Maternal Impressions: Antiquity Thought An Impression Could Mark a Child

Historically there was a belief that should a pregnant woman see an ugly or terrifying object it can be reproduced in the offspring. The idea has persisted from antiquity, and was discussed In the Text of Lectures of Interest to Women by the Maternity Hospital Corporation in 1920. This text has extensive discussion regarding the perfect health for women and their developing fetus. They suggest that pregnant women should be surrounded with agreeable and cheerful companions, should be guarded from all worries, as well as from shocks and surprises. And especially discouraged from the reading of such medical books that describe the anatomy and physiology of the female pelvic organs. This they suggest should all be read before pregnancy,. They were also careful to discourage women from taking up mental or intellectual studies with the view that the child will be made intellectual. They say that should these things not be followed the baby could be "marked" by the evils the mother has witnessed. We still ascribe to the thought that a happy pregnancy is the most successful one, and that happy music and talking to the baby can make an impression: an extremely good one!

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