During pregnancy the unborn child is affected by many decisions his or her parents make, particularly choices linked to their lifestyle.
The health and diet decisions of the mother can have either a positive or negative impact on the child during prenatal parenting. In addition to physical management of the pregnancy, medical knowledge of your physician, hospital, and birthing options are important. Here are some key items of advice:
- Ask your prospective obstetrician how often he or she is in the hospital and who covers for them when they’re not available.
- Learn all you can about your backup physician as well as your primary doctor.
- Choose a hospital with a 24-hour, in-house anesthesia team.
Many people believe that parenting begins with birth, but the mother begins raising and nurturing a child well before birth.
Scientific evidence indicates that from the fifth month on, the unborn baby is able to hear sound, be aware of motion, and possibly exhibit short-term memory. Several studies show evidence that the unborn baby can become familiar with his or her parents’ voices. Other research indicates that by the seventh month, external schedule cues influence the unborn baby’s sleep habits.
Based on this evidence, parenting actually begins well before birth. Depending on how many children the mother carries also determines the amount of care needed during prenatal and post-natal periods.