- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671775243
- ISBN-13: 978-0671775247
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #982,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pre-Parenting: Nurturing Your Child from Conception Paperback – October 1, 2003
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Publishers Weekly Verny's...engrossing descriptions of the infant's internal world...will likely raise awareness of how parents' emotional lives affect their developing baby.
About the Author
Thomas R. Verny, M.D., is the world's leading expert on the effects of the prenatal and early postnatal environment on personality development. He is also the author of the international bestseller The Secret Life of the Unborn Child (with John Kelly). He is the founder of what is now known as the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH).
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The author also proposes the prospective parents to actively prepare (and change) their mindsets and attitudes (if necessary) through the keeping of a journal with specific contents which facilitate becoming aware of ones implicit thoughts and vision of the Universe.
Well recommended if you are also "a prospective one" !
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.
This book would simply be ridiculous and a disappointment, but Verny puts so much pressure on mothers that instead I find it to be a travesty. Not only does he claim that mothers can't have stress, anger or unhappiness during their pregnancies without risking damage to their babies, but they cannot even have any negative thoughts about their babies because their babies will "hear" their thoughts, be psychologically damaged, and remember them years later! Mothers are the recipients of enough paternalistic advice covering every aspect of what they eat, how much they exercise, when they stop work, etc etc. When one is pregnant, you quickly get the feeling that you no longer own your own body. But now Verny says that not only is your body not yours, but your thoughts aren't either. Mothers don't need to deal with spurious guilt-tripping, in addition to everything else.