The Importance of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology



Growth and development are generally the only factors that individuals think about when it comes to the life of their unborn child. However, studying psychology provides a much clearer image of just how these developments are occurring. It is believed that consciousness, our personality, drives and ambitions, are all developed in the months between conception and birth. Taking a scientific approach, we are able to see that from conception we are remembering, feeling, and aware beings that have personalities and traits that will  continue to develop into adulthood. Women help shape the lives of their unborn children by events that happen to them while pregnant.  Her thoughts and feelings during pregnancy also play a major role. Communication between mother and child during these critical months is essential  How your child behaves cannot be predicted with absolutely certainty, however mothers that support the emotional and intellectual needs of their unborn, tend to have mentally healthy and happy children. A father’s role  is also essential to the health and wellbeing of the child. Bonding early will help parents have a deeper and more meaningful relationship with their children from the beginning.

Although this is only a small example of the importance of  Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology there are some great websites and resources below that can give you more information if you are interested.


What is Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology?

The Association of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health


PPN Definition

“We find that prenatal and perinatal experiences have a profound impact on health and human behavior. Life is a continuum which starts not, as is commonly thought, at birth, but at conception. We see mother and child as fundamentally interconnected and understand that babies are sentient beings who are best nurtured when their mothers are provided with a supportive and healthy prenatal environment in which their choices are respected.”

PPN Psychology – “ is the discipline that studies the effects of stressful or overwhelming events, which occur from conception through the prenatal and perinatal (birth) developmental time periods”

PPN Psychotherapy – “is defined as treatment around an individual’s reactions to stressful or overwhelming events, because without intervention unresolved early traumas have the potential to become maladaptive and repetitive patterns throughout life.”

Wikipedia’s PPN Definition

“Prenatal and Perinatal  Psychology is the study of the psychological implications of the earliest experiences of the individual, before (prenatal) and during (perinatal) childbirth. Although theoretical and therapeutic approaches vary in their treatment of the topic, a common thread is the fundamental importance of prenatal and perinatal experiences in the shaping of the personality and future psychological development.”

PPN Assumptions

  • The developing child is capable of sensing, experiencing, and remembering as a conscious, aware being.
  • Stressful of traumatic prenatal and perinatal experiences/events will have lasting effects.
  • These lasting effects will be found in the development of an individuals personality, structure, and will be seen in his or her mental processes, emotions, behaviors, relationships, and physical health.


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