Babies Cry Before They're Born

What is a baby? Do we have the right understanding of this little creature we endlessly try to comprehend... or tame?

What is an embryo? A foetus? Are they simply limited to stages of development?

The amazing discoveries in the field of pre and perinatal psychology in the last 30 years are bringing us to redefine our conception of what a baby really is, bringing us to change considerably the way we treat and interact with babies from the earliest stages of development.

A baby is whole being, equipped with a stronger sensibility and awareness than most adults.  Even if his little body isn't quite completely functionnal yet, his awareness is, and infants are able to prove their intelligence from very early on. Already, during gestation, babies can show a multitude of capacities, and a great potential. The can show their likes and dislikes, can learn a song that's sung often by their mother, and show their preference for that known song versus a new one. They are also able to get bored and start ignoring a sound or action that has been repeated multiple times (excatly like when someone gets irritated, or bored when we keep repeating the same informations to them), which is a sign of intelligence called ''habituation''.

Very early on in pregnancy, babies already possess a great emotionnal intelligence and a very fine sensibility. They can be happy, sad, glad, sorry, mad, excited, etc. They also know their mother's state of mind and the emotions she is feeling, her thoughts, for example how she feels about being pregnant. They are also aware of the other people around their mother, like their father, brothers, and sisters, and of their attitude towards their mother and towards them (are they happy to be welcoming a new baby, feel threatened, etc?). Babies know if they are desired or if they are an ''accident''. They are also aware of the presence of a twin, if there is one, and are affected by their loss if the twin dies in utero, at birth, or after. Did you know that babies can cry in-utero?

All these discoveries, as well as dozens of others have been possible through the use of various technologies allowing us to see and hear the baby inside the womb, and especially with the use of hypnosis, where, whithout being given precise indications, patients under hypnosis regressed back to memories (often linked to problems in their lives) of their birth, of their uterine life, and even of their conception! Many of these memories were authentified by the mothers of the concerned subjects.

But what's bugging the scientists is the following: How can we have an experience, an intelligence, withought a fully formed brain? The human brain starts to developp at the embryonnic stage and continues to grow for many years after birth. The reason babies have been, until just a few years ago,   treated like some sort of primitive animal, incapable of emotions or pain, was based on the immaturity of their nervous system. However, the scientists and pre and perinatal psychologists are realizing today the disastrous effects of this belief, as they see patient after patient dragging problems caused by deep emotionnal wounds from their pre and perinatal life.

To explain this phenomenenon, we may think about near-death experiences. The persons who experienced this kind of event often describe the same scene: They see themselves as if they were floating over their clinically dead body (so the brain was left behind), and when they come back, they are able to describe everything that happened while they were ''dead'', have a very clear memory of it all, and can even relate what people said or did around them (and sometimes even in the next room)! Is science about to recognise the existence of the soul?

Lets get back to babies. As I said, they are well aware and present, from conception on, and for their whole life. Did you know that most protocols found in obstetrics and in neonatal care were created under the belief that babies cannot feel pain? Imagine the number of babies who experienced trauma due to the violent protocols in birthing rooms, nurseries and neonatal units during the last century!

How can we achieve a loving and peaceful society if we welcome children in violence, and sometimes even in torture if we think about some procedures?

In the light of all this, just remember that from conception on, babies are affected by their surroundings. They are already there, take an active part in their developpement, know what is happening around them, and have emotions. They are not passive passengers, nor blobs of flesh just waiting to be born.

Another interesting discovery is that even if babies (prior and after birth) know what is happening, feel, and are sensitive to their mother's emotions, they sometimes misinterpret what is happening (like children do, actually). For example, a mother can be very mad or frustrated about something, and the baby may think it's his fault. To avoit these kinds of misinterpretations, the solution is very simple: TALK TO THE BABY, explain what is happening, and send him love.

About that, have you ever heard of a thing called the ''foetal love break''? It's very simple. It simply means to take a moment every day, in a calm environment, and to talk to your baby. You can talk about your day, tell a story, say you love him/her and can't wait to meet him/ her. Tell your baby about your preparations for the birth, sing a song, or simply meditate together.

We do not become a mother when we give birth, but when we concieve. That's where it all begins, and pregnancy is the best time to start building a relationship based on love, trust, and on the respect of the being, who is already a whole person and part of your life. And this strong bond will last for a lifetime!

For more information on the fascinating world of pre and perinatal psychology, I invite you to visit the website of APPPAH (Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health) at and to read the books of David Chamberlain (Windows to the Womb and The Mind of Your Newborn Baby) as well as The secret life of the Unborn Child by Thomas Verny. These two authors are also founders of APPPAH.

Here is an interview with David Chamberlain, PhD, DHI about the consciousness of babies.

And here is another, more recent interview: Discovering the mind of the prenate 

CHAMBERLAIN, David, Windows to the Womb, 2013, North Atlantic Books, California, 225p.
VERNY, Thomas, with KELLY, John, The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, 1981, Dell Publishing, New York, 253 p.

Have a nice day!