Nurturing the unborn child

In today’s culture where abortion is an accepted fact of life, and not even given much serious thought by the majority of people, is it surprising that the tiny blob of tissue developing in the womb is not thought of as being a developing person? Recent studies indicating that aborted foetuses can suffer extreme pain, has largely been dismissed by the media as so much pro-life hype. But many in an inner-healing ministry have had insights through prayer and intuitions of the Holy Spirit that the foetus in the womb is aware and capable of reaction to its environment; leading them to healing prayer where trauma has been indicated. In the last fifteen years leading psychologists have confirmed by medical research and clinical experience that the baby in the womb does hear, taste, feel, and learn; and what he experiences begins to shape his attitudes and expectations about himself. It is of the greatest importance then, that we understand this subject sufficiently well to be able to provide the best and healthiest environment for the child in the womb. It is also of equal importance, that if this is missing, we know what can be done to redress the situation.

Probably most medical experts would question whether the foetus in the first three months can remember or experience much of anything, but psychiatrists like Dr. Frank Lake and Dr. Thomas Verney believe that in some mysterious way the human foetus can remember and ’feel’, at the earliest stages of life, even from conception. Obviously as the foetus develops it interprets experiences with its mind, but before it has developed an intellect with which to reason, it has a spirit within it, that breath from God that is the core of its essence of life. Perhaps it is the spirit which experiences the joy of being accepted, recognised and welcomed when the mother is filled with joy herself on finding she is pregnant. Conversely the spirit may experience fear, tension, guilt, anger and confusion when the mother is distressed at finding herself pregnant. If the mother’s rejection is really excessive the foetus longs for death, and many early miscarriages result from the foetus “deciding” that the world is not a welcoming or good place to be.

Mothers of many cultures, for thousands of years, have sensed the recognition that the baby developing in the womb needs an atmosphere of acceptance, joy, peace and quiet. For example any good Jewish mother in the time of Jesus would, on learning she was pregnant, go to a relative’s home to be cared for: thus relieving her of many of the burdens of work, while she prepared for the birth by prayer and meditation on the Scriptures. Such a pregnancy gives the baby the best chances of being born healthy, strong, whole, balanced and bonded to the mother.

The mother’s attitude toward her unborn child seems to be the single most important influence on how the child will turn out physically and emotionally. Studies show that ideal mothers (who consciously and subconsciously want their children) have the easiest pregnancies, the most trouble-free births and the healthiest babies. The very opposite, catastrophic mothers are (those who don’t want their children), have the most devastating medical problems during pregnancy and birth, and bear the highest rate of premature, low-weight and emotionally disturbed infants. Later in life these are the children who are always striving and trying to earn the right to be, they are performance orientated, have inordinate desires to always please (or rejecting before they can be rejected). They also have tension, anger, death wishes, frequent illnesses, and problems with bonding. They often refuse affection or have insatiable desires for it. Ambivalent mothers (outwardly happy about their pregnancy, but deep down having reservations about having a child) give birth to “colicky” babies having a high rate of gastrointestinal and behavioural problems. Cool mothers (having surface reasons for not wanting their baby, maybe because it was unexpected or would cause financial problems or interfere with their career, but deep down wanting to have the child) give birth to babies that are apathetic and lethargic, and may grow up having feelings of being a “burden” or an “intrusion.”

Equally important as the mother’s attitude, is of course how that attitude is acted out by some mothers who are guilty of physically abusing the child in their womb, by smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol, drug taking, eating improperly or by excessive physical work. Research has shown that children of mothers who smoked heavily during pregnancy tend to be smaller and have a poorer physical condition than children of non-smoking mothers: probably due to the reduced oxygen in the mother’s blood. They tend also to have a predisposition to severe anxiety, and a higher rate of psychological disorders in their early years. Heavy drinking produces even greater risks, as the child is likely to fall victim to the Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, resulting in the possibility of being born either mentally retarded, hyperactive, with a heart murmur, or facial deformity. The risks involved with drug taking in pregnancy have been widely publicised and their toxic effects are as horrific as those from heavy drinking. Babies have even been born addicted to drugs.

Next to the importance of the mother’s attitude is the attitude of the father. If he loves his wife and gives her happiness and security during her pregnancy, it is likely to be blessed with the joy, peace and acceptance so necessary. If however the relationship is bad and the marriage is stormy, there is very great risk of the child being born psychologically or physically damaged. Nervousness, uptight-ness, fear and guilt feelings when involved in quarrels are all likely to develop in the child as he grows up.

If a loving mother and father welcome the child in the womb it is truly blessed; and as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed they should commence to pray together once or twice a day for the baby. Praying especially that God will protect the child from all accidents and harm as it develops normally. Prayer is also desirable, and the earlier in the pregnancy the better, for freedom from harmful ancestral influences that are occasionally present in the child. Preferably prayer or Mass for the “Healing of the Family Tree” for the parents and child, will free the child from any possible hereditary predispositions to fall sick from physical or spiritual disease, any contamination from the occult or spiritualism, or any curse or negative force directed against the family. Where trauma is known to have occurred or is suspected in pregnancy (in any of the ways indicated above which, are likely to adversely effect the development of the child), then prayer for healing of the child in the womb is of paramount importance. If trauma has occurred in pregnancy without prayer at the time, it will be necessary to have healing prayer for the inner child in the womb later in life; and this will be indicated by the psychological or physical woundings being manifest. Ideally of course this healing prayer should be as soon after the “wounding” as possible.

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