The brain development needed to equip an individual with the kinds of qualities needed for peace and prosperity — self-regulation, creative innovation, mental flexibility, robust will — begins during pregnancy, and it isn’t just diet and lifestyle choices that influence it. A pregnant woman’s thoughts and moods have a significant impact upon the brain development of her baby in the womb.
Stress in pregnancy is associated with a daunting list of bad outcomes, but some basic “perception hygiene” can help pregnant moms navigate this reality. While I’m confident that scientists will soon “prove” what so many wisdom traditions and cultures have long known about the role of joy in optimally prenatal development, what we do now know for sure is that a pregnant mother’s chronic stress has enduring negative effects upon the developing fetal brain. (more…)