History, Origins and Evolution
In the early 1980, scientific and psychological studies on prenatal life started to be published. Each one explored a different aspect.
In France, some people who were sensitive to this important question thought that it would be useful to group together these separate works. This revealed a consistency which gave form to a new reality : that of a need for a natural prenatal education.
Because it can take 20 years for the work of researchers to reach professionals who would be willing to use the results in their work, and even longer for the information to reach the general public so that they could benefit from the knowledge in their daily lives, this group, (paediatricians, doctors, mid-wives, nurses, psychologists, teachers and parents) founded an Association to be bridge between research and the daily lives of future parents.
And so the first National Association for Prenatal Education “ANEP-France” was formed in November 1982.
In addition to many conferences, seminars, radio broadcasts, this Association organised:
3 International Symposiums:
- Two in 1986 and 1988 in the French provinces.
- One in 1990 at the Faculty of Medicine in Paris V University.
Similar Associations in Spain (1986), Greece (1988) Belgium, Norway and Portugal grew from these symposiums.
In 1991, there Associations federated, creating OMAEP, the World Organisation of Groups for Prenatal Education. These founder Associations were joined later by others founded in Germany, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Switzerland, Venezuela.
OMAEP’s annual seminars allowed the managers of these Associations to work, initially on prenatal education and to communicate the results. There were three main axes to this work:
- The knowledge to be shared.
- Knowledge on how to communicate the information efficiently.
- Work on their own personal development in order to bring the information across with total respect for the freedom of each individual’s conscience, choices, beliefs and culture.
Then their view of their work was broadened by putting the focus on the beneficial consequences of prenatal education, not only for the unborn child but also for the parents, the couple they form, the family they create, and by consequence, for society as a whole.
This group managed to bring about a collective awareness on the importance of prenatal education, by informing different groups of the public:
- Young people, parents and educators.
- Professionals working in Child-birth, health, welfare, and Associations working in these areas.
- Politicians at all levels.
- European and UN organisations.
In 2002, working through UNICEF, at the « General Assembly on Children » which was held at New York, OMAEP proposed that the following ideas should be brought into the International Convention on Children’s Rights:
« The duty of member states to ensure the protection of the prenatal child, through the mother who herself should be protected supported and recognised…
as well as the duty to inform the future mother and the future father of their role in respect of the the unborn child. The efficiency of this information would be optimised by bringing it to young people, girls and boys through their schooling. »
In February 2005, l’OMAEP received Special Consultative Status by the Social and Economic Committee of the United Nations in New York.
Representatives of l’OMAEP work with the headquarters at New York and in the Geneva office.
For the Future
An obvious point to bring to light : natural prenatal education is the ecology of bringing life into this world: conception, gestation, birth.
Planetary ecology has become necessary for the survival of humanity, the ecology of birth is no less essential. All is irrevocably linked to this.