Bliss Before Birth
The Effects of a Mother’s Thoughts and Emotions on her Unborn Child
How can you best support your baby’s growth and development during your pregnancy? Do your thoughts and feelings affect him?
Pregnancy is a time of preparation, and a time of many changes, inside and out. Whether the circumstances around your pregnancy are joyful or difficult, it’s a good time to make a fresh start, and to open yourself to the new relationship you will have with your child, with yourself (especially if this is your first child), and with the world. Cultivating reverence for what is happening, and for who is to come, can be of immense value to you and your child. It often happens quite naturally that a feeling of profound awe wells up when we are confronted with the miracle of life. It comes when you go for a nature walk, when you think of the growing baby as you see beautiful things, as you look at artwork depicting mothers and children, when you sing lullabies to your baby, or when you think of your child as you make something for him.
In traditions of ancient India, China, the Arabian peninsula, and other cultures, pregnant women were surrounded with beautiful things and fine clothing. They were taught the arts of music, singing, and painting, and fed exquisite foods blessed by holy men. They were surrounded by music and were encouraged to think of goodness. This was believed to bring the unborn child talent and beauty.
In Russia and the ancient civilizations of Asia, concerts were organized for pregnant women and their unborn children. In ancient China and India, women drew birds and plants during pregnancy and sang beautiful, gentle songs to their unborn babies. In some countries, arguing with a pregnant woman was prohibited, and if an argument was inevitable, she was to have the last word. In other countries, the pregnant woman’s behavior was believed to affect the unborn baby, so they were to refrain from any cruelty or bad thoughts, and were to be protected from any trauma or shock.
It has long been thought, and studies now prove, that a mother’s emotional state and surroundings have a profound effect on the unborn child’s health and development, as do the mother’s thoughts towards the father, the pregnancy, and the child. Any stress or strong emotion in the mother creates a stress reaction in the growing baby, while soothing activities like singing calm the mother and her baby, increasing the blood flow to the child.
It is important that expectant mothers find ways to reduce stress and encourage a healthy and quiet inner life for themselves to counter the pressures of modern living. There may be wisdom in following the ancient traditions of the mother surrounding herself and filling her thoughts with goodness, calm, and beauty. The more loving and gentle you and those around you can be, and the more you and your baby’s father cherish one another, the better it will be for you and your baby.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #53.
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