Searchlights on Health/Education of the Child in the Womb

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EDUCATION OF THE CHILD IN THE WOMB.

"A lady once interviewed a prominent college president and asked him when the education of a child should begin. 'Twenty-five years before it is born,' was the prompt reply."

No better answer was ever given to that question Every mother may well consider it.

1. THE UNBORN CHILD AFFECTED BY THE THOUGHTS AND THE SURROUNDINGS OF THE MOTHER.—That the child is affected in the womb of the mother, through the influences apparently connected with objects by which she is surrounded, appears to have been well known in ancient days, as well as at the present time.

2. EVIDENCES.—Many evidences are found in ancient history, especially among the refined nations, showing that certain expedients were resorted to by which their females, during the period of utero-gestation, were surrounded by the superior refinements of the age, with the hope of thus making upon them impressions which should have the effect of communicating certain desired qualities to the offspring. For this reason apartments were adorned with statuary and paintings, and special pains were taken not only to convey favorable impressions, but also to guard against unfavorable ones being made, upon the mind of the pregnant woman.

3. HANKERING AFTER GIN.—A certain mother while pregnant, longed for gin, which could not be gotten; and her child cried incessantly for six weeks till gin was given it, which it eagerly clutched and drank with ravenous greediness, stopped crying, and became healthy.

4. BEGIN TO EDUCATE CHILDREN AT CONCEPTION, and continue during their entire carriage. Yet maternal study, of little account before the sixth, after it, is most promotive of talents; which, next to goodness are the father's joy and the mother's pride. What pains are taken after they are born, to render them prodigies of learning, by the best of schools and teachers from their third year; whereas their mother's study, three months before their birth, would improve their intellects infinitely more.

5. MOTHERS, DOES GOD THUS PUT the endowment of your darlings into your moulding power? Then tremble in view of its necessary responsibilities, and learn how to wield them for their and your temporal and eternal happiness.

6. QUALITIES OF THE MIND.—The Qualities of the mind are perhaps as much liable to hereditary transmission as bodily configuration. Memory, intelligence, judgment, imagination, passions, diseases, and what is usually called genius, are often very markedly traced in the offspring.—I have known mental impressions forcibly impressed upon the offspring at the time of conception, as concomitant of some peculiar eccentricity, idiosyncrasy, morbidness, waywardness, irritability, or proclivity of either one or both parents.

7. THE PLASTIC BRAIN.—The plastic brain of the foetus is prompt to receive all impressions. It retains them, and they become the characteristics of the child and the man. Low spirits, violent passions, irritability, frivolity, in the pregnant woman, leave indelible marks on the unborn child.

8. FORMATION OF CHARACTER.—I believe that pre-natal influences may do as much in the formation of character as all the education that can come after, and that mothers may, in a measure, "will," what that influence shall be, and that, as knowledge on the subject increases, it will be more and more under their control. In that, as in everything else, things that would be possible with one mother would not be with another, and measures that would be successful with one would produce opposite results from the other.

9. A HISTORICAL ILLUSTRATION.—A woman rode side by side with her soldier husband, and witnessed the drilling of troops for battle. The scene inspired her with a deep longing to see a battle and share in the excitements of the conquerors. This was but a few months before her boy was born, and his name was Napoleon.

10. A MUSICIAN.—The following was reported by Dr. F.W. Moffatt, in the mother's own language, "When I was first pregnant, I wished my offspring to be a musician, so, during the period of that pregnancy, settled my whole mind on music, and attended every musical entertainment I possibly could. I had my husband, who has a violin, to play for me by the hour. When the child was born, it was a girl, which grew and prospered, and finally became an expert musician."

11. MURDEROUS INTENT.—The mother of a young man, who was hung not long ago, was heard to say: "I tried to get rid of him before he was born; and, oh, how I wish now that I had succeeded!" She added that it was the only time she had attempted anything of the sort; but, because of home troubles, she became desperate, and resolved that her burdens should not be made any greater. Does it not seem probable that the murderous intent, even though of short duration, was communicated to the mind of the child, and resulted in the crime for which he was hung?

12. THE ASSASSIN OF GARFIELD.—Guiteau's father was a man of integrity and conquerable intellectual ability. His children were born in quick succession, and the mother was obliged to work very hard. Before this child was born, she resorted to every means, though unsuccessful, to produce abortion. The world knows the result. Guiteau's whole life was full of contradictions. There was little self-controlling power in him; no common sense, and not a vestige or remorse or shame. In his wild imagination, he believed himself capable of doing the greatest work and of filling the loftiest station in life. Who will dare question that this mother's effort to destroy him while in embryo was the main cause in bringing him to the level of the brutes?

13. CAUTION.—Any attempt, on the part of the mother, to destroy her child before birth, is liable, if unsuccessful, to produce murderous tendencies. Even harboring murderous thoughts, whether toward her own child or not, might be followed by similar results.

"The great King of kings
Hath in the table of His law commanded
That thou shall do no murder. Wilt thou, then,
Spurn at His edict, and fulfill a man's?
Take heed, for He holds vengeance in His hand
To hurl upon their heads that break his law."
—RICHARD III., Act I.