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by Shirley King

The health and well-being of a woman during her nine months of pregnancy are extremely important in the health and well-being of her future child.
It is vital, for the sake of her unborn baby, that she eat well, take vitamins, attend regular prenatal visits with her doctor or midwife, and have appropriate physical exercise. She also needs to avoid drugs, caffeine, alcohol and cigarette smoke.

And yet, often overlooked in importance, is actively practicing a loving, nurturing, communicative relationships with one's newborn baby.

In his book The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, Dr. Thomas Verny writes that intra-uterine bonding doesn't just happen automatically - the woman must

consciously choose to nurture and cherish her unborn baby. This bonding before birth sets the stage, so to speak, for the bonding after birth.

In the past decade or two, more studies are showing that prenatal bonding, according to Verny, "to a great extent determines the future of the mother-child relationship." "Study after study shows happy, content women have bright outgoing infants." he writes. Verny's book is a must-read for every pregnant woman!

During her pregnancy, and especially during the last trimester, there are several things a woman can do to ensure that her child is receiving the greatest positive psychological benefit possible.

First, as much as she is able to, she needs to avoid negative thoughts and emotions. Maternal emotions such as anger, anxiety and fear generate a physiological response which the fetus also feels. These physical sensations are uncomfortable and disrupt the security and contentment he feels in the womb. An occasional upset is all right, it's long-term stress or negativity that must be avoided. Too much maternal negativity can predispose a baby to be colicky or unpleasant.

Second, along with avoiding negative emotions, she needs to avoid the hard beat of rock music. Rock music can set off kicking in the fetus. Babies are soothed with Vivaldi or Pachabel. A mother can make herself a cassette and listen to it often to soothe and calm her unborn baby. Many women then play it after the birth to help calm the baby.

Third, a pregnant woman can spend a time daily in prayer, meditation or repeating positive affirmations. An example: "My baby is happy, health, beautiful and smart." Whatever would be calming to herself would naturally be calming to her unborn baby.

Also, during this contemplative period each day, she can visualize herself holding a happy, health baby. She can see both parents smiling and joyous over the perfect and easy birth. She can feel the love and joy within herself over the miracle of her baby, and visualize the baby feeling and growing in this love. She can actually see baby smiling and feeling loved in her arms. She can speak directly those words of love she's feeling for her baby, and tell him often in many different ways that she loves him.

Pregnancy can be a stressful and/or joyful time in a woman's life. It is to her child's benefit, as well as to their future relationship, to focus on the love she has for her unborn baby. Joyous attention over the blessing of her child will help magnificently toward the health and well-being of her future child.

Read the next parenting article on glorious touch of a baby >>
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