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Tomorrow's Baby: The Art and Science of Parenting from Conception through Infancy Hardcover – January 2, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (January 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684872145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684872148
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,104,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Verny (The Secret Life of the Unborn Child), a psychiatrist and founder of the Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology Association of America, firmly believes that the development of the embryo and fetus, particularly the brain, is affected by a variety of external factors including nutrition, stress, medication and exercise. Stimulation such as playing music for unborn children is less important, according to Verny, than the emotional state of the mother. "The prenatal classroom is better suited for lessons of intimacy, love, and trust than for intellectual calisthenics or IQ boosting." He is particularly concerned with pregnant women who are uneasy with impending parenthood, and cites much scientific evidence showing how prenatal maternal stress negatively effects the baby's physical development. Likewise, he shows how parental behavior and mood in general have a direct impact on their children. However, readers looking for practical parenting tools may be frustrated; much of his advice is very broad (he urges women to find emotional support during pregnancy, for instance), and parents will probably find it quite difficult to work out anxiety-provoking internal conflicts and eliminate stressors without more concrete and perhaps professional guidance. Yet while the book falls somewhat short as a hands-on guide, Verny's thought-provoking and impassioned arguments and his engrossing descriptions of the infant's internal world will likely raise awareness of how parents' emotional lives affect their developing baby.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A psychiatrist and founder of the Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology Association of North America, Verny studies prenatal and infant brain development. Using the neuroscience angle to promote a New Age concept of the mind-body connection, he states that a child's brain interacts with his or her environment from the moment of conception. Since both genetics and experience shape personality, the nature/nurture dichotomy, he argues, does not exist. Although his basic explanation of current neuroscience, the mind-body connection, and its influence on child development will be of interest to parents and childcare professionals, his parenting advice is nothing new: interact with the child during pregnancy and infancy, avoid stress, take prenatal classes, have a natural childbirth, avoid physically or emotionally abusing the child, and maintain a stable, loving family. The American Medical Association Complete Guide to Your Children's Health (Random, 1999) or T. Berry Brazelton's Touchpoints (LJ 11/1/92) provide more comprehensive and practical information for parents. Recommended for public libraries where there is interest in New Age parenting material. Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Very good and usefull information.
jugurgel
"Children exposed to music in utero develop superior language skills."
Children's Author Alinka Rutkowska
I learned a great deal reading it.
Dr. S. W. Silverberg M.D.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 63 people found the following review helpful By RedRobot on April 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book thinking that the author would describe current research and try to distill it into advice for parents. Unfortunately, it frequently sinks into an impassioned but unscientific screed of his personal opinions about prenatal development.

There are two huge flaws to this book. One, he sloppily and disingenuously dismisses research that doesn't fit in with his worldview. For example, he criticizes Harris' The Nurture Assumption by saying that "her conclusions run counter to" the findings of other research studies (um, that's how the scientific method works--to advance scientific knowledge, people have to challenge current thinking!), and misprepresents her work by saying that she bases the book on her personal experiences. Actually, it's an extremely well-supported book (note the forward from respected MIT psychologist Steven Pinker), and while Harris does mention her own experiences, her arguments are based on detailed analysis of genetic/enviromental studies. Frankly, I suspect that Verny simply couldn't follow the math, and that's why he pans her book without addressing the technical analysis.

Two, he tries to support his more controversial opinions with highly emotional anecdotes, rather than actual evidence-based data. For example, the author claims that fetuses can hear their mother's thoughts (memories of which he believes can be uncovered with regression hypnosis, a practice that is not scientifically credible). Even more bizarrely, Verny claims that a 16-year-old was crushed to death in a car accident because he was traumatized by a premature birth brought on by pressure to the mother's abdomen. That is magical thinking, not scientific thinking.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Tomorrow's Baby. I learned lots of new things such as the fact that the ova (egg) is always fertilized when sperm are about but the woman's body sometimes aborts it because of the male cells. The woman's body thinks it's an intruder. Also that at only 28 days old, when the embryo is only 1/4 inch long, the blood vessel that will become the heart begins to beat and the three primary parts of the brain have formed.

Unlike another reviewer, I found the talk about homosexuality interesting. I don't believe that the author is saying homosexuality is bad, but it isn't the norm. I found it intriguing to learn that homosexuality may be caused by stress during pregnancy because that would prove that homosexuals have no control over their feelings.

Someone else mentioned the author saying that stress, trauma, depression, abuse and the like during pregnancy causes mental health troubles in the child later on. I don't find that blaming. I don't feel that because I was depressed during my pregancy, if my daughter turns out to have mental health issues it will be my fault. It's not that concrete. Her health may or may not have something to do with my pregancy. The point of the research is to show that we need to implement some strategies to help those who are pregnant and poor/stressed/depressed/being abused and maybe in a few years the rate of mental health issues will decrease.

I especially enjoyed the summaries and key points at the end of each chapter. At times I had a hard time understanding the scientific talk but it wasn't that advanced. I just needed a quiet corner to read uninterupted. It's not a beginner's book though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Children's Author Alinka Rutkowska on March 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying that this is the third pregnancy book I would recommend right after my absolute favorite Pregnancy Day By Day (beautiful, informative book) and super funny and real Bumptabulous: 20 Moms Expose Pregnancy

Here are some of the many things I've learnt so far:

"Awake or asleep, the studies show that [unborn babies] are constantly tuned in to their mother's every action, thought, and feeling."

"The prenate starts to make movements in response to being touched at 8 weeks."

"Women with wanted pregnancies, good self-esteem, and sufficient social support had the calmest babies, whose heart rates returned to normal in the shortest time."

"Excessive exposure to stress affects the physiology of the brain."

"Unwanted children virtually always suffered lower self-esteem than wanted children."

"Short bursts of upset or stress are not harmful to you or your child. It is chronic, ongoing stress that is potentially damaging."

"One patient of mine recalled a Peter, Paul and Mary song she had sung repeatedly during her pregnancy. After the birth of her child, that song had a magical effect on the infant: no matter how hard he was crying, whenever his mother started singing that song - and that song alone - he would quiet down."

"Children exposed to music in utero develop superior language skills."

"Babies have many symptoms that parents and physicians consider normal but which are actually symptoms of underlying birth trauma.
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