IN UTERO Film And Filmmakers Attend Upcoming APPPAH Congress, Kindred Editor Moderates

IN UTERO Official Trailer (2015) from Kathleen Gyllenhaal on Vimeo.

Editor’s note: If you are a member of the media, a birth organization or birth blogger and would like to attend this film screening and discussion with the filmmakers at no charge, you can email Lisa Reagan at for further details on registering as press for the event.  The screening is a part of the upcoming APPPAH International Congress in Berkeley, California.  Read more below.

Read more about IN UTERO here, download the podcast interview and transcript with IN UTERO filmmaker, Kathleen Gyllenhaal, and Kindred’s editor, Lisa Reagan, here.  To learn more about APPPAH and birth psychology, download the interview with APPPAH president, Sandra Bardsley here, read about birth psychology on Kindred, and watch Kindred’s New Story video series on birth psychology here.

Dandelion Seeds Sharp

APPPAH, the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health,  is delighted to announce an exclusive screening of the forthcoming documentary, IN UTERO, followed by a panel discussion with filmmakers, Kathleen and Stephen Gyllenhaal, at our 19th International Congress. The film screening, panel discussion and audience Q&A will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at the Doubletree by Hilton, Berkeley Marina, Berkeley, California.

IN UTERO is a cinematic exploration of the sciences supporting birth psychology and humanity’s potential for personal and planetary healing.  The film features interviews with international researchers and scientists, including APPPAH co-founder, Thomas Verny, MD. The film’s world premier this summer at the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF, featured APPPAH’s president, Sandra Bardsley, and board member, Barbara Decker, as panelists for a sold out audience.

“APPPAH is excited to host a rare opportunity preview and interact with the film’s stars and producers,” said Sandra Bardsley, APPPAH’s president.  “The film is a fascinating and powerful 90 minute glimpse into the science supporting APPPAH’s 35 year-long understanding that ‘Womb Ecology Becomes World Ecology.’ The Gyllenhaals have crafted a consciousness-raising vehicle that is sure to ignite welcome discussions around the need for birth psychology education and awareness. ”

About The Filmmaker

“We look forward to sharing the film and discussing the emerging insights into birth psychology with APPPAH’s Congress attendees and press this December,” said IN UTERO’s filmmaker, Kathleen Gyllenhaal.  “APPPAH’s history and pioneering work has helped to make the insights presented throughout IN UTERO possible.  Together we look forward to getting the word out.”

Gyllenhaal says it was her foray into new motherhood that inspired her to create the film and her research into birth psychology that helped her to prepare for “resistance” to the film’s message. “Knowing what your mother went through, what her mother went through, what your father and his experiences were, have an effect on who you are, that does not jive that well with our sense of individuality, that we can make our own fate. So this new understanding can be very scary,” says Gyllenhaal.

“However, I feel that once we can really digest that information and accept it, then we would be free to discover who we really are and to forge our own paths. So on a personal level, I find this discovery very exciting, perhaps even liberating.  Because if we can really take this science in and then look at ourselves deeply, perhaps we can start to chip away the transmitted patterns and find who we can fully become, our true potential as individuals and communities.  That idea is what fueled me to work for years on this film while going through my own pregnancy and birth with my son.  This is our way of changing the world.”

Gyllenhaal’s former cinematic explorations include Beauty Mark, a social documentary on America’s obsession with body image, perfection and success, and Sita, a Girl from Jambu, an ethnographic drama about child sex trafficking in Nepal. She taught at the University of Colorado-Boulder, then Vassar College, where she obtained tenure.

IN UTERO’s producers include Stephen Gyllenhaal and Matthew Brady.  Gyllenhaal is a film and television director, writer and producer. He currently directs the Peabody Award winning series Rectify for the Sundance Channel and is slated to direct the upcoming Showtime drama Billions. Brady is an Emmy award-winning producer who founded MRB Productions in 2001. MRB produces content across all media channels and specializes in independent features, television shows, promos and commercials.

More About IN UTERO

On a groundbreaking and ambitious mission to investigate “How are we formed? Who are we? Why are we who we are?” IN UTERO weaves together disparate and dynamic fields of scientific research, expert interviews, insights from ancient and modern fairy tales – including Disney films, The Matrix and the superhero blockbuster film phenomenon – to reveal an emerging evolutionary and neurobiological truth: Womb Ecology Becomes World Ecology.

The film radically expands current parameters of academic inquiry by presenting multi-disciplinary research that collectively indicts modern mythologies surrounding mothers and babies as directly responsible for the deteriorating state of our world. As the film’s experts share, while it was 35 years ago that the initial pioneers of prenatal psychology pronounced babies were conscious beings, it is just now, today, that a curiosity into this science is beginning to be reflected in mainstream media (see a resource list here.

In addition to featuring APPPAH co-founder, Thomas Verny, MD, the documentary interviews Ludwig Janus, MD, a psychoanalysis instructor at the Psychoanalytic Training Institute and past-president of the International Society for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, ISPPM; best-selling author, Gabor Maté, MD; Rachel Yehuda, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and the Director of the Traumatic Stress Studies Division at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine; and more (see experts here).

“World ecology has to start with womb ecology,” says Verny in the film.  “We cannot have peace and good people in the world, without raising peaceful, good children. And that has to start at conception, not at birth. It’s our responsibility to make a better job of it than we have done in the past. There are too many children who are neglected, who are born and raised unloved. And unless this changes, the world is not going to change.”

“Human beings are affected by their environment as soon as they have an environment, and that means as soon as they are implanted in the womb,” says Maté. “People are conceiving, carrying and birthing children under increasingly stressful conditions.  Stress that affected one generation will be played out in the next generation.  When we see dysfunction in people, we’re actually seeing the imprint.”  Maté is author of When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress and  In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction. His forthcoming book is entitled Toxic Culture.

“When I was in school, we used to discuss ‘was it nature versus nurture?’  Nobody says that anymore,” says Yehuda. “We don’t have nature here and nurture there.  We have nature and nurture working together to form a new thing.”

About The 19th International Congress


The Congress theme is Birth and Society: How Birth Impacts Society and How Society Impacts Birth. Our lives are changing with the changes in how we deliver babies. As we explore the past, present, and future with the supportive surround of salt air, ocean breezes, majestic sights, and ambient sounds of the waves and rolling fog and peaking city light of San Francisco and Marin County, come and share the mission of how society effects birth and birth effects society.

The Congress keynote presenters will share the evolution of ethology as it relates to skills and techniques for birth and how all this impacts society which will impact birth. We encourage presenters and attendees in the fields of medicine, psychology, researchers, and the arts to attend along with psychologists, occupational and physical therapist, social workers, NICU staff, ob/gyn professionals, childbirth educators, doulas, pediatricians, early childhood educators, health advocates, professionals in somatic healing practices, and parents from all walks of life.

Register for the Congress here.

Members of the media, including bloggers, may register for the IN UTERO screening at no charge by emailing


APPPAH’s nonprofit mission is to educate professionals and the public, worldwide, that a baby’s experience of conception, pregnancy, and birth creates lifelong consequences for individuals, families, and society. As a result of scientific discoveries and continually emerging evidence, we know babies are conscious and sentient beings. Please consider joining and supporting APPPAH’s ongoing and pioneering work today.

The APPPAH PPNE 11 module course completes it’s first two year cycle this coming November with an expansion that includes Touch the Future Academy and a very successful live class component, Monday LIVE!  Students can now receive live lectures on the curriculum topics, including ethics, epigenetics, neuroscience, psychological theories and more.  Indepth interviews with community members, PPNE graduates, students, board members and more can be found on our new newsletter, Classwomb™ News.  Free tours of the classroom are offered the first Monday of the month.  To participate click here.

You may.also follow APPPAH through our e-newsletterJournal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, The Conscious Baby and our social media outlets on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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