Kathleen was finding pregnancy very stressful. She was almost 40 and had a demanding career as a writer and director. Food didn’t even taste good anymore. She researched ways of controlling stress, but nothing seemed to help.
Then Kathleen interviewed Dr. Moriah Thomason for a film. Using MRIs to scan developing fetus brains, Dr. Thomason had discovered that human brains are capable of emotional and abstract thinking very early. What’s more, the chemicals connected with the mother’s emotions enter into the baby’s brain through the placenta. So the developing child can feel the emotions of the mother.
Kathleen also discovered practitioners in Seattle who taught a method of reducing stress called Bindungsanalyse, or prenatal bonding. It’s a way for mother and baby to communicate before birth. First the mother relaxes, then thinks of soothing mental images and speaks to the baby in a nurturing way. When done throughout pregnancy, this is believed to lower stress for both the mother and the baby. Even some mothers who are scientists, and were skeptical, have found it helpful.
Bindungsanalyse was developed by Dr. Jeno Raffai in Hungary, and proponents say it makes labor easier and safer. It’s claimed that the method reduced Caesarian sections in Hungary from 30% of births to 6% birthpsychology.com.
For Kathleen, a little baby talk did give her a great deal of peace. She doesn’t know about the long run. But she says you have to do your best for your child.