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The Importance of the Pre-natal Period

Easy Steps to a Safer Pregnancy - View e-book or Download PDF - FREE!
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.

Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy

These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

This is from the cims list--

Building Healthy Babies 
The Importance of the Pre-natal Period

Pre-natal Learning Abilities

The fetus is naturally (and) uniquely adapted to receive the mother's voice with no artificial aids. It hears largely through the vibrations that travel through the mother's body. The fetus, because it is in the mother's body, receives these internal vibrations and, as such, is uniquely adapted to hear her voice.

Learning abilities start before birth because they have some important functions and we are now starting to uncover these. (There are) two reasons why I think it is probably quite crucial that the baby starts learning before birth. These are for recognition and attachment, and for breast-feeding.


The same process that flavours the amniotic fluid also flavours the mother's breast milk. Hence, if the mother eats garlic this can be found in both her amniotic fluid and her breast milk. I would suggest that one of the important functions of prenatal learning is to acquaint the infant with the mother's breast milk. It is very easy in today's society where there is availability of bottled milk to forget the importance of breast-feeding. However, when the mother-infant dyad was evolving, the new-born baby had no other than the mother's milk for nutrition. If the baby did not feed, it died. As simple as that, there was no other option. It had to take breast milk in order to survive. Therefore one would expect everything possible to be done to ensure that the baby actually ingests breast milk. One way of doing that is reducing the unfamiliarity of the substance. If breast milk is made a familiar substance, such as similar to the amniotic fluid which the baby has been happily swallowing for something in the order of 25 weeks, when the baby is put to the breast it may recognise this familiar substance and readily start to drink it Given the importance of ensuring that the baby feeds, it makes some sense to prime the individual to start feeding.

To examine this, mothers, 24 hours after birth, were asked to rate the difficulty of establishing breast-feeding from easy to very difficult. They were also asked to rate how different their diet was now compared to the last four weeks of pregnancy, whether there vas no change, little change or a major change in their diet. It was found that mothers who found it more difficult to establish breast-feeding had changed their diet more. Whereas mothers who kept to the same diet found it easier to establish breast-feeding. This suggests that familiarity with the flavour of breast milk makes it easier to establish breast-feeding.

[Prof. Peter G Hepper; Professor of Psychology at The Queen's University of Belfast and Director of the Fetal Behaviour Research Centre at The Queen's University and Royal Maternity Hospital, Belfast.]

Alan Challoner MA(Phil.) MChS

by the way--here's the cims address

This Web page is referenced from another page containing related information about Bonding and Birth Trauma


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