The secret world of the unborn child

Childhood experiences are not the only factors that can determine our destiny. A child’s life does not begin when it is born. Since we cannot see the infant before it is born (except through ultrasound machines), this does not mean that it is disconnected from the outside world. Although the unborn child lives in a world of its own, it is still most influenced by everything that happens around it, especially by the thoughts, feelings and actions of its parents. Studies have shown that a fetus can lead an active emotional life from the sixth month at the latest. It can feel and even see, hear, taste, experience and learn in the womb. The feelings he has during his stay in the womb largely depend on how he deals with the messages he receives mostly from the mother, but also from the father and the environment.

Bonding begins before birth

An anxious mother who worries constantly about making mistakes or suffers from other forms of emotional imbalance can leave a deep scar on the personality of the developing fetus. Likewise, a confident and confident mother gives him a deep sense of contentment and security. These or similar initial emotional imprints shape a person’s attitudes and expectations and can ultimately create a personality that they live out either as shyness, fear and aggression or as self-confidence, optimism and happiness. Contrary to popular belief but discovered by recent research, a father’s feelings towards his wife and unborn child play one of the most important roles in the success of a pregnancy. There is strong evidence that a father connecting with his child while they are still in the womb can make a huge emotional difference to their well-being. A newborn baby can recognize and respond emotionally to his father’s voice within the first hour or two after birth if the father spoke to the baby during pregnancy. For example, the soothing, familiar tone of his voice can stop the child’s crying and indicate that they are feeling protected and safe.

It is well known that a mother’s dietary habits can also affect the developing fetus. Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol have been shown to cause irreversible damage to a growing fetus. A series of precise experiments has shown that the thoughts, feelings and emotions of the parents (especially the mother) can have an even greater impact on the unborn child.

There is much speculation as to exactly when the unborn child begins to recognize and respond to these external stimuli, but that seems to be secondary. More importantly, human life begins in the womb and is shaped by all of its experiences during gestation (the nine months in the womb). Studies have shown that an unborn child’s heartbeat would accelerate every time its mother thought about smoking a cigarette. Without lighting or picking up a cigarette, the mother’s thought elicited an immediate adrenaline response from the fetus in anticipation of a dreaded drop in oxygen levels in his and his mother’s blood. This stress reaction made his heart beat faster. The mother’s desire to smoke can also be associated with a feeling of insecurity, nervousness and fear in her. As she translates these emotions into the appropriate chemical compounds in her brain, the same emotional responses are also triggered in the fetus. This situation can eventually predispose the unborn child to deep-seated nervousness and anxiety later in life.

Rhythms of Happiness

Maternal anxiety has been shown repeatedly to cause excessive fetal activity. Researchers were able to show that the most active fetuses would one day become the most anxious adolescents. They would become unusually shy and would isolate themselves from teachers, schoolmates, friendships, and all human contact. Adolescents are very likely to remain self-conscious and shy even into their thirties and into old age unless they find a way to correct the initial emotional imbalances from fetal life.

The rhythm and intonation of the mother’s voice also influence the unborn child. The fetus moves its body rhythm to harmonize with its mother’s unique speech rhythm. He also responds to sounds and tunes from a source other than his mother. Excited babies calm down when they hear soothing music like Vivaldi. Beethoven, on the other hand, has them kicking and moving more, as well as noises made by screaming parents. Pregnant musicians have even “taught” their fetuses complicated pieces of music. By a certain age, children could memorize the music without ever having heard it, except in the womb. Other children were found to repeat words or phrases that the mother had only used during pregnancy. A child grew up speaking a foreign language that the mother had used during her pregnancy while working abroad, but which she no longer spoke after the birth.

The maternal heartbeat is one of the most powerful means of keeping the growing fetus happy and attuned to the outside world. The steady rhythm of her heartbeat reassures him that everything is fine. He can “read” the mother’s emotional states through the changing rhythms of her heart. During pregnancy, the fetus perceives the comforting heartbeat of the mother as its main source of life, security, and love. The emotional value attached to the heartbeat was validated by a study in which a taped human heartbeat was played to a nursery filled with newborns. To the researchers’ astonishment, the babies exposed to the sounds of the heartbeat ate more, weighed more, slept more, breathed better, cried less, and were less sick than those who were deprived of the rhythmic sound of a heart. Of course, babies in natural settings would never be separated from their mothers after birth and would therefore continue to feel their mother’s heartbeat.

Sudden infant death syndrome is a phenomenon that occurs almost exclusively in babies who have been separated from their mothers after birth (another important risk factor is cigarette smoke around the babies). Such babies feel abandoned by their mothers and cannot sustain their vital functions without feeling and hearing their heartbeat. Most babies survive this dramatic separation from their mother, but can leave emotional scars that show up later in life as low self-esteem, weakness, and anxiety. In contrast, babies who stay with their mothers most of the time feel wanted and loved from the first moments of life. They are much less likely to have a reason to feel insecure as they get older. Their personalities will be friendly, confident, optimistic, and outgoing.

Mixed news

A fetus can be greatly affected by stressful events in the mother’s life. The resulting release of stress hormones can trigger emotional responses in the fetus that are similar to those experienced by the mother. However, if she feels unconditional love for her baby and believes that nothing else is as important to her as her growing child, then the baby will feel safe and protected. A large German study of 2,000 pregnant women concluded that the children born to mothers who were expecting a baby were much healthier, both at birth and afterwards, both mentally and physically, than those born to mothers who were expecting actually didn’t want a child. Another study, conducted at the University of Salzburg in Austria, produced even more amazing results. Psychological tests showed that the mothers who consciously and unconsciously wanted their unborn child had the easiest pregnancies, the uncomplicated births and the healthiest offspring – physically and mentally. The group of mothers who had negative attitudes toward their unborn children had the most serious medical complications during pregnancy and gave birth to the highest rates of preterm, low weight, and emotionally disturbed infants.

Many pregnant women give mixed messages to their babies. They often want a child, but do not want to give up their job. These unborn children are often apathetic and lethargic after birth. A woman’s relationship with her husband or partner is the second most important factor in determining child outcome. A recent study involving over 1,300 children and their families showed that women who feel trapped in a stormy marriage are 237 percent more likely to give birth to a mentally or physically abnormal child. Children who feel loved in the womb have every reason to give trust and love when they live in the outside world. They generally develop a deep bond with their parents and have little or no tendency to connect or become involved with problematic personalities during their lifetime.

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