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What Babies Learn During Pregnancy

Posted October 6th, 2012 in Babies, Birth Doula in Fresno, Fresno birth, Fresno Birth Doula, Pregnancy by Kathryn DiPalma

What Babies Learn During Pregnancy …..Information YOU need to share with pregnant women!

You are your child’s first teacher. From the moment of conception, babies are enrolled in the university of life. Whether mothers are aware of it or not, every experience they have during pregnancy is designed to teach their babies about the world they will soon encounter. Each baby is born into a unique environment, and they have approximately nine months to prepare for this new journey. This makes what babies learn during pregnancy the foundation of all future learning. All of the information they receive from their mother in the womb serves as a special lesson plan for adapting to their new world. Mothers are teaching their babies all that they know about their world throughout pregnancy, via special messenger molecules sent through the placenta. Mothers and babies are exchanging knowledge about one another during each and every moment of pregnancy. This is the basis for the bond between a mother and her baby and is the beginning of the school of life.

Contrary to popular belief, the mother baby bond begins well before birth. This bond starts early in pregnancy and is made possible because the placenta acts as a highly advanced communication device between the two. The placenta allows messenger molecules to flow back and forth between mother and baby. In fact, there are specific messenger molecules known as neuropeptides, which communicate a mother’s feelings to her baby. When a mother experiences an emotion or feeling, these messenger molecules pulse through her body. These molecules are designed to communicate information to the mother’s body systems, but they also communicate to the baby. For example, if a mother feels anxiety or stress, her heart rate increases, her adrenaline spikes and she moves into a state of fight or flight. Her body begins producing cortisol, the stress hormone. When mothers have stress during pregnancy, babies are stressed, too. Chronic stress in pregnancy can lead to health problems in the mother, such as preterm delivery, high blood pressure and other medical issues. Chronic stress in pregnancy can lead to a baby who cries more, sleeps less, and is anxious. This sets the stage for a difficult start as a family for everyone involved.

On a positive note, when a mother has joyful, loving, and compassionate emotions and thoughts, these messages are also sent to her baby. These emotions not only help contribute to a healthier womb environment, they actually lead to better brain development for babies. Happy, healthy pregnancies lead to happy, healthy families.

This unique and remarkable communication between a mother and baby is how the baby’s emotional intelligence is created. He experiences the world of emotions through his mother. He begins to become aware of his mother’s world based on how she feels about her world. When a mother has a loving thought, her baby experiences love. When she feels joyful, he encounters joy. When she is angry, he perceives anger. It is an amazing process designed to give babies the opportunity to experience a kaleidoscope of emotions and develop a healthy emotional life that matches the emotional tone of his new family. This emotional tone is his way preparing for and coping with his world, known as the EQ, or emotional quotient. New research has shown that a healthy EQ is much more important for long-term happiness throughout a lifetime than even a high IQ.

The realization that they are truly their child’s first teacher can empower mothers to make better choices. These choices can include practicing stress reduction techniques, developing healthier relationships, engaging in prenatal exercise, eating healthy foods and practicing conscious decision making. Mothers have the power to change the world when they consciously choose to teach their babies lessons of love during pregnancy. After all, peace on earth begins before birth and the womb is the first school all babies attend.

“At no other time in the life of your child do you have more power to influence who your child will be, both emotionally and physically, than during pregnancy and the first years of her life.” ~The Greatest Pregnancy Ever: The Keys to the MotherBaby Bond

References:

Wilson and Peters, Bruce Lipton, Thomas Verny, Candice Pert, Origins

By: Laurel Wilson and Tracy Wilson Peters

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