Reformers in social affairs are aiming at the root of much evil in their campaign with the mothers of the country. F M Craig, writing from Denver, in regard to the influence of the mother over the unborn child and the child in infancy, says:
“As this result of many remarkable examples that have come to my notice, demonstrating the truth and practical value of these principles, it is my earnest conviction that a general reform along the lines suggested will accomplish more for the betterment of the race than any other known agency.
“Since the disposition, tastes, talents and tendencies of a child are largely inborn, or formed by early environment and training, therefore right generation and all uplifting influences during this plastic, formative period are more-potent factors for good than any attempt at regeneration in after years, when the character is, to a great extent, fixed.
“Through the observance of proper pre-natal conditions, I believe that it is possible for the earnest, consecrated parents to bring into the world children of genius and exalted spirituality, who may become true benefactors of the race. The marvelous results achieved by improved methods of stock breeding and horticulture prefigure the transformation of humanity destined to come through the new science of eugenics. Yet the masses but dimly comprehend these vitally important facts, and little effort is being made to enlighten them.”
It is of vital importance that every prospective mother should realize her wonderful power to mould the plastic brain and sensitive soul of the unborn babe. Since it is formed and developed by and through the action of her vital, mental and spiritual forces, therefore the exercise of any faculty of her mind or soul stimulates and develops in proportionate degree the corresponding faculty in the incipient child. Every absorbing thought and earnest desire she entertains is telepathed to the forming brain cells of the little one, leaving there its impress of good or ill — “a chisel that cuts to mar or beautify the statue of a soul.”
If she habitually indulges in anger, hatred, worry, or undesirable thoughts and feelings of any kind, these mental states will almost certainly be transmitted to her child as stubborn characteristics, requiring years of careful training to overcome. “Hundreds of mothers have assured me,” says Prof Newton N Riddell, “that they could trace their existing states during gestation in the life and disposition of their children.”
There are numberless instances on record of physical, mental and moral deformity, as well as of beauty, genius and virtue, directly traceable to the influence of maternal impressions in the child’s pre-natal life.
James Russell Lowell affirms that more can be accomplished for the child in the ante-natal period than by all the education of after years.
All that is best and purest in the expectant mother should awaken to meet the needs of her child. She should cultivate a cheerful, happy disposition, cherish only beautiful thoughts and aspirations, and pray earnestly every hour that her little one may be lovely, pure and good. She thus fully opens her soul to the influence of the Divine Spirit, and the power of the Highest will overshadow her and fashion a beautiful soul — perhaps a great spiritual genius — that will ever prove a joy to its parents and a blessing to mankind.
– Ogden Standard
Photo: Emma Lustig and baby, Chicago, Illinois (1907). DN-0004554, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum.