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The Secret Life of Babies


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How Our Prebirth and Birth Experiences Shape Our World

About the Author

MIA KALEF is the founder of Emerging Families, a program of therapy, education, and research for the pre- and perinatal period. She works with families throughout the childbearing years to resolve the effects of pre- and perinatal challenges, and with adults retrospectively. She is a lifetime member of the Association of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health and is in private practice in Vancouver, Canada. The author lives in Vancouver, Canada.


"A gifted healer and passionate writer, Mia Kalef combines scientific findings, personal intuition, and therapeutic insights for a fascinating view of prenatal experience and its lifetime consequences, the multigenerational and social influences that shape it, and the healing of its potentially traumatic imprints."
-Gabor Mate, MD, author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

"Dr. Kalef's book is a work of art. It is full of tales that ring true, that make sense, that are full of heart, that smack of authenticity. Kalef masterfully mixes personal and clinical experience with current literature throughout, saturating the reader with a sense of the continuity of our lives and the meaningfulness of our adult behavior."
-Michael Trout, director, Infant-Parent Institute

"At a time when our cultural lack of understanding of the birth process has reached an extreme degree, the world needs practitioners such as Mia Kalef."
-Michel Odent, MD, author of Childbirth and the Future of Homo Sapiens

"Mia Kalef provides major evidence for the existence of sentience and experience in the womb. She defends with good arguments that our collective denial of this truth impacts negatively how we deal with pregnancy and prenatal mother-child interaction, which itself leads to severe disturbances in our relationships with ourselves, each other, and the global community of life. She provides clear and efficient procedures to help us recognize and overcome early traumatic imprints so that we may be in harmony with the stream of life. This book is a firm and reliable plea to reevaluate the secret life of babies and see how they are emissaries of a lost wisdom that has the power to set us on a more wholesome and balanced course."
-Jaap Van Der Wal, PhD, author of The Embryo in Us, and former professor of anatomy and embryology, University of Maastricht, Holland

"Mia Kalef has written a book that brings science to a level from which everyone can understand and benefit. She cites interesting studies from around the world...animals, the human species, history, and various cultures. With vivid and yet simple depictions of how prenatal and birth experiences can support a person's/family's quest for change and health, her words remind us that it is never too late to heal."
-Judyth O. Weaver, PhD, somatic and perinatal therapist, and co-founder and professor, Santa Barbara Graduate Institute

"It's a pleasure to read Dr. Kalef's comprehensive and empathetic book, in which she describes the deep influences human early life have on later physical, emotional, and social conditions. She describes the social and historical backgrounds for why we don't know this and invites us to her Intuitive Recovery Project for finding a new, more sustainable personal connection to these concepts. This great book helps us understand the very real social implications of the prenatal time and to deepen our understanding of ourselves within in it."
-Rupert Linder, MD, past president, International Society of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, and specialist for gynecology, obstetrics, psychosomatics, and psychotherapy

"Dr. Mia Kalef's The Secret Life of Babies is an illuminating read, and a revelation. Not only a book for new and expecting parents, Kalef's book will make readers think about the circumstances surrounding their own birth and how this could be the basis of some of the traumas and inhibitions, and even addictions they experience as adults. Incorporating both detailed case studies and broader overviews of history and culture, the book is a wake-up call for people to pay more attention to prenatal and perinatal conditions and take a hard look at the way that society treats women and mothers, and ask themselves if it's time for a change."
-Jenny Uechi, managing editor, The Vancouver Observer

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