Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives: A Holistic Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth – By Deepak Chopra, M.D., David Simon, M.D., and Vicki Abrams, C.C.E., I.B.L.C.
A much-needed antidote to our modern, assembly-line approach to childbirth, this new book is designed as a guide for all who wish to participate in the wondrous process of bringing new life into the world. Its ideas derive from two sources: the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, with its emphasis on body, mind, and spirit, and the latest Western scientific prenatal research. By integrating the best information from these two very different perspectives, this remarkable book gives readers the tools to ensure that our children are nourished by thoughts, words, and actions from the very moment of conception.
“Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives” is rich in practical information, including strategies to help enliven the body intelligence of unborn babies by nourishing each of their five senses, as well as through Ayurvedically balanced nutrition and eating with awareness. Specific yoga poses and meditation techniques reduce the mother’s stress and improve the infant’s emotional environment, as do tips for conscious communication with a partner. Exercises prepare parents for the experience of childbirth itself, followed by natural approaches to dealing with the first weeks of parenting, from healing herbs to enhancing your milk supply to coping with postpartum depression.
Inspiring, expansive, and remarkably informative, this unique book from acclaimed experts in mind-body medicine will profoundly enhance the experience of pregnancy and birth for both parents and baby.
When you buy “Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives” today, you’ll receive a package of beautiful gifts — all hand-picked to give you more peace, joy, and ease on your journey into birth. To read more about this offer and to purchase the book, go here:
The following is excerpted from “Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives: A Holistic Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth.
When does life begin? Some spiritual traditions see the origin of life as the moment a soul intends to enter into human form. Others see the beginning as a sparkle in the eye of a potential parent who wants to have a child. While biologists and religious clergy may argue about whether or not life starts at the moment of conception, convention has it that the day a baby emerges from his mother’s womb marks the beginning of life. However you define life’s origin, the sacred journey of an egg and sperm merging to create a unique individual is as marvelous and miraculous as the creation of the universe itself. Spirit and molecules connect together to manifest a new life.
In some traditions, this connection is believed to precede conception.
In certain African tribes, people believe that the spiritual birth of a child begins when his potential mother first imagines him. She goes to a silent place and listens for the baby’s special song. When she hears it, she returns to her home and teaches it to her mate. While making love, they chant the song as an invitation for this soul to enter into their lives. Once pregnant, she regularly sings the song to her unborn baby and teaches it to the midwives in preparation for her delivery. They sing the song while the woman is in labor and as the baby is born into the world. The child learns the theme song, which supports him through all the stages of his life. He uses his song to celebrate his moments of glory and comfort him in times of loss.
Hearing in the womb
One of the earliest accounts of intrauterine hearing is described in the New Testament (Luke 1:44) when John’s mother, Elizabeth, tells Mary, who is pregnant with Jesus, “The infant in my womb leaped for joy the moment I heard the voice of your greeting!” A number of modern studies have confirmed that by eighteen to twenty weeks of fetal life, your unborn child hears and responds to sounds in his environment. Although you might expect the womb to be a quiet place, it is actually quite rich in sounds and sensations. Tiny microphones placed within a pregnant uterus reveal that a multitude of audible vibrations enters your unborn baby’s sanctum. Mother’s heartbeat and digestive tract offer steady background noise, along with the pulsing rush of blood flowing through her major vessels.
A baby learns to associate sounds in the womb with sensations of comfort or discomfort. The emotional state of his mother is communicated to the fetus through the molecules that she secretes. If Mother is engaged in a loving, nurturing conversation or listening to enjoyable music, her brain triggers the release of chemicals that reflect her calm, comfortable condition. These chemical messengers travel through the maternal and fetal circulations, now connected by the umbilical cord, entraining the unborn child’s feelings with those of Mother. If, on the other hand, Mother is involved in a heated argument, her body pulses with stress chemicals that can trigger discomfort in her fetus. It’s easy to imagine the distress of an unborn child regularly exposed to toxic sounds. His mother’s heart races while her adrenal glands squirt out stress hormones. The unborn child activates his own fight-or-flight response, but unfortunately can neither run from nor wrestle with the source of its provocation. The seeds of anxiety, apprehension, and hostility are sown in utero. The baby-to-be learns to associate sounds with inner sensations.
Do your best to avoid recurrent distressing sounds, since noise pollution has a negative effect on both Mother and Baby. Scientists report that mothers living along the flight path of a busy urban airport produce lower levels of growth-promoting hormones and are more likely to have smaller babies than those living an equal distance from the airport but not directly under the flight path. Similar findings have been reported in women who must work in factories where there is a constantly high noise level. To the extent that you can consciously choose, do your best to limit your exposure and that of your unborn baby to vibrations that distress.
On the other hand, it is not realistic to expect that you’ll be able to completely avoid upsetting noises throughout your entire pregnancy. We are not suggesting you should worry about causing harm to your unborn baby anytime you get upset, have a disagreement, or listen to loud rock and roll music. Life inevitably brings loud moments that cannot nor necessarily should be avoided. We simply encourage you to be aware that the being inside of you is eavesdropping on your life. Whenever possible, expose yourself to nourishing rather than toxic sounds, knowing that whatever you are experiencing is simultaneously experienced by your unborn child.
About the Authors:
Deepak Chopra, M.D., is one of the world’s best-selling spiritual authors and the founder of the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, California. David Simon, M.D., is the cofounder and medical director of the Chopra Center, and one of the nation’s foremost authorities on holistic health care. He is the author of “Vital Energy and Return to Wholeness.” Vicki Abrams, C.C.E., I.B.L.C., is the director of the childbirth and yoga programs at the Chopra Center. She is an international board-certified lactation consultant, childbirth educator, doula, and yoga instructor.