I am passionate about sharing the research and creating an awareness of the profound importance of what babies are exposed to in utero, during pregnancy, and in early childhood. It is clearly documented that the brain literally prunes synapses depending on what kind of care/experience the baby has. The ramifications for this in parenting are huge. You are literally shaping your baby's brain, and determing the resources she'll have for responding to stress all through life.
Please join a discussion of specific ways to optimize your baby's brain development.

Ingrid Johnson

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I believe that the mother's diet, thought processes and belief systems lend a great influence to her baby's development in-utero. If mother's thoughts are - "I don't want this baby" or "This baby will help to save the marriage or relationship" then this may play a role in what the baby thinks of him/herself; am I worthy? do I matter? am I really conceived out of love or manipulation? These could strongly affect the baby's brain development in regards to self and life perceptions.

I totally agree, and would further add that the subtle, non-verbal messages received, both in utero and after birth, have a huge effect, also. Young babies sense the environment around them and pick up messages, even if they are not verbalized, related to their worth. In addition, their values and perceptions of the world are formed.
My midwife says babies have an understanding of at least 30 words at birth, so you can talk to them, and they understand more than just your tone of voice.
Of course they understand you...they grew INSIDE of you. They don't know anything else. Therefore they definitely could be affected by your language, moods, and emotions.
That said, even when mom is having a bad day, I'm sure baby still feels the love inside. :)
Any ideas on how to grow and fix synapses after they were pruned as developing babies now in adults like us?
There are several methods that work with 're-mapping' the brain, creating new connections, and there's heartening research showing that it can be done.
Are you on facebook? I recently posted a video of a talk by a neuroscientist about this very topic. Please let me know if you'd like the url for it.
I would be interested in the video. thanks.
neuroscientist's video:


Check out my blog, too:


neuroscientist's video:


Check out my blog, also:


As the mother of 6 children I have been able to reflect on birth experiences as my children have grown and developed personalties. I believe I have discovered a link to me emotions during their births in relation to their main traits. For instance, with my first, I was afraid and he has always been cautious. My second I was angry at my nurse and she is easily intimidated, with my third I felt relaxed and empowered and she is very independent and determined. My other 3 are 2 yr old twins and a 2 month old son. While I was calm cool and collected with the twins i do find them to be more independent and determined, self confident than my third. Unstoppable is a word i use almost daily about their antics.
Thanks for sharing that, Melissa. It's great that you are so tuned into each child's individual emotional make-up. In addition to these main traits, there are also many other traits for each child, and you can continue to allow them to show you these!

My almost 25 year old son has been unstoppable since day 1, and it's a very powerful trait.
Thank you Ingrid. Yes, I can see the power of the train already. My only real concern is guiding them into a successful life rather than one full of rebellious behavior. Organized rebellion would be acceptable if it was an effort to affect change, much like the homebirth and breastfeeding movements are trying to ultimately do for everyone's health.
You choose on the rebellion part - you may be interested in my new blog post about "Terrible Twos" at:


The same rebellion occurs in the teenage years as in the twos! If you create a format where the child can communicate, express independence, come back to the safety net, and go back and forth at her own pace, the need to rebel will be saved for affecting change on the kinds of issues and movements you mention!



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