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Notes on a Montessori Pregnancy (and Birth)

Notes on a Montessori pregnancy

Is a Montessori pregnancy different to any other pregnancy? I don't think so, there is not a lot that we do differently to other mindful parents. I have, however, been scouring my Montessori resources on tips or anything that might be useful during pregnancy. Here are a few quotes that I found insightful and interesting. 

On pregnancy:

Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting: Become emotionally and physically prepared for pregnancy and birth. Research available options for healthcare providers and birthing environments, and become informed about routine newborn care. Continuously educate yourself about developmental stages of childhood, setting realistic expectations and remaining flexible. - Montessori and Attachment Parenting at At Home with Montessori

We cannot know exactly that the baby sense, feels, intuits, thinks about, and understands. But we do know that he responds to voices, to sounds and to music. So we can offer the best by spending quiet time talking to him, singing, and playing beautiful music, on a daily basis. - The Joyful Child. Montessori, Global Wisdom for Borth to Three.   

During this special period of human life, a human being (the child) stays in a container composed of another human being, the mother. For the proper development of the child's psychic life, it is essential that the living container, the mother, has an attitude of acceptance... This situation can be described as a "basic maternal trust" in the pregnancy. This trust passes to the child and becomes a condition and stimulus of his or her development. - Understanding the Human Being.

Each pregnancy gives the parents the opportunity to review their lifestyle and try to improve it in order to help the new family member in the best possible way. The best things to offer to children is a loving relationship. This never changes throughout life: human love is a basic necessity. - Understanding the Human Being.

Before the child is born and the parents become too busy with the new life, such things as furniture, clothing, the way to feed, the quantity of sleep a newborn requires and the mental and motor abilities of the child need to be considered, understood and planned for. - Understanding the Human Being.

Considering all that goes on in the last period of prenatal life, we cannot but admire the intelligent work of the biological and psychological ego of the child. We become aware of the necessity of taking every possible care in order to offer the fetus the opportunity to pass from internal to external life as part of a continuum of development. It is the child himself who prepares for the important change and he should find all the other persons around prepared to meet his needs. We all must understand the richness and complexity of fetal life, especially parents. With this knowledge and with our love for the child, we can prepare ourselves for the important moment of birth. - Understanding the Human Being

On birth: 

The newborn child should be allowed to remain in fetal position after birth... The newborn child must become the object of knowledgeable care. Even holding him requires the utmost gentleness, and he should not be moved except with great tenderness. - The Child in the Family

The process of giving birth can be very rewarding for both the mother and child. At the end of the process, the mother finally meets her child directly and is able to see, touch and talk to it, while the newborn is able to feel the direct presence of the person it has known so well for a long time. The place is different but the person is the same. The two partners are now together in a better way and can continue sharing all the important experiences of life. - Understanding the Human Being

It is extremely important with newborns immediately after birth to respect, as much as possible, the continuation of the basic points of reference (maternal heartbeat and voice). Everyone present in the delivery room or dealing with the newborn should be aware of these special requirements. - Understanding the Human Being  

It was interesting to read Dr Montanaro's thoughts on the importance of accepting and trusting the pregnancy as I deal with my own anxieties. Knowing the baby can now respond to sound is important as I note the response our baby has to Otis' voice, at night when there is less background noise the baby will often respond to Otis' who although has a higher pitch is much louder than everyone else.   

There is so much more written about pregnancy and birth from a Montessori perspective. Maria Montessori writes about the newborn being after birth, in the care of the mother, warm and protected from too many sensations, allowing the newborn to remain unclothed and not swaddled, communicating a sense of calm. Not swaddling a baby is an aspect of Montessori parenting that is against the norm. The Absorbent Mind is useful to read and Understanding the Human Being is the closest thing to a Montessori baby book. Montessori is about an education from birth, so if you are currently expecting, this is the time to read up and do your research on childhood development. 

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