Birthowl’s natural childbirth


Prenatal Influences

from “The Secret Life of the Unborn Child”
by Thomas Verny, M.D. with John Kelly

… at one time or another nearly every expectant mother senses that she and her unborn child are reacting to one another’s feelings. …

  • The fetus can see, hear, experience, taste, and, on a primitive level, even learn in utero (that is, in the uterus — before birth). Most profoundly, he can feel — not with an adult’s sophistication, but feel nonetheless.
  • A corollary to this discovery is that what a child feels and perceives begins shaping his attitudes and expectations about himself. Whether he ultimately sees himself and, hence, acts as a happy or sad, aggressive or meek, secure or anxiety-ridden person depends, in part, on the messages he gets about himself in the womb.
  • The chief source of those shaping messages is the child’s mother. This does not mean every fleeting worry, doubt or anxiety a woman has rebounds on her child. What matters are deep persistent patterns of feeling. Chronic anxiety or a wrenching ambivalence about motherhood can leave a deep scar on an unborn child’s personality. On the other hand, such life-enhancing emotions as joy, elation and anticipation can contribute significantly to the emotional development of a healthy child.
  • New research is also beginning to focus much more on the father’s feelings. Until recently his emotions were disregarded. Our latest studies indicate that this view is dangerously wrong. They show that how a man feels about his wife and unborn child is one of the single most important factors in determining the success of a pregnancy. …

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