Infant Parent Healing with Janel Miranda, M.A.

        Prenatal and Birth Focused          CranioSacral Therapist




Assisting and supporting parents to create

healthy attachment and bonding

with their baby -- for a lifetime



Peoria Journal Star Article


Newspaper Article


On October 10, 2003, a two-part article on my work, Infant-Parent Healing, was featured in the Peoria Journal Star. The writer, Pam Adams, did an excellent job of discussing the concepts of prenatal and birth therapy after interviewing me and observing me working with two children. Below is first, the two-part article; then, a letter to the editor from a reader (claiming the work “is not supported by science”); and then is my response to his letter.


NOTE:  There is no connection with my work and "rebirthing". NEVER is a child covered, restrained, or controlled.  Parents are taught to observe BEHAVIOR and learn how the child's behavior is communication. "Bad" behavior is unheard communication and the child's repeated attempts to communicate. Parents learn, to respond accurately to the behavior and the message. The child in the photo below happen to chose to use a table in her own home to communicate her experience of being stuck in the birth canal for three hours. If it appears to you she is communicating cesarean section, she is. However, she was not born by cesarean. It's just part of her story. During that time in her birth, the midwife had intervened repeatedly with the physician to prevent a cesarean. The little girl is sharing her perspective of the experience. It turns out her episodic intense frustration at her mother and crying was about her experience during the three hours. She only needed to have it acknowledged, which is one of main needs of every human. It begins with the birth experience.


The baby whisperer:

A birth therapist tries to heal

the results of a traumatic delivery

Story by Pam Adams

Photographs by Leslie Renken

of Peoria Journal Star

October 10, 2003


Mika Showing Us What She Can Now Do

LouJanel Miranda helps Mika Carlton, 3, crawl out of a coffee table cabinet after asking to be shut inside to take a nap. Miranda says activities like this help Mika overcome her traumatic birth experience - Mika was stuck in the birth canal for more than four hours because she was not positioned correctly. Therapy has helped Mika get to this point. "Being locked in a dark cabinet is not something  a child who was stuck in the birth canal for four hours would ever ask for," Miranda said. Looking on is Mika's mother, Julie Carlton, and brother, Elijah, 9 months.


It's early afternoon, old friends and new visitors have been tramping through the house since before lunch, and Mika is at that point mothers of toddlers know all too well.


"I think it's time for a nap," Julie Carlton of Washington says softly, as her daughter, 3½-year-old Michaela, "Mika," pouts and flops on the living room floor, next to the coffee table.


Again, as mothers of toddlers know well, Mika stiffens her body before she answers with the one word toddlers know best: "No!"


The little girl lies there for a few seconds, next to the coffee table. Before her mother can say a word, she announces, "I'm climbing in, and I will not come out."


Mika fumbles with the latch-handled doors of the cabinet-style coffee table. This is where LouJanel Miranda steps in.


Miranda has been sitting on the floor, watching or, as she might say, "reading"   the encounter between mother and daughter. She moves closer and helps Mika open the door, speaking gently the whole time.


While most might see a cranky child resisting a nap, Miranda, a prenatal and birth therapist sometimes known as "the baby whisperer," sees a little girl trying to tell adults what it felt like when she was pushing her way out of the womb.


Prenatal therapy? Birth therapy? Babies trying to tell adults about traumatic experiences at birth? Miranda knows it sounds weird. She insists it's not. Babies are always trying to tell adults about the traumas of birth, she had said earlier, through their play, their actions, their illnesses. But adults, mainly through the new field of prenatal psychology, are just beginning to explore this language.


Meanwhile, she watches Mika closely, reading every action for clues.


"OK," Miranda tells her as she climbs inside the table. "I just want you to know I'm here to support you. Do you want me to lock it or just close it?"


Mika curls her body into the dark; Miranda closes the door. No one says a word for a long moment. Finally, Miranda asks, "How are you doing in there?"


"I'm just fine," comes the little voice from the bottom of the table. There's another long, silent moment. "OK, you can open it up now," Mika says.


Miranda never does anything without asking Mika's permission first. The two go back and forth as Miranda tries to figure out precisely which door Mika wants her to open. As it turns out, it's not the door closest to her head or the one near her feet, it's the tabletop.


Miranda looks confused until Mika's mother assures her the top lifts up. Mika climbs out and over the table, hands first. She runs to her mother for a hug. Then, she starts to tidy up the table top, lifting the heavy statue Miranda had removed to open it.


"Here, I'm going to put this back," she says, sounding in a much better mood than she had less than 10 minutes before when her mother mentioned "nap."


Carlton is amazed. Her children, Mika and 9-month-old Elijah, tend to do things around Miranda they wouldn't normally do, she explains later. "We've had that table I don't know how long, and this is the first time she ever decided to climb in and come out that way."


But Miranda is not surprised. Mika's decision is a small example of healing birth traumas through birth therapy, she says.


Babies whose delivery involves an extended time in the birth canal, as happened during Mika's birth, tend to have a difficult time being in closed spaces, Miranda says.


The space beneath the coffee table obviously symbolized the womb. Mika's decision to come out through the tabletop represented what Miranda would call releasing the trauma of being stuck in the birth canal for hours.


"We all have a biological impulse to start and finish birth," Miranda says. The process is interrupted far too often, she adds, by health professionals who are either unwilling or afraid to let the birth take its course without technology or drugs.


Prenatal and birth therapists work with babies and adults. "We go back, with a 2-month-old, a 4-month-old or a 40-year-old, and let their bodies show us how they wanted to do it."


Elijah Communicating

Even though he can't speak words yet, 9-month-old Elijah Carlton communicates through expressions, body language and noises. Miranda helps mothers recognize these forms of expression to better communicate with their babies and strengthen the parent-child bond.



'Peace on Earth Begins With Peace at Birth'

LouJanel Miranda discusses prenatal psychology

by Pam Adams of Peoria Journal Star

October 10, 2003


LouJanel Miranda has a Web site,, with the slogan, "Peace on Earth Begins With Peace at Birth," and lengthy explanations on:


·         Traumatic birth experiences, from the use of epidurals, fetal monitors, forceps, induced labor and drugs to Caesarean sections, breech births, premature births or other birth complications.

·         Possible consequences of traumatic birth experiences, including colic in infants to attention-deficit disorder in older children to emotional problems in adulthood.

·         And, how prenatal and birth therapy helps parents and babies resolve birth issues, relieve anxiety and build better relationships.


The site also includes testimonials from parents pleased with Miranda's services.


Talk to her, read the site or talk to a few of the parents, and it's still difficult to understand the idea of therapy for experiences that occurred during, even before, birth.


"It's cutting edge," says Miranda, who can give her own lively explanations of birth therapy and its evolution out of little-known science relating to cellular memory, cranial-sacral therapy and, most of all, the emerging field of pre- and perinatal psychology.


For the record, the American Psychology Association doesn't have an official position on prenatal psychology. The APA doesn't take positions on specific therapies unless they become controversial, according to a spokesperson.


"It's hard to explain. The concept makes sense, but it's hard to grasp without going through it and seeing the outcome," says Julie Carlton of Washington, whose two young children are currently in birth therapy with Miranda.


But the beginning of understanding goes back to one of the basic tenets of birth therapy.


"Everyone is talking about talking to babies in the womb, reading to babies in the womb. Part of my work is promoting that babies are conscious in the womb," Miranda says.


Not only are they conscious, she adds, but they also remember what happened at birth. Though Miranda struggles with the implications this theory has on controversial issues such as abortion, she is passionate about the effect that healing birth traumas can have on individuals and societies. Go back to the slogan on her Web site: "Peace on Earth Begins With Peace at Birth."


Prenatal memory, the memory of birth, she says, becomes imprinted on the central nervous system as a baby develops. In turn, those memories can traumatically affect a person throughout life. Healing physical and emotional problems, through birth therapy, can begin at any age, she says, but she prefers working with infants.


Miranda, 46, of Peoria notices birth trauma through body movements wherever she goes. For instance, children born by Caesarean section are always popping up and out of things: They have a difficult time with tunnels. Babies whose mothers delivered with epidural anesthesia tend to do the "army crawl."


The body is geography, she says, and healing through birth therapy involves learning to read the body as much as learning to understand how babies communicate.


"Babies communicate all the time; adults just don't listen."


Miranda, the mother of four, might say there are not accidents but a series of connected coincidences that led her to birth therapy.


She holds a master's degree in counseling. After years of working in counseling and social work, she became increasingly frustrated with the bureaucracy of social service agencies. At the same time, she kept noticing clients who would get to a certain stage, then stop making progress.


Having always been interested in motherhood and birth, she became a doula, or birth coach, then studied infant massage. Her infant massage instructor introduced her to birth therapy. Now she's re-taking and updating science classes she took years ago with plans to return to nursing school and eventually work in hospitals, helping deliver babies.


Letter to the Peoria Journal Star Editor

by Dr. Curtis Dunkel

October 16, 2003


There is no scientific support for the therapy described in "The baby whisperer" (Oct. 10, Journal Star). What is the evidence for the outlandish claims that emotional trauma at birth is related to colic, attention deficit disorder and emotional problems in adults, or that the form of therapy described in the article addresses these problems?


In reviewing Ms. Miranda's stance, it doesn't take long to identify problems. A visit to her website reveals faulty reasoning. On the first page there is a series of bullet points. The first two include the statements that babies are fully conscious and remember everything from conception on, and that conception, gestation and birth experiences are imprinted on the central nervous system.


At conception the life form is a single cell and does not have a central nervous system. How can it form memories? How can memories be imprinted on something that does not yet exist?


It's important to be a knowledgeable consumer of psychological services and to recognize the therapy described by Miranda is not supported by science or logic.


My Response to Dr. Curtis Dunkel's Letter to the Editor

by LouJanel Miranda, MA


As the professional person featured in the Journal Star article entitled “The baby whisperer,” (Oct. 10, 2003) and the subject of the letter to the editor by Dr. Curtis Dunkel (Oct. 16, 2003), I appreciate the opportunity to respond to questions about the scientific support for and the logic of my work. I am sure others have similar questions and I am always happy to clarify and address questions about my work. At the end I will provide clarification to correct a misrepresentation about one of the two children featured in the article.


Addressing the writer’s questions and the subject of scientific support for my work is not done quickly and so this is rather lengthy. I hope you can print it in its entirety, as the personal opinions presented by Dr. Dunkel are outdated and unfounded. Parents and community (especially who care for and provide services for our babies and children) deserve the opportunity to know the extent and variety of the scientific evidence that supports my work.


At the end of this letter is a list of research sources that support my work and that provide scientific understanding that babies are fully present from conception on, that trauma at any time from conception through birth is imprinted on the nervous system — joyful and traumatic, and that who we are in our adult life is related to our prenatal and birth experiences. I provide this list of the relevant research that supports my work so that one can read, research, and decide for one’s self about the scientific validity and the integrity of my work. I have published a more detailed response to Dr. Dunkel’s letter to the editor on my website:


On my website one can also read stories from parents about how their child’s lives have been changed with the therapy, particularly children diagnosed with colic and on medication that was not working.


The most well-known and respected sources I can offer are two recent back-to-back cover stories of TIME Magazine presenting new brain research and its application. The July 31, 2003 issue, “The New Science of Dyslexia. Why some children struggle so much with reading used to be a mystery. Now researchers know what’s wrong—and what to do about it.”  The following week the August 7, cover story was, “Just Say Om: Scientists study it. Doctors recommend it. Millions for Americans — many of whom don’t even own crystals--practice it everyday. Why? Because meditation works.”  Two quotes from that issue are: “Not only do studies show that meditation is boosting their immune system, but brain scans suggest that it may be REWIRING their brains to reduce stress. Meanwhile, we nonbelievers are becoming the minority.” And, “It is also being used to restore balance in the face of such psychiatric disturbances as depression, hyperactivity and attention-deficit disorder (ADD).” Both of these articles use the same new science that is the basis for my teacher Dr. Ray Castellino’s Prenatal and Birth Therapy, and the research of cellular biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton, whose work is verifying consciousness at conception. One only has to have no fear and a “faith in science” to alter one’s understanding when presented with new scientific information.


I would like to share with the readers my experience in the pre and perinatal psychology field. Of these researchers I identify here, I have had professional contact with Dr. Emerson, Dr. Chamberlain, and Dr. Lipton. I am currently a student of Dr. Castellino.


Dr. David Chamberlain and Dr. William Emerson are both psychologists in the pre and perinatal field and have done research over a thirty-year span. Dr. Emerson is a pioneer in how birth trauma creates psychological dynamics and he has done a twenty some year longitudinal study. He and Dr. Raymond Castellino identified five stages of birth from the baby’s perception that creates a sequence that is replayed in every aspect of life. Prenatal and Birth Therapy is about repatterning, or rewiring the central nervous system (brain) as the TIME source identifies as being shown scientifically to be possible. Dr. Lipton’s cellular work in consciousness explains how this is possible.


Dr. Castellino has been studying, synthesizing, and integrating cranial osteopathy, brain research, chiropractic medicine, pre and perinatal psychological, and cellular biology research for over twenty years. He has studied the ten-year cyclical patterns in obstetric medicine over the past sixty years and how this relates to patterns of personal dysfunctions. He is internationally known for his pioneering work in the application of the current scientific research into the therapeutic practice of Prenatal and Birth Therapy that I do. I have been studying directly with Dr. Castellino for two years at the BEBA Research Institute in Santa Barbara, CA.


I have also studied with Dr. David Chamberlain who wrote, “The Mind of Your Newborn Baby” which is now published in five languages. He is co-founder of the US Association of Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health. His new book on the consciousness of babies from conception and in the womb is due out in 2004. I have also received professional supervision with Mr. Michael Trout, Director of the Infant-Parent Institute in Champaign, IL. He is the past president of the Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health.


Finally, I want to also take this opportunity to clarify a few mistakes in the original article. First, related to the issue of science, I would like to correct a quote from the article. It said that I referred to “the body is our geography.” I actually refer to the body as our “biography,” a concept from “Anatomy of the Spirit” by Caroline Myss, a very well known author and speaker in the field of mind-body connection, consciousness, and alternative healing.


Lastly, I would like to clarify the work that was presented in the article, especially in light of Dr. Dunkel’s uninformed beliefs about science and his unwarranted concluding warning to the public.


The baby boy featured in the article was mistakenly identified as having a traumatic birth. He was actually born during a planned homebirth with a Certified Nurse Midwife in water. He weighed 11# 2 oz.; his mother had no drugs, and no tearing.  Not only was his birth not traumatic, it was peaceful. Unfortunately, three days after he was born he was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect that was undetected despite his mother's two prenatal ultrasounds. He underwent two open-heart surgeries in the first ten days of life. Because of his peaceful, non-traumatic birth, he was better able to manage the experiences of heart surgery and PICU in ways that amazed even his medical providers. He did not have to recover from a traumatic birth AND surgery so he was able to put all of his energy towards healing his heart and his progress was nothing short of amazing! I have worked with him and his family on the traumatic experiences after birth, not his birth. His birth is an example of how the LACK of stress, trauma, and medical interventions in birth contributes to the ability to meet life differently. His therapy and story are featured on my website.


I was actually working with the younger boy during the photo session for the article. There is an excellent picture of the process working with him. He has his arm up and is looking at the camera. The writer and the photographer hoped for more photos, but he was distracted by the visitors and by the camera. Children are respected in my work and he was not pushed to do anything else. His sister happily obliged and she began to show them the result of her healing her birth -- what she can do now that she could not do before. Because she used a table with doors, I want to clarify that my work does not involve me directing the child in anyway or in using any objects, other than toys, unless the child directs us. The feeling of safety is usually an issue with most babies, and the child directing and feeling safe is a fundamental part of the work. The young girl chose to use the table to show her progress to the visitors. This was after several sessions where she was able to communicate with each of us present how terrified, angry, and in pain she was while stuck in the birth canal for four hours. 


I appreciate this opportunity to answer the questions raised in the letter to the editor and to further share this amazing work with the community.


Janel Miranda, MA

Prenatal and Birth Therapist


Research Sources That Support My Work:

Castellino, Raymond.  “The Polarity Therapy Paradigm Regarding Pre-conception, Prenatal and Birth Imprinting.”  Available through and he is currently writing about his work.

Chamberlain, David. “Mind of Your Newborn Baby” (1975)

Kopp, Claire B and Kaler, Sandra R. “Risk in Infancy: Origins and Implications, American Psychologist.” 44(2), 2/89, p224-230. This article focuses on biological risks that can adversely influence development during infancy and later. In the first part of the article, the origins of risks and their potential consequences are discussed relative to prepregnancy, prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal periods.

Emerson, William. “Birth Trauma: the Psychological Effects of Obstetrical Interventions,” 1997 and “Collected Works II: Pre and Perinatal Regression Therapy,” 2000. Available at

Lipton, Bruce. “The Biology of Belief.”  2001. Available at This article has an extensive list of basic science resources.

Lipton, Bruce. “Nature, Nurture, and Human Development." 2001.

Lipton, Bruce. “Insight into Cellular “Consciousness” Bridges, 2001 Vol 12(1):5). He says, “…it is also perceived by a majority of scientists that the human mind and consciousness are ‘encoded’ in the molecules of the nervous system. This in turn promotes the concept that the emergence of consciousness reflects the ‘ghost in the machine.’

Myss, Caroline. "Anatomy of the Spirit."

Perry, Bruce D. "Incubated in Terror, Incubated in Terror: Neurodevelopmental Factors in the 'Cycle of Violence' In: Children, Youth and Violence: The Search for Solutions" (J Osofsky, Ed.). Guilford Press, New York, pp 124-148.  1997.

Perry, Bruce D. "Violence and Childhood: How Persisting Fear Can Alter the Developing Child's Brain." Citation: Perry, B.D. (2001b). Bruce Perry discusses five neural systems involved in regulating a child's response to threat: the Reticular Activating System, Locus Coeruleus, Hippocampus, Amygdala, and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis, and then describes the clinical presentation and altered neurobiology of children exposed to violence. Heartrate data and gender differences are presented from children at the Branch Davidian's Ranch Apocalypse compound. Includes about 70 references, 3 figures and 2 tables.

Perry, Bruce D. "The neurodevelopmental impact of violence in childhood. In Schetky D & Benedek, E. (Eds.). "Textbook of child and adolescent forensic psychiatry." Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press, Inc. (pp. 221-238).

Perry, Bruce D. "Childhood Trauma, the Neurobiology of Adaptation, and Use-Dependent Development of the Brain:  How States become Traits." Infant Mental Health Journal, 16(4), 271-291. Bruce Perry and his colleagues argue that infants and young children may be more vulnerable to traumas than adults -- that they are not resilient, but malleable. They consider neurobiological consequences of repeated dissociative or hyperarousal responses on developing brain organization, and conclude that the more plastic developing brain may be more vulnerable to disruptions related to these responses. Evolutionary advantages of gender differences in responses to trauma (hyperarousal by males; dissociation in females) are considered briefly, and clinical implications are discussed. Includes about 70 references.

Pert, Candace. "Molecules of Emotion." She is the former NIH researcher who discovered the receptor site for the AIDS virus.

Prescott, J.W. "Only More Mother-Infant Bonding Can Prevent Cycles of Violence". Cerebrum 3(1): 8-9 & 124, Winter 2001.

Porges, Stephen W. "Emotion:  An Evolutionary By-Product of the Neural Regulation of the Autonomic Nervous System." Paper to be published in C. S. Carter, B. Kirkpatrick, & I.I. Lederhendler (eds.),  "The Integrative Neurobiology of Affiliation, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences."

Shore, Allan. "The Effects of a Secure Attachment Relationship on Right Brain Development. Affect Regulation, and Infant Mental Health." Infant Journal of Mental Health, 2001, 22, 7-66.

Shore, Allan. "The Effects of Early Relational Trauma on Right Brain Development, Affect Regulation, and Infant Mental Health."  Infant Journal of Mental Health, 2001, 22, 201-269.

Shore, Allan. "Dysregulation of the Right Brain: A Fundamental Mechanism of Traumatic Attachment and the Psychoapathogensis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 36, 9-30.

Siegel, Daniel and Hartzell, Mary. "Parenting From the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive." An excellent resource for understanding the brain functioning and the new brain research. In this book he focuses on young children and does not discuss the experiences of prenatal and birth as significant; however, each chapter ends with a "Spotlight on Science" section that provides the science that verifies and supports the prenatal work of Dr. Castellino.

Teicher, Martin.  "Wounds That Time Won't Heal: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse." Fall, 2000s. This in important contribution to the growing literature on the structural and functional brain abnormalities associated with child abuse and neglect.

    A Baby's Birth            - is a continuum of biological development that begins before conception and completes at the mother's breast, in the arms of the father.


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  When you were born,      you cried and the world rejoiced; live your life so    that when you die, the    world cries and you rejoice.

— Cherokee Saying





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