Did you know that a great part of how you experience your life is greatly influenced by the period just before conception until your birthday? While you were marinating in your mother’s amniotic fluid, you tasted the spectrum of life’s emotions (through your mother), and it’s this experience that has shaped you as an individual. Prenatal care during pregnancy plays a dominant role in molding the physical and emotional wellbeing of the baby. 

This Mother’s Day month, Kidskintha, in association with MyChildFirst, has put together a four-part series showcasing every essence of motherhood. 

In this first of our 4-part series of celebrating mothers, Divya Deswal, the co-founder of MyChildFirst, takes us on an eye-opening journey where she shows us the world through the eyes of the unborn child and the importance of prenatal care. She delves into forever awe-inspiring topics such as the embryo’s journey, its active state of consciousness, birth imprints, the meaning of a positive environment, its importance in pregnancy, and techniques of connecting with the baby. 

We aim to empower all mothers with this power-packed session so no mom ever feels alone through the momentous journey of childbearing. 

Here are some highlights of the talk.  (We recommend listening to the full talk on prenatal care and well-being)

At what age do babies in utero start responding to outside stimuli?

Research now states that babies are conscious, sentient beings even before conception. A baby in the womb is aware of his surroundings from the very beginning. Know more…

Studies conducted on near-death experiences show that in these situations, human beings have had an out-of-body experience. People recall conversations that have taken place outside the hospital room, conversations that they couldn’t have known about any other way.

Likewise, through regressions, people have spoken about their time of conception. They have even divulged details, such as the outfit the father had worn at the time of conception. 

Studies conducted to understand when babies are aware in the womb revealed that babies have a transcendental consciousness even before they are born. Babies make conscious choices from the very cell that may have been the mother’s cell or the father’s sperm. Bruce Lipton says that the cell membrane is the brain of the cell. The cell can be exposed to stress hormones, nourishment, love hormones, etc. The cell membrane takes in the information and changes that genetic code, which means that the ‘gene expression’ is the understanding of the world outside. From the very beginning, we are constantly adapting to the outside world. 

Also Read: 14 Candid Parenting Quotes on Babies by The Mom Next Door

prenatal care
Welcoming Consciousness

Why does our tradition say that pregnant women should be sheltered from negativity? 

As per our traditions, pregnant women are expected to focus on prenatal care through all trimesters with good food and happy surroundings. Everyone around the pregnant woman is supposed to pay attention to the mother’s feelings to ensure that she feels that life is positive. 

Wendy Anne Mccarthy explains that babies in the womb have the same desires as you and me. They want to feel loved, wanted and cared for. This is why prenatal care should be given utmost importance.  

When the baby is in the womb, the mother’s world becomes the baby’s world. So…how beautiful do you want to make it? It all boils down to prenatal care!

Research now shows that babies who are born to mothers who are in positive environments have a larger frontal brain. As a result, their thinking brains are developed to optimal size. Babies born to mothers in abusive relationships or negative environments may not have high volume in their intellect area but have high hindbrains. Hindbrains refer to primal needs and safety. This happens because the child feels his world is unsafe. 

There is nothing wrong or right about this. Babies learn about the outside world through their mother, and through this experience, they are creating themselves to survive in a world that they have grown to understand through their mother’s biology. 

A positive environment doesn’t mean always keeping a happy environment. Happiness is this elusive grain of sand that every time you grab, it slips right off. 

What does it mean to create a ‘positive environment’?

A neutral environment is the absence of a negative environment, which is very essential. It is important to maintain neutrality versus the pursuit of happiness. Neutral is a resting place.  A positive environment means a place where you can find a neutral ground. A negative environment means there is constant input which leads to unrest. 

As individuals, we face ups and downs in life. How we choose to deal with our situations is entirely up to us. If someone else can make you happy, then you have dismissed your own ability to be happy.

How can pregnant women maintain a positive environment during this pandemic?

At home, she should take all precautions. She can set up her own systems in her house that will act as layers of protection from the virus. This is the physical way of dealing with the current situation. 

When a pregnant woman feels anxious, her body chemistry changes, and there is a disconnect with the baby. Similarly, happy chemicals cross the placenta, and it gives the baby a bodily sensation of happiness. When she feels good, she is already connecting with the baby.

Also Read:15 Non-Negotiable, Everyday Tips of Self-Care For Moms

Talking to your baby is a part of prenatal care. How should you talk to your baby?

The expecting mom can talk to the baby and say, ‘I am very anxious, but it has nothing to do with you. I am handling it. Yes, you can hear my heartbeat increase, but I am handling it, so I will, put on my favorite song so that you and I can enjoy it.’  Talk to the baby slowly and start with, ‘let me tell you how I am feeling.’ If she simply slows down, the baby will give the mother the gift of connection and love. 

There is a lot that we can do to deal with these stressful times. We have to stop thinking about the part that is hurting and look at the health in the system. You can do things, such as own your feelings, differentiate with the baby ( this is the problem, but it has nothing to do with you), connect with the baby, show gratitude, and acknowledge the problem instead of dismissing it. 

How does the work stress of a pregnant woman affect the unborn child?

The unborn baby can distinguish what is personal and what isn’t… 

Not everything that is important to the mother is important to the baby. A study shows that the babies of women who have high-stress jobs can distinguish that this stress is not personal and has nothing to do with them. It is like the baby is saying, ‘I know this is mamma’s stress and her job, so it doesn’t affect me.’ On the contrary, when women are stressed because of financial, emotional, and personal relationships, their babies are born premature and have low birth weight.

This is a very sophisticated distinction that the baby in the womb can independently make.

Does the baby in the womb remember certain incidents that the mother has gone through during pregnancy? How does it affect the child once (s)he is born?

Prenatal Care
Remembering Our Home

What happens early on in the womb stays with you as an imprint for the rest of your life. Before the brain structure for memory is formed (which is formed much later), the baby in the womb takes in the information. This information is stored in his cell, behavior, brain wiring, and body postures. These tell the stories of the baby’s experiences in the womb.

Dr. William Emerson is a pioneer in pre and perinatal work, and in a workshop, he once said that when someone walks in the door for therapy, just by looking at him, I can tell how his parents received the news of the baby’s arrival. (Was the announcement of the pregnancy joyous or rejected)

The baby’s spine is frozen in a particular shape (which is true for that age of the fetus or embryo) with the shock of what the parent has felt. This is how far back we carry an imprint. Every time the child feels rejection, it brings back that experience. That is why differentiation is an excellent skill of prenatal care. It gives the baby has context to his experience.

Why is talking to the unborn child important?

When the mother is talking to the baby, firstly, she will slow down. It’s called parentese. “Parentese” is a particular way of talking to your children, which involves slowing down your speech, speaking in a higher pitch, and giving pauses for them to respond.

Just the act of connecting to the baby and differentiating (telling the baby that whatever negative thing I am dealing with it has nothing to do with you) will change body systems, whether auditory, tactile, heartbeat, or brain waves, or body temperatures. The baby feels all of this as an imprint.  That is why differentiation is a very good skill because the baby has context to his experience.

Mothers must start believing in themselves… 

Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers weren’t educated women, but they were fabulous mothers. They had the wisdom, and now we have outsourced that wisdom to “experts.” Imagine the feeling when you believe that you know your unborn child!

Remember, the baby is a conscious being, and he has chosen you as the mother just the way you are. Work on being the best version of yourself because there is no such thing as the best mother. You are the only mother your child has. This baby is giving you a chance to better yourself. Did you know that women’s brains get rewired every time they get pregnant?

What is the spiritual contract between the parent and the child?

The making of an independent child

There is a spiritual contract between the parent and child – the child brings joy to the parents, and the parents, in return, promise to give the child a start in life. 

When we choose to make our young children independent, we start to impose our expectations on the child whose body and brain aren’t ready to do it. Imagine what the child feels and goes through at that moment?

The child has two choices: one is to think his parents are bad, and the second, the baby will think he is not good enough. The second one is a safer option for them. When they start to take on the burden of pleasing the parents, it becomes too much for their nervous system.

prenatal care
Primal Health

What is a tantrum?

When the child is throwing a tantrum, he is trying to communicate that he cannot deal with what is happening around him. In moments like these, the child needs the parent to understand him and help him overcome the struggle point. Instead, parents only want to discipline the child. Then the child feels that he has to repress his tantrum so that the parent is not uncomfortable. We are looking at the whole picture of children upside down.

What should parents do?

We understand the physical needs of the children. We don’t understand the behavioral requirement such as sensitivity, creativity, learning, dance, music, expression, and love. Let’s try to understand what the behavior is trying to tell us. Show your child that he is not alone, he matters, and he has a loving, supportive family to take care of him.

When they have received that love, they will be able to pass it on to their children. And it all starts with prenatal care.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

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Saniya Nair

Saniya Seth Nair is a finance graduate and has worked as a content writer and sub-editor with leading publications. With a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old at home, she is soaked in motherhood in all its glory! She unravels the world of parenting with absolute hands-on experience and pens down its stardom and dust and everything in-between.

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