We found a recent article by the Evergreen Psychotherapy Center, authored by Michael Orlans, quite interesting. Dr. Orlans, a certified master therapist and “Attachment Expert” for over 40 years with a considerable list of additional credentials, reports that new research advances our knowledge in the field of pre-natal psychology.
We have learned, for example, that an unborn child can actually become emotionally agitated the result of “a biochemical and neuro-hormonal dialogue” between a mother and her fetus. A study at the University of Miami found that even as early as month six, a fetus could hear and move in rhythm to its mother’s voice; responding favorably to its mother’s singing, or with anxiety and stress with a mother’s anger and yelling. Researches were able to observe a baby’s agitation and even cover their ears.
Dr. Orlans reports that research demonstrates that shortly after conception, a level of conscious exists in the embryo; that as the fetus develops, its subconscious mind stores information accumulated throughout the pregnancy to prepare it for the environment in which it is to be born. This supports the work of Thomas Verny, M.D., who reported in his book, “The Secret Life of the Unborn Child,” that what a child feels and perceives begins shaping his attitudes and expectations. Whether the child perceives himself as happy or sad, or wanted or unwanted, and the world as secure or anxiety provoking, depends, to some degree, the messages that are delivered through the environment in the womb.
Beginning around 20 weeks, the baby is able to feel its mother’s touch. Caressing and massaging one’s tummy and responding to the baby’s kicks is the start of a positive two-way communication. Speaking, reading, and singing to othe fetus provides a calming effect and promotes voice recognition. All such mindful practices, serve to reduce the mother’s and baby’s anxiety.