Maternal Thoughts & Emotions during Pregnancy

Do a mother's thoughts and feelings during pregnancy affect the personality of her child later in life? Cross-cultural perspectives weigh in...

Does a pregnant mother function like a photographic camera who records intense emotions — positive and negative — on the fetus?

A diversity of spiritual teachings recognize that the time before birth is crucial for the unborn child.

Thus they advise that a pregnant mother watch her thoughts, emotions, food, behavior, and lifestyle for the sake of her unborn child.

Unborn Babies Listen to a Mother’s Thoughts: Cross-Cultural Reports:

The pregnant woman’s thoughts are the mental food influencing the body, mind, and capabilities of the fetus. Evidence for the theory that an expectant mother impresses upon the embryo whatever she takes in through her five senses comes from a range of Western thinkers.

Hippocrates and Serenus — What a mother is thinking can transmute the fetus in different ways.

Leonardo da Vinci — The things desired by the mother are often found impressed on parts of the child who the mother carried at the time of the desire. . . . one and the same soul governs the two bodies, and the same body nourished both.

Paracelsus — An infant in the mother’s womb is as much in the hands and under the will of the mother as clay in the hands of the potter, who from it makes whatever pleases him. Any strong desire, appetite or inclination can be impressed upon the fetus.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox — It is not so much what you are doing, my dear madame, before your child is born, as what you are thinking which molds its character. Watch yourself that you do not indulge in disagreeable moods. Forgive your enemies and wish them well. Cast out bitterness and anger.

You are no longer your own mistress; remember, you belong to your unborn child.

Avoid thinking of anyone you do not like, or dwelling on disagreeable or annoying events. When depression moods come, get out in the open air and do deep breathing exercises.

Helen P. Blavatsky — A pregnant woman is physically and mentally in a highly impressible state. . . . her intellectual faculties are weakened and she is affected to an unusual degree by the most trifling events. Her pores are opened, and she exudes a peculiar cutaneous perspiration; she seems to be in a receptive condition for all the influences of nature. Her illnesses are imparted to the child and often the child absorbs them entirely to itself; her pains and pleasure react upon the child’s temperament as well as its health; great men proverbially have great mothers, and vice versa.

Corinne Heline — Imagination, the image-building principle, is particularly active in a woman, and increases her responsibility as a mother during the prenatal periods of her offspring.

Torkom Saraydarian — A mother is privileged to have a female body through which she can build those characteristics and give those inspirations, which sustain that human being on the path of righteousness, beauty, creativity and goodness. A mother is privileged to have a female body through which she has the power to create the future of humanity.

Harold W. Percival — Pregnant women with strong desires or holding tenaciously to a thought have shown that strange results may sometimes be produced by the invisible and psychic influences prevailing on the form plane during fetal development.

Marks have been made on the body of the child, due to a picture held in the thoughts of its mother and then built out by angels.

Strange appetites have been impressed, fierce desires engendered and peculiar tendencies implanted in the child; or birth was accelerated or retarded in consequence of some thought of its mother. The mother often supposes that she caused the child’s birthmarks or tendencies, in  reality, she has been impelled to act by the child’s own past [previous life] thoughts. She has not interfered with the child’s destiny.

Her actions are the instrument through which her child receives just payment for a similar act done to another in a prior life. Thus a couple who is pure in mind and body will attract a soul whose destiny requires such conditions.

The child’s destiny is determined prior to conception.

The mother cannot change the character and tendencies of the child once conception takes place. The utmost that she can do is to interrupt or postpone their expression. Nonetheless, the pregnant mother should hold herself to a pure life and think on lofty subjects, thereby avoiding improper thoughts.

Eastern cultures acknowledge the pregnant mother’s influence on the child’s future.

Sri Lanka — The fetus is sensitive to temperature changes in the mother’s blood. If she becomes angry, her blood temperature rises. The baby may then change position in the womb to avoid subsequent discomfort. Due to the small space, however, the baby becomes cramped or uncomfortable. This may impair the baby’s formation resulting in a crippled or handicapped child at birth. Fear or constant anxiety about family members, especially her husband, also change the temperature of the pregnant mother’s blood causing it to be perpetually cold. Thus the baby’s circulation is retarded causing a possible hole in the child’s heart.

India (Ayurveda) — A pregnant woman who experiences verbal abuse and physical assault will birth an epileptic child. If she experiences constant grief, her child will be fearful, thin and short-lived. If she always thinks ill of others, she will birth an envious child who is subjugated to women. If she is angry, her child will be fierce, deceitful and jealous.

China — The pregnant woman must look at proper colors and listen to proper sounds. If she fails to keep her heart free from wild fancies and fears of wickedness at the moment her child receives the vitalizing fluid, the child will be violent, undisciplined, unsightly and immoral.

China — History records that the psychological nature of Tan Chu, the unworthy son of Emperor Yao and Shang Chun, the degenerate son of Emperor Shun, were formed while still in the womb.

India — The fetus develops emotions after three to four months, and can feel mother’s positive or negative emotions. These emotions make a print on the unborn child’s mind. It may create a permanent tendency in the child to behave in a certain way.

Various indigenous peoples report that the effect may leave a permanent mark on the unborn child if it is strong enough and occurs at a vulnerable period in the baby’s development.

Fox — The unborn child understands what his mother is saying, and will abandon her via miscarriage if she is quarrelsome.

Lummi — Unborn child hears what his future relatives are saying and knows what they are think. He leaves them before birth if they have negative thoughts.

Hawaii — If the parents are active during the pregnancy and interested in their work, the baby will be industrious, and conversely if they are lazy.

Egypt — When a pregnant woman is upset, the child is unhappy and makes the mother physically ill. Spontaneous abortion may even occur.

Bella Coola — Even the pregnant woman’s excitement from being startled by a small animal or reptile may be sufficient to damage the fetus.

Yuman — Expectant mothers are advised: “Don’t take something too much into your heart.”

Sanpoil and Nespelem — If the husband or wife expresses sarcasm or an arrogant retort during the wife’s pregnancy, the child becomes ill-tempered and impudent. If the husband laughs at elderly or crippled people, the baby will be born crippled. The pregnant woman never incurs someone’s ill will or insults anyone lest they can inflict misfortune upon her unborn child.

Nepal — If a pregnant woman fights or quarrels, the baby will come out fighting in childbirth, causing much pain. Later, the baby will grow up always fighting and arguing. For that reason, pregnant women must stay away from village gossip.

Niger Ibo — Combatant activity puts a pregnant woman at risk of physical injury, and shows contempt for life — a sort of “don’t care-whether-the-child-dies-or-not” attitude. Therefore, a woman with child must be restrained from quarrels and arguments.

What do you think?  Do a mother’s thoughts and feelings affect the child she’s carrying?


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