development and emotional growth into becoming a trusting and loving being.
The two most critical elements in the family’s psychological well being that can be enhanced with A Sound Beginning are 1) that baby feels safe enough to attach to you (that is, to like you and want to be close to you), which can then grow into a deep and NON-CONFLICTED love. And 2) that you feel bonded to your baby so that through thick and thin your desire to care for your child will persist over your personal desires.
Without A Sound Beginning, your child is in that 50% risk category of having life long emotional complications from attachment problems. And if, as a mother, you are among those 50%, your baby will have a 70% chance of having an attachment disorder.
In a second I’m going to tell you the major life complications that arise from living with an anxious attachment syndrome. The most important thing to understand is that the symptoms you are about to read about often occur quietly in the mind and involve somewhat subtle but chronic low lying feelings. They push unwanted thinking and feelings and behaviors and people don’t know why they are this way and they don’t know why they can’t change it. They find they are not positive and peaceful people. They have trouble sticking to social commitments they make. They find themselves fighting with others often and then they isolate themselves. They come to understand that they are quietly not happy much of the time.
And as they discover these symptoms in many others they often come to believe that these issues from an anxious attachment are normal because it’s not killing them and so many others have it also. It might be statistically normal (50%) but it is certainly not healthy and the symptoms need not exist.
The 50% of adults with attachment problems have a significant number of the following:
- Abnormal amounts of fears sometime high, sometimes subtle.
- Self criticizing thoughts every day leading to a belief that they are “not good enough”.
- Thoughts about death and suicide.
- A sensitivity to feeling criticized.
- Commitment issues.
- Problems with closeness because of discomforts with emotional intimacy.
- High narcissism.
- Relationships built on mistrust.
- Chronic discord or fighting in relationships.
- Questionable Love-Ability (you question the motives and trustworthiness of your partner).
- Drug dependency – to help cope with the above.
Preventing Problems with Attachment and Becoming a Loving Adult.
Your thoughts would be correct if they were along the lines of seeing this as an emotional and relationship epidemic. This epidemic is reflected in the 50% divorce rate.
Through A Sound Beginning you will be given the knowledge, emotional insight, and tools to minimize the possibility of creating an attachment disorder.
HOW LOVE IS LEARNED
Let’s pursue this environmental attunement idea a bit deeper. One thing I want you to appreciate as you dig deeper into the learned emotions during infancy is that when you baby regularly experiences distress it activates the fight/flight part of the nervous system. And if it happens often enough as your child gets older it will be easily activated by perceived threats of danger (e.g. criticism or emotional rejection). Your adult child will be moved to fear easily and carry that stress.
As mentioned before, based on the relationship you have with your baby in the first two years of life, your baby will come to a conclusion about life. It will be one of the following two conclusions:
1) The world is warm, loving, caring and that you are trustworthy and CONSEQUENTLY, you are lovable and “I Love You Mommy”
2) If your baby is left to cry too much, is left alone too much, or doesn’t get enough of his needs met in a timely fashion, your baby will believe that the world is a difficult and dangerous place and that he should be on high alert and ready to protect himself against threats of not having enough, not being enough or of being criticized, rejected or abandoned. The fight/flight response will be over-actively ready to inform the adult that danger might be just ahead.
And this fundamental belief about the world, developed in the first several years of life, usually lasts the lifetime of your child! And it will have a huge impact on his adult romantic relationships. They will most commonly be co-dependent relationships. These types of romances are commonly filled with a high degree of emotional volatility. One partner trying to overly control the other, expecting the partner to take care of them. While the other is stuck trying to constantly please the other to the point of ignoring her own needs and developing low self esteem.
Your adult child will gravitate to co-dependent relationships because he is more capable of liking than loving and relationships become more about managing fear and closeness than being fully loving in a giving way.
This earliest learning about relationships will come from his feelings about you as his parents. Were you warm and nurturing or were you scared, scary or distancing? The nature of future adult relationships will be based on sensory beliefs formed in infancy.
A LIFETIME OF FEAR
Fear is something that is built-in and experienced anytime after birth. Love on the other hand, must be learned. Love is learned by repeatedly experiencing mother as enjoyable and appropriately caring. As your baby has these connections of pleasure and enjoyment with you, he will come to trust you and eventually experience what we call love.
A LIFE TIME OF SHAME
If your child too often experiences you as distant or uncaring, he might also conclude that he does not know how to be good enough to keep you being connected and caring. This can become an attachment disorder that is filled with low self esteem from feeling excessive shame.
More people than you can imagine have tens to hundreds of self critical thoughts everyday. “I’m not good enough.” “I don’t deserve what I want.” “My feelings don’t matter.” When these types of thought are floating through the mind persistently, they arise from infancy when baby could not get enough attention or his needs consistently met.
During the first year of life baby does not have the mental ability to know that mom is not being attentive. But, remember, baby is driven to connect, and when baby can’t make that happen baby experiences itself as unable to make the connection come about. Eventually baby’s failure makes him believe about himself, “I am bad”, because I could not connect with my mother. This belief will likely last a life time.
How the Program Works
There are four major ingredients to creating A Sound Beginning all of which you will learn about and have an opportunity to apply over the last 8 weeks of your pregnancy.
1. Womb Song teaching during pregnancy.
2. Using the Womb Song during and after birth to calm mother, father and baby and facilitate a loving attachment.
3. Reflective Imagination to prepare for the personal demands of ending pregnancy, birthing and attuning with your baby.
4. Parent Talk to put you and your partner on the same page of parenting behaviors and personal expectations. Enhancing your sensual/sexual life after baby has arrived will also be addressed.
This Sound Beginning program will teach you how to create your very personal and special Womb Song that will be played both before birth to teach baby. Then after birth, you will have an amazingly powerful way to communicate love and calm your unhappy crying baby. When using your Womb Song after birth, your baby will feel that you are there and that both of you will get through anything you need to in the safest way possible. This will facilitate a “secure attachment” and a child who learns to trust and love his parents.
But it is not only a song to calm your baby when he is upset, you will also use it during calm quiet times to give the message, “I love you”.
And there is more. Remember earlier it was mentioned that baby will pick up your fear if you are scared? Well, babies most certainly will. So another little piece of magic of the Womb Song is it will help you stay calm and calmly focused on calming your baby. It’s a 2 in 1 calming tool, that will be of enormous value to both of you.
You say my baby will learn this song before birth? Yes, in the peacefulness of your womb, where every need is naturally met perfectly. By playing your Womb Song over the last weeks your baby will not only learn and recognize the song at birth and thereafter, but it will also be associated with the perfect calmness of your womb world. Remember in the recording above how clearly the music of the Womb Song could be recognized. So, you can be assured that the way you will present your Womb Song to your unbaby has been scientifically determined through research. This will virtually ensure that your baby will know the song at birth and typically be responsive and calmed by his song.
A Sound Beginning is much deeper, richer and more profound than the use of your Womb Song. Through a learning and mental preparation technique called Reflective Imagination, you will examine and consider many physical mental and emotional aspects of ending pregnancy and becoming the mother you wish to be. It is one thing to be exposed to mothering concepts but A Sound Beginning is designed to help you make any emotional shifts you might need, to to maximize the development of your baby, your romantic relationship, and with your family. If you do not address feelings and emotions that guide behavior, you will be vulnerable to miss-attunement and the creation of a child with an anxious attachment. Most often one must not only add knowledge to change behavior but also change the feelings that do not allow those attuned behaviors to occur naturally.
During the last 7 weeks of your pregnancy Parent Talk will provide you a set of guidelines to help focus conversations about your feelings in becoming parents and how you can handle changes that will occur in your relationship. Parent Talk will attempt to help you understand and develop realistic expectations for each other after baby arrives . It will help you determine your roles and household responsibilities as new parents. It will try to get you on the same page concerning parenting style. It will give both of you an important birthing tool used together to help with the discomforts of getting through birth. And it will give you ideas to discuss regarding maintaining a strong emotional and physical intimacy after birth.
Whether your baby grows up with the ability to love deeply and committedly, or not, is in your hands. Your baby’s “love-ability” will be determined by the emotional experiences that you will create in yourself (fear, upset, unhappiness) and how often your maternal negative feelings are downloaded into the neural programs in your baby’s brain.
If you believe that it is important for human consciousness to evolve out of fear-based thinking into love-based thinking, this is the program for you. All children will experience enough fear and anger even in a loving household such that they will know how to naturally use these emotions effectively in life. This is typically not true for a child who does not develop a love-based experience of the world in infancy. They will like many things, they will find enjoyment and pleasure in many things but they usually will not feel appropriately close and bonded to those special people that come into their life over time. If you want to do your best at providing a sound loving mothering relationship and household, please join us in helping provide you and your baby A Sound Beginning.
We all deserve it! Most importantly, you and your baby deserve to have a lifetime of closeness and warmth, within a mutually giving and supportive relationship. And as a society and human race we deserve and need more loving, harmonizing people on this small but most astonishing of planets. Make a loving contribution to your baby. Make a loving contribution to your self. And grace the human race with another love based thinking adult.