Premature cutting of the umbilical cord and development of the brain: psychology or neurology?
“Leboyer babies” are particularly peaceful. Gay and lively, they smile from their first day, which was rare before. An enquiry disclosed that between 90% and 100% of them grow ambidextrous (1). Leboyer has announced its publication; he never did it and seems to rely upon word of mouth for promoting the recommendations of his book (2): cutting the cord after the pulsations have ceased (but for cardiac difficulty), never separating the child from the mother, extreme gentleness, filtered lights, a bath, etc. Following him, Karen Strange, a specialist of resuscitation of new-born midwife, brings a river to the validity of the techniques brought back from Gandhi’s country by the gynaecologist yogi; she gives lectures but does not publish. She observed that, right before birth, the mother delivers the baby a bolus of blood that is stored in the placenta. This provision is not only heavily burdened in iron; the rise in blood pressure enables the heart to fill in the air cells of the lungs, preparing them for their next task. So, it is demonstrated that nature has forecast everything and that man’s meddling into its plans is irrelevant. At all events, being born within gentleness has long-term positive psychological repercussions and, if everything goes well, the only birth trauma is that of the early cut. One does not destroy a functioning organ without lastingly traumatizing the brain. It must be added up to this plea that, the baby being immunized against maternal flora, strictly rooming them in with the mother protects them against UTIs (3), the great pretext of upholders of circumcision. But what is the mechanism of the trauma that forbids ambidextry?
Making lateralization a consequence of the normal development of the brain, its explanation by neurology of the brain seems tautological (1) to us. The entire contrary, the existence of ambidextrous proves that lateralization is a pathological consequence, not a cause. Ambidextrous are normal, right-handed and left-handed are not. For the early cut provokes submission (or opposition) to adult norm. Absurd, this submission or opposition does not stem from trust but from the unconscious terror issuing from the brutal extinction of placenta alimentation before its natural, gradual and peaceful stopping. Nature has provided, for a while, a double system of alimentation in oxygen and nutrients; as long as the cord pulses, the placenta allows progressive adaptation, gentle transition between both systems. Cutting by iron does not only deprive the child from natural iron; occurring before natural term, it brutally interferes into the management of their body by the babies. Provoking terrible anguish, it is felt as cruel assault. Intimately and for life terrorised by adults including the mother, the child will foolishly comply with the norm. A first trauma, the early cut creates universal neurosis, its conformism and stream of inhibitions. The placenta is the baby’s ownership, nature alone may separate them from it.
Leboyer also condemned excision and circumcision (4). What is true for the cord will a fortiori be so for autosexual organs, very rich in erogenous and tactile nervous endings. Much more invasive since destructive, feminine and masculine excision provokes much graver trauma. The same cause: violence, induces the same effect: deep submission, repetition of the absurd crime. Provoked by the premature cutting of the umbilical cord, the symptom of lateralization is a limpid illustration of the Freudian theory of circumcision as technique of submission.
Ritual or medical cuts result in separating the child from the mother and make them submitted to a despotic society. Consciously or not, the matter is, from attendants to birth (nurses, mid-wives, gynaecologists), individual or collective appropriation of the baby within compulsive paedophilia. All pretexts are valid in order to have the baby for oneself for a while: “Now for weighing!” but the balance is elsewhere, or the mother catches a cold and the child must absolutely be placed in the nursery, risking nosocomial infection… The mechanism of this appropriation is that of fetishist, infantile or primitive thought that, according to the discoveries of psychoanalysis, likens the part to the whole. It is exploited by the voodoo or other circumciser manipulators; in order to enslave their gullible victims and force them to prostitution, the voodoo robs them a lock of hair, so becoming their master. As observed by Romberg-Weiner, it is useless to have a Leboyer baby if he is to be circumcised later. Leboyer opposes that tyranny. His message can be summarized so: “Let the baby, their placenta and the mother alone.”
Violence upon children is the great source of individual or collective mental disease. Correlating birthing techniques with adult behaviour: “obstetric procedures should be carefully evaluated and possibly modified to prevent eventual self-destructive behaviour.”, Jacobsen’s enquiry (5) comforts Leboyer’s finding. But the examples of Galileo, Copernicus, Freud… etc., have shown that one does not solve the world’s problems easily. Like religion, medicine is a universe of dogmas, pride, prejudice and coteries in the hands of all-powerful mandarins. It took it half a century to accept Semmelweiss’s discovery (hygiene). So is it for Leboyer’s; he did not get the Nobel prize.
Sigismond – email@example.com
Psychoanalysis researcher and a specialist of infantile sexual mutilation (ISM), author of “Sexual mutilation, the child’s point of view”, for free at http://groups.msn.com/circabolition or intactwiki.org.
(1) Birth without violence: an evening with Doctor Leboyer. J prim ther 1975, II (4), 289-300.
(2) Birth without violence. New-York: Alfred A. Knop; 1975.
(3) Winberg J., Bollgren I., Gothefors L., Herthelius M., Tullus K. The prepuce: a mistake of nature? Lancet 1989; i: 598-9.
(4) 4.06.1980 letter to R. Romberg-Weiner. http://Sexuallymutilatedchild.org/leboyer.htm
(5) Jacobsen B, Eklund G, Hamberger L. et al. Perinatal origin of adult self-destructive behavior. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1987; 76 (4): 364- 71. http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/jacobsen1
Competing interests: None declared