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Prenatal Influence and Care


Excerpts from Health Quotes 'n' Notes: Prenatal Influence and Care

 

Introduction

Importance of Prenatal Influences: The effect of prenatal influences is by many parents looked upon as a matter of little moment; but heaven does not so regard it. The message sent by an angel of God, and twice given in the most solemn manner, shows it to be deserving of our most careful thought. In the words spoken to the Hebrew mother [the wife of Manoah], God speaks to all mothers in every age. “Let her beware,” Judges 13:13 the angel said; “all that I commanded her let her observe.” The well-being of the child will be affected by the habits of the mother. Her appetites and passions are to be controlled by principle. There is something for her to shun, something for her to work against, if she fulfills God’s purpose for her in giving her a child... Even before the birth of the child, the preparation should begin that will enable it to fight successfully the battle against evil. If before the birth of her child she (the Mother) is self-indulgent, if she is selfish, impatient, and exacting, these traits will be reflected in the disposition of the child. Thus many children have received as a birthright almost unconquerable tendencies to evil. But if the mother unswervingly adheres to right principles, if she is temperate and self-denying, if she is kind, gentle, and unselfish, she may give her child these same precious traits of character. {AH 255-6}

Essentials of Prenatal Care: It is an error generally committed to make no difference in the life of a woman previous to the birth of her children. At this important period the labor of the mother should be lightened. Great changes are going on in her system. It requires a greater amount of blood, and therefore an increase of food of the most nourishing quality to convert into blood. Unless she has an abundant supply of nutritious food, she cannot retain her physical strength, and her offspring is robbed of vitality. Her clothing also demands attention. Care should be taken to protect the body from a sense of chilliness. She should not call vitality unnecessarily to the surface to supply the want of sufficient clothing. If the mother is deprived of an abundance of wholesome, nutritious food, she will lack in the quantity and quality of blood. Her circulation will be poor, and her child will lack in the very same things. There will be an inability in the offspring to appropriate food which it can convert into good blood to nourish the system. The prosperity of mother and child depends much upon good, warm clothing and a supply of nourishing food. Great care should be exercised to have the surroundings of the mother pleasant and happy. The husband and father is under special responsibility to do all in his power to lighten the burden of the wife and mother. He should bear, as much as possible, the burden of her condition. He should be affable, courteous, kind, and tender, and specially attentive to all her wants. Not half the care is taken of some women while they are bearing children that is taken of animals in the stable. {AH 256-7}

Maintain a Peaceful, Trustful Attitude: She who expects to become a mother should keep her soul in the love of God. Her mind should be at peace; she should rest in the love of Jesus, practicing the words of Christ. She should remember that the mother is a laborer together with God. AH 258


Diet

Genesis Diet: Moses, the first historian, gives quite a definite account of social and individual life in the early days of the world’s history, but we find no record that an infant was born blind, deaf, crippled, or imbecile. Not an instance is recorded of a natural death in infancy, childhood, or early manhood. Obituary notices in the book of Genesis run thus: “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.” “And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died.” Concerning others the record states, “He died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years.” (see Genesis 5) It was so rare for a son to die before his father, that such an occurrence was considered worthy of record: “Haran died before his father Terah.” Gen 11:28 The patriarchs from Adam to Noah, with few exceptions, lived nearly a thousand years. Since then the average length of life has been decreasing...This state of things is not the work of Providence, but of man. It has been brought about by wrong habits,--by violating the laws that God has made to govern man’s existence. A continual transgression of nature’s laws is a continual transgression of the law of God. Had men always been obedient to the law of the ten commandments, carrying out in their lives the principles of those precepts, the curse of disease now flooding the world would not exist. “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1Cor 6:19, 20 When men take any course which needlessly expends their vitality or beclouds their intellect, they sin against God; they do not glorify Him in their body and spirit, which are His. {CD 117-8}

Simple Foods: Women who possess principle, and who are well instructed, will not depart from simplicity of diet at this time of all others. They will consider that another life is dependent upon them, and will be careful in all their habits, and especially in diet. They should not eat that which is innutritious and exciting, simply because it tastes good... The blood-making organs cannot convert spices, mince pies, pickles, and diseased flesh meats into good blood. And if so much food is taken into the stomach that the digestive organs are compelled to overwork in order to dispose of it and to free the system from irritating substances, the mother does injustice to herself and lays the foundation of disease in her offspring. If she chooses to eat as she pleases, and what she may fancy, irrespective of consequences, she will bear the penalty, but not alone. Her innocent child must suffer because of her indiscretion. {2T 383}

 

Water

Water is an important aspect of life and health. Over 75% of each cell is made of water and the growing baby is in constant growth, needing much water. “Simply put, let us not underestimate the influence and responsibility of the mother for providing a normal chemical environment for the development, well-being, and future normal behavior of the fetus growing in her uterus--the preparatory school of life. The child’s learning during its intrauterine “school days” can become the format settings for behavior and mood patterns in adult phases of life. Every form of behavior and thought translates into the release of a combination of chemical messenger systems. The release of chemical combinations can also code the brain of a growing fetus in the uterus. Thus, the lifestyle of a pregnant woman can influence the chemistry of a developing fetus.” Water: for Health, for Healing, for Life by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.

 

Work Load

Save her strength: The mother, in many cases previous to the birth of her children, is permitted to toil early and late, heating her blood. . .Her strength should have been tenderly cherished. . . Her burdens and cares are seldom lessened, and that period, which should be to her of all others a time of rest, is one of fatigue, sadness, and gloom. By too great exertion on her part, she deprives her offspring of that nutrition which nature has provided for it, and by heating her own blood, she imparts to it a bad quality of blood. The offspring is robbed of its vitality, robbed of physical and mental strength. {CD 221}

Be careful of Overwork: ... Many a husband and father might learn a helpful lesson from the carefulness of the faithful shepherd. Jacob, when urged to undertake a rapid and difficult journey, made answer: “The children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die. . . I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure.” Genesis 33:13, 14. In life’s toilsome way let the husband and father “lead on softly,” as the companion of his journey is able to endure. Amidst the world’s eager rush for wealth and power, let him learn to stay his steps, to comfort and support the one who is called to walk by his side. {MH 373-4}

 

Exercise

Walking: When the weather will permit, all who can possibly do so ought to walk in the open air every day, summer and winter. But the clothing should be suitable for the exercise, and the feet should be well protected. A walk, even in winter, would be more beneficial to the health than all the medicine the doctors may prescribe. For those who can walk, walking is preferable to riding. The muscles and veins are enabled better to perform their work. There will be increased vitality, which is so necessary to health. The lungs will have needful action, for it is impossible to go out in the bracing air of a winter’s morning without inflating the lungs. {2T 529}

My Personal Testimony: After being told many stories from friends about their mothers and themselves who walk or did garden work and had a relatively easy labour, I did some research on it. Did you realize women in many countries, such as Asia, work outside (not desk jobs) till the baby was born and often the baby is born right there. I choose to walk almost every day increasing the length of the walk in my first and second trimester and maintained or reduce it in my last trimester. I rode my horse often in my last trimester and the week of my son’s birth (please use caution here, I was a very good rider and knew my horse very well. In addition he was a Paso Fino -- no trotting). I am so glad I built up my strength so I could make it through labour. I did not have a miraculously easy labour, in fact my doctor was a bit concerned, but I was able to maintain a cheerful attitude. The nurses said they’ve never heard anyone sing during labour. (We were in the shower too!) I didn’t yell or scream at my husband or anyone else. I believe eating NO meat, walking at least 3 times per week, and allowing God to help me follow the other principle outlined here, enabled me to have a wonderful pregnancy and a healthy infant with no colic or irritability. AP

 

Attitude

Self-control & Temperance: The mother’s physical needs should in no case be neglected. Two lives are depending upon her, and her wishes should be tenderly regarded, her needs generously supplied. But at this time above all others she should avoid, in diet and in every other line, whatever would lessen physical or mental strength. By the command of God Himself she is placed under the most solemn obligation to exercise self-control. The basis of a right character in the future man is made firm by habits of strict temperance in the mother prior to the birth of her child... This lesson should not be regarded with indifference. {AH 258}

Encourage Cheerful, Contented Disposition: Every woman about to become a mother, whatever may be her surroundings, should encourage constantly a happy, cheerful, contented disposition, knowing that for all her efforts in this direction she will be repaid tenfold in the physical, as well as the moral, character of her offspring. Nor is this all. She can, by habit, accustom herself to cheerful thinking, and thus encourage a happy state of mind and cast a cheerful reflection of her own happiness of spirit upon her family and those with whom she associates. And in a very great degree will her physical health be improved. A force will be imparted to the lifesprings, the blood will not move sluggishly, as would be the case if she were to yield to despondency and gloom. Her mental and moral health are invigorated by the buoyancy of her spirits. The power of the will can resist impressions of the mind and will prove a grand soother of the nerves. Children who are robbed of that vitality which they should have inherited of their parents should have the utmost care. By close attention to the laws of their being a much better condition of things can be established. {AH 258} The mother should cultivate a cheerful, contented, happy disposition. Every effort in this direction will be abundantly repaid in both the physical well-being and the moral character of her children. A cheerful spirit will promote the happiness of her family and in a very great degree improve her own health. {MH 374}

 

The Father’s Role

Help her to be Happy: The father should study how to make the mother happy. He should not allow himself to come to his home with a clouded brow. If he is perplexed in business, he should not, unless it is actually necessary to counsel with his wife, trouble her with such matters. She has cares and trials of her own to bear, and she should be tenderly spared every needless burden. {2SM 427}

Husband help your wife: Let the husband aid his wife by his sympathy and unfailing affection. If he wishes to keep her fresh and gladsome, so that she will be as sunshine in the home, let him help her bear her burdens. His kindness and loving courtesy will be to her a precious encouragement, and the happiness he imparts will bring joy and peace to his own heart. The husband and father who is morose, selfish, and overbearing, is not only unhappy himself, but he casts gloom upon all the inmates of his home. He will reap the result in seeing his wife dispirited and sickly, and his children marred with his own unlovely temper. If the mother is deprived of the care and comforts she should have, if she is allowed to exhaust her strength through overwork or through anxiety and gloom, her children will be robbed of the vital force and of the mental elasticity and cheerful buoyancy they should inherit. Far better will it be to make the mother’s life bright and cheerful, to shield her from want, wearing labor, and depressing care, and let the children inherit good constitutions, so that they may battle their way through life with their own energetic strength. Great is the honor and the responsibility placed upon fathers and mothers, in that they are to stand in the place of God to their children. {MH 375-6}}

 

After the Birth of the Child

The Nursing Mother: The best food for the infant is the food that nature provides. Of this it should not be needlessly deprived. It is a heartless thing for a mother, for the sake of convenience or social enjoyment, to seek to free herself from the tender office of nursing her little one. The period in which the infant receives its nourishment from the mother is critical. Many mothers, while nursing their infants, have been permitted to overlabor and to heat their blood in cooking; and the nursling has been seriously affected, not only with fevered nourishment from the mother’s breast, but its blood has been poisoned by the unhealthy diet of the mother, which has fevered her whole system, thereby affecting the food of the infant. The infant will also be affected by the condition of the mother’s mind. If she is unhappy, easily agitated, irritable, giving vent to outbursts of passion, the nourishment the infant receives from its mother will be inflamed, often producing colic, spasms, and in some instances causing convulsions and fits. The character also of the child is more or less affected by the nature of the nourishment received from the mother. How important then that the mother, while nursing her infant, should preserve a happy state of mind, having the perfect control of her own spirit. By thus doing, the food of the child is not injured, and the calm, self-possessed course the mother pursues in the treatment of her child has very much to do in molding the mind of the infant. If it is nervous and easily agitated, the mother’s careful, unhurried manner will have a soothing and correcting influence, and the health of the infant can be very much improved. {AH 261}

The Care of Infants: The more quiet and simple the life of the child, the more favorable it will be to both physical and mental development. At all times the mother should endeavor to be quiet, calm, and self-possessed. Many infants are extremely susceptible to nervous excitement, and the mother’s gentle, unhurried manner will have a soothing influence that will be of untold benefit to the child. {MH 381}

Fresh air: One great error with the mother in the treatment of her infant is, she deprives it very much of fresh air, that which it ought to have to make it strong. It is a practice of many mothers to cover their infant’s heads while sleeping, and this, too, in a warm room, which is seldom ventilated as it should be. This alone is sufficient to greatly enfeeble the action of the heart and lungs, thereby affecting the whole system. While care may be needful to protect the infant from a draught of air, or from any sudden and too great change, especial care should be taken to have the child breathe a pure invigorating atmosphere... {2SM 465} Babies require warmth, but a serious error is often committed in keeping them in overheated rooms, deprived to a great degree of fresh air. The practice of covering the infant’s face while sleeping is harmful, since it prevents free respiration. The baby should be kept free from every influence that would tend to weaken or to poison the system. The most scrupulous care should be taken to have everything about it sweet and clean. {MH 381}

Clothing of: If the dress of the child combines warmth, protection, and comfort, one of the chief causes of irritation and restlessness will be removed. The little one will have better health, and the mother will not find the care of the child so heavy a tax upon her strength and time. Tight bands or waists hinder the action of the heart and lungs, and should be avoided. No part of the body should at any time be made uncomfortable by clothing that compresses any organ or restricts its freedom of movement. The clothing of all children should be loose enough to admit of the freest and fullest respiration, and so arranged that the shoulders will support its weight... Mothers who desire their boys and girls to possess the vigor of health should dress them properly and encourage them in all reasonable weather to be much in the open air. {MH 381-2}

Visitors and Smoking: Dressing infants in a fashionable manner, to be introduced into company for visitors to admire, is very injurious to them. Their clothing is ingeniously arranged to make the child miserably uncomfortable, and it is frequently made still more uneasy by passing from one to the other, being fondled by all. But there is an evil greater than those already named. The infant is exposed to a vitiated air, caused by many breaths, some of which are very offensive and injurious to the strong lungs of older people. The infant lungs suffer, and become diseased by inhaling the atmosphere of a room poisoned by the tobacco-user’s tainted breath. Many infants are poisoned beyond remedy by sleeping in beds with their tobacco-using fathers. By inhaling the poisonous tobacco effluvia, which is thrown from the lungs and pores of the skin, the system of the infant is filled with the poison. While it acts upon some as a slow poison, and affects the brain, heart, liver, and lungs, and they waste away and fade gradually, upon others it has a more direct influence, causing spasms, fits, paralysis, palsy, and sudden death. The bereaved parents mourn the loss of their loved ones, and wonder at the mysterious providence of God, which has so cruelly afflicted them, when Providence designed not the death of these infants. They died martyrs to the filthy lust of tobacco. Their parents ignorantly, but none the less surely, kill their infant children by the disgusting poison. Every exhalation of the lungs of the tobacco slave, poisons the air about him. Infants should be kept free from every thing which would have an influence to excite the nervous system, and should, whether waking or sleeping, day and night, breathe a pure, cleanly, healthy atmosphere, free from every taint of poison. {2SM 466}

 

Summary:

What the parents say, do, and think affects the unborn child. So study, surrender, and apply the right knowledge to your offspring of joy! AP