The secret world of the fetus
Childhood experiences are not the only factors that can determine our destiny. The life of a child does not begin with his birth. The fact that we cannot see the baby before it is born (except through ultrasound machines) does not mean that it has no ties to the outside world. Although the fetus lives in a world of its own, everything that happens around it profoundly influences it, especially the thoughts, feelings and actions of its parents. Research has shown that a fetus can lead an emotionally active life beginning in the sixth month, if not earlier. He is able to feel and can even see, hear, taste, experience, and learn while in the womb. The feelings you have during your stay in the womb depend to a large extent on how you deal with the messages that you receive mostly from the mother, but also from the father and the environment.
Bonding begins before birth
A distraught mother, who is constantly preoccupied with making mistakes or suffering from other forms of emotional imbalance, can leave a deep scar on the personality of the developing fetus. Likewise, a confident and confident mother instills in you a deep sense of satisfaction and security. These or other similar initial emotional impressions shape a person’s attitudes and expectations and can ultimately create a personality that represents them as shyness, anxiety, and aggression, or self-confidence, optimism, and happiness. Contrary to common understanding, but discovered by recent research, the father’s feelings towards his wife and fetus play one of the most important roles in determining the success of a pregnancy. There is strong evidence that a father bonding with his child while he is still in the womb can make a huge emotional difference to his well-being. A newborn baby can recognize his father’s voice in the first one to two hours after birth and respond emotionally, as long as the father has been talking to the child during the pregnancy. The soothing and familiar tone of your voice, for example, can keep your child from crying, indicating that you feel protected and safe.
It is well known that a mother’s eating habits can also influence the growing fetus. Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol have been shown to cause irreversible damage to the growing fetus. A series of precise experiments has shown that the thoughts, feelings and emotions of the parents (particularly those of the mother) can exert an even greater influence on the fetus.
There is much speculation about when exactly the fetus begins to recognize and respond to these external stimuli, but this seems secondary. Most importantly, human life begins in the womb and is shaped by all of its experiences during the gestation period (the nine months in the womb). Studies have shown that a fetus’s heartbeat sped up every time its mother thought of smoking a cigarette. Without lighting or picking up a cigarette, the mother’s thought elicited an instantaneous adrenaline response from the fetus in anticipation of a dreaded decrease in oxygen in her and her mother’s blood. This stress response made her heart beat faster. The mother’s desire to smoke can also be related to a feeling of uncertainty, nervousness and fear within her. While you translate these emotions into corresponding chemical compounds in your brain, the same emotional responses are triggered in the fetus as well. This situation can eventually predispose the fetus to deep-seated nervousness and anxiety later in life.
Rhythms of happiness
Maternal anxiety emotions have been repeatedly shown to cause exaggerated fetal activity. The researchers were able to show that the most active fetuses would one day become the most anxious children. They would become abnormally shy and protect themselves from teachers, schoolmates, friendships, and all human contact. Young people will most likely remain inhibited and shy even into their thirties and into old age, unless they find a way to correct the initial emotional imbalance in the fetus.
The rhythms and tone of your mother’s voice also influence the fetus. The fetus moves its body rhythm to match its mother’s unique speech rhythms. It also responds to sounds and melodies from a source other than its mother. Agitated unborn children calm down when they listen to soothing music like Vivaldi. Beethoven, on the other hand, makes them kick and move more, much like the sounds parents make screaming. Pregnant musicians have even “taught” their fetuses intricate musical pieces. From a certain age, children were able to play music from memory without having heard it before, except while they were in the mother’s womb. Other children were found to repeat words or phrases that the mother had used only during pregnancy. A child grew up speaking a foreign language that the mother had used during her pregnancy while working in a foreign country, but had stopped using after giving birth.
The maternal heartbeat is one of the most powerful means of keeping the growing fetus happy and in tune with the outside world. The steady rhythm of your heartbeat assures you that all is well. It can “read” the emotional states of the mother through the changing rhythms of her heart. During the gestation period, the fetus feels the comforting maternal heartbeat as its main source of life, security and love. The emotional value associated with heartbeats was confirmed by a study that used a human heartbeat recorded on tape played in a nursery full of newborn babies. To the researchers’ amazement, babies who were exposed to the sounds of heartbeats ate more, weighed more, slept more, breathed better, cried less and were less ill than those who were deprived of the rhythmic sound of a heart. Of course, in natural settings, babies would never be separated from their mothers after birth and thus would continue to feel their mother’s heartbeat.
“Crib death” is a phenomenon that occurs almost only among babies who have been separated from their mothers after birth (another major risk factor is cigarette smoke in the baby’s environment). These babies feel abandoned by their mothers and cannot maintain their vital functions without feeling and hearing their heartbeat. Most babies survive this dramatic measure of separation from their mother, but they can be left with emotional scars that manifest as low self-esteem, weakness, and anxiety later in life. 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 when they grow up. Their personalities will be friendly, confident, optimistic, and outgoing.
A fetus can be heavily influenced by stressful events that occur in the mother’s life. The resulting release of stress hormones can trigger emotional responses in the fetus similar to those experienced by the mother. However, if you have unconditional love for your baby and believe that nothing else is as important to her as her growing child, then the baby will feel safe and secure. A major German study of 2,000 pregnant women found that the children of mothers who looked forward to having a baby were much healthier, both mentally and physically, at birth and after, than those born to mothers who really did not want a child. Another study conducted at the University of Salzburg in Austria yielded results that are even more surprising. Psychological tests revealed that mothers who consciously and unconsciously desired their unborn children had the easiest pregnancies, the least complicated deliveries, and the healthiest offspring, physically and emotionally. The group of mothers who had a negative attitude towards their unborn children had the most serious medical complications during pregnancy and had the highest rate of premature, underweight and emotionally disturbed babies.
Many pregnant women transmit mixed messages to their babies. Often they would like to have a child, but do not want to give up their career. These unborn children are often listless and lethargic after birth. A woman’s relationship with her husband or partner is the second most influential factor in determining the outcome of the baby. A recent study involving more than 1,300 children and their families showed that women who feel trapped in a stormy marriage have a 237 percent increased risk of giving birth to a psychologically or physically abnormal child. Children who feel loved while in the womb have good reason to give confidence 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 affiliate with or become involved with problematic personalities during their lives.