When in womb your baby is well protected from the outside world. However, your eating habits, lifestyle and even thoughts could affect your little one.
Pregnant women are always told to be happy and stay away from negative thought and emotions—and there is a good reason for that. Pregnancy period is dominated by hormones—right from the food cravings to the aches and pains, the mother has to go through a collective effect of the cascading hormones.
Dr. Thomas Verny, a psychiatrist, writer, and academic who is also a founding member of Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) and Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health says that whatever the pregnant mother feels and thinks affects her baby in the womb. The mother’s emotions, he explains, reach the baby through neurohormones, in a way similar to when the mother has alcohol or nicotine.
A mother’s emotions are created by her thoughts and her perspectives about her pregnancy. Moments that make her happy like marriage, baby showers, preparing the nursery, and ultrasound scans—all these things create emotions, which happen when particular hormones are released.
Dr. Deepak Chopra, M.D. says that thoughts that we feel are our emotions. He mentions that when a mother feels anxious, sad, stressed or fearful, her body releases stress hormones, which are passed into the bloodstream. Her baby gets exposure to these hormones when her blood reaches the baby across the placenta. These biological chemicals have an effect on the newborn in one way or the other.
Children of mothers who had stressful pregnancies are likely to have behavioral issues later in life. Constant and intense stress could even increase the risk of babies being born premature, with lower than usual weight, and suffering from hyperactivity.
On the contrary, if the mother feels positive emotions, it contributes to the good health of the baby explains Dr. Verny. If the mother remains calm and happy, the same emotions are infused to the baby, laying the pavement for an inclination towards a balanced and serene lifestyle.
Dr. Chopra adds to it saying that when the mother feels joyful, pleasure chemicals like endorphins and encephalins are produced inside the body. Staying peaceful and relaxed produces biological chemicals similar to prescribed tranquilizers. The baby is able to grow peacefully when he mother is stress-free and calm within.
Dr. Verny suggests that mothers develop happy thoughts in mind by practicing creative visualization. Visual exercises have been proven to have tremendous benefits. Scientists have confirmed saying that the technique could help built positive perceptions and outlook towards life, understand the subconscious thoughts, improve the state of mind and enhance performance. The technique that has been used by shamans and yogis is now recommended to mothers across the world by renowned doctors like Verny.
Visualization is no rocket science and everyone can do it. Find a place in your home or outside, away from interruptions and noise. Close your eyes and divert your consciousness towards your surroundings—practice with your senses, your ability to feel, hear, touch and even taste. Bring your attention towards your little one who is right now growing inside you.
Imagine your baby, happy and healthy—visualize their face, what they look like, imagine how they would sound when giggling. Feel him grow, his cells developing inside the safety of your body. Feel them move inside you—create an image of them with a healthy heart, small limbs moving and laughing inside of you. Daydream about your little one. Develop the habit of practicing more often and recall the happy emotions that you associate with the moments that you visualize.
Daydream about your little one. Do this for 5 minutes every day and, gradually, increase the duration. Develop the habit of practicing more often and recall the happy emotions that you associate with the moments that you visualize.