Over ten years ago, the first world conference on pre and perinatal psychology was held in Toronto with leading experts from all over the world. This new science brought forth evidence of the startling mental, physical, and emotional capacities of the unborn child.
When a child is born, it is called a "new" baby and its parents "new" parents. Actually, the parent-child relationship began at conception, if not before, and had nine months of interplay.
Evidence presented at the conference suggested that the events of pregnancy and birth can be recalled in adult life.
Dr. David Cheek, one of the speakers, was an experienced obstetrician as well as a skilled hypnotist. He regressed hundreds of adults back to their prenatal and birth experiences and was able to verify details of events remembered during hypnosis with hospital records.
Another speaker, Dr. David Chamberlain, a leading researcher in the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology, found that his clients were spontaneously recalling their births in great detail, and wondered how he might prove the validity of these memories. He finally managed to select ten mother-child pairs in which the mother said she never told the child anything in detail about the birth, and the child said she had no memories of the birth. He regressed both the mother and the child separately using hypnosis and found that memories matched very well.
In his own words: "The memories dovetailed on as many as 22 points in the story. You could just look through the stories and see them saying the same thing. Sometimes the same statements were quoted verbatim, sequences were right, the children were able to describe things like the mother's hairdo in the delivery room, or arrangements of the furniture in the mother's room after the delivery. So many details, that I just thought it was impossible to explain it as any kind of imagination."
So it seems that during prenatal and postnatal life a physiological and/or emotional imprint of events occurs which has not previously been acknowledged by medical science.
Sound And The Unborn
The unborn child can also remember sounds and respond to them. From 20 weeks gestation onward, the unborn hears sounds of low vibrational frequency. Studies have shown that if the mother or father hums the same tune to the child every day while it is in the womb, after the baby is born, it will immediately stop crying if it hears the tune again. The baby is also attuned to the voices of mother and father.
In addition, the baby can respond to external music while still in the womb. As many mothers know, the baby will kick with glee or make contented movements in response to music it likes, or squirm in response to music it dislikes. Mothers learn to distinguish the two types of movements.
Recently, researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) listened in to babies in the womb. By using specially designed microphones, they were amazed at the intensity of sounds they heard.
"In fact," says Dr. Jeffery Phelan, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at USC, "I couldn't believe what a baby is subjected to... I had to turn down the volume because my ears couldn't stand the noise." Dr. Phelan had been monitoring the exact sound levels as experienced by the baby.
"We heard almost everything," said co-researcher, Dr. Satt, "from people talking twelve feet away, to a door opening in another room, to a cart going down the hall, with the door closed."
Dr. Phelan admits their work raises a whole lot of questions. "We protect our ears from loud noises but what about the baby? No one knows at this point whether prolonged noise can be harmful to the baby. Perhaps, pregnant women need to start wearing T-shirts that read: Quiet, Baby Under Construction."
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