• Prenatal Parenting Program

  • Introduction.

    As a parent of two wonderful children and now grandparent of five precious grandchildren and a parent educator for over thirty years, I felt it was time to give back to the community many of the inspiring ideas that I have learned throughout my career.  The following Prenatal Parenting Program is designed to inspire you to create positive experiences for you and your unborn baby.

    • What do you want for your baby?

    When I asked parents in my parenting programs what they wanted for their baby, parents consistently said they wanted their baby to be happy.  If a happy baby is one of your priorities, then this program is for you.

    Research in the field of epigenetics is now proving that when you are in a happy, nurturing and caring environment, your body chemistry produces growth hormones that flow through your body creating a nourishing environment for your cells and organs.  During pregnancy these growth hormones cross to your baby through the placenta.

    • Self-Awareness Activities.

    This Prenatal Parenting Program is designed to follow the eleven delightful stories from the storybook, “Beaming Bright, You’re a Shining Light.”  Each story follows a theme which will be expanded upon with specific activities chosen from the 101 self-awareness activities contained in the, “Beaming Bright, You’re a Shining Light Lesson Plans” for parents, caregivers and teachers.

    Reading the, “Beaming Bright, You’re a Shining Light” stories to your baby in the womb offer parents an opportunity to have joyful, heartfelt moments with their unborn baby. Every story is designed to make parenting easier as you build positive experiences and relationships with your unborn baby and all the significant people in your life.  Enjoy!

    • What do we know about learning?

    Advertisers learned long ago that we learn through repetition.  This is why advertisers pay to have the same commercial run over and over again on TV and social media networks.  As prenatal parents understand this, they will learn that their unborn baby is already growing and learning through many repetitive daily experiences.  A baby in the womb at 6 – 7 months hears and knows the voice of their parents.  They listen and feel experiences as mom interacts with the significant people in her life.  As parents create nurturing experiences with their babies in the womb they are forming a bond and connection with their baby.

    Prenatal Parenting Program.

    It is suggested that parents concentrate on only one activity per week.  In this way you can integrate the parenting concepts easily and effortlessly.  You will then benefit by creating even stronger connections with the loved ones in your life.

  • Breathing Free Story.  The theme for this story is, “I can calm and relax myself.”

    A baby in the womb feels what mother feels.  When mother is calm and relaxed, your unborn baby will feel calm and relaxed.

    A quote from John Gottman, author of: “And Baby Makes Three.”

    “The quality of the couple’s marital relationship and how they handle conflicts while pregnant will determine, in part, what kind of baby they’ll have.  If they handle conflicts well and relate to each other well, they’re more likely to have a happy baby who can self-soothe and focus attention.”

    The good news is that we can always learn new ways of communicating more effectively.  Create the habit of taking a deep breath in and then very slowly breathing out whenever you are upset.  This will calm and relax your body. As you relax your brain and release serotonin, offering feelings of well-being and happiness.  As you self-soothe yourself consistently during upsetting moments you will be creating new neural connections within your brain.

    While you are pregnant your baby will gain the many benefits of your self-soothing.  Once calm, you will be able to think more clearly and make better choices.  This habit will benefit you each day of your life with all your experiences and relationships.  As an example, whenever a conflict surfaces within a relationship many possible thoughts and feelings arise and at times result in disrespect towards one another at times.  Since we all recognize that we deserve to be respected and are doing the best we can, this is an opportunity to self-regulate your emotions.

    • Breathe, feel, acknowledge and accept all your feelings.
    • Ask yourself, “What do I want or need and why?”

    The dictionary meaning of respect is to be kind, caring, show consideration, recognized, valued, appreciated, complimented, cherished, treasured.

    • After being self-reflective, communicate your feelings in a gentle, respectful way as you ask for what you want.

    As prenatal parents improve their communication skills you will gain a deeper understanding of your own and others thoughts, feelings and emotions.  As you relate to what others are feeling you will gain a sense of empathy and a deeper bond with one another.

  • Shining Light Story.  The theme for this story is, “I am creative.”

    This story is about the power of the imagination.  I have done many demonstrations with parents where they have imagined themselves biting into a juicy lemon.  The result was that many parents sensed the citrusy smell and experienced saliva coming into their mouth.  I have asked them, “How is this possible, we have only imagined a lemon and there is no lemon in this room?”

    The mind does not know the difference between a real or imagined event. Any time you use your imagination your mind thinks what you are imagining is real.

    I Am Creative Activity.

    This activity is about discovering your creativity as a parent.

    • Ask yourself, “When have I been creative?”

    You create a new look each day with the clothes you wear.  As you go through your day today, observe and discover the many moments that you create.  Knowing your creativity will inspire you to use your imagination.

    A quote from John Gottman, author of: “And Baby Makes Three.”

    “Couples who did well after the baby arrived became a team early on, during the pregnancy.  Each one didn’t just think about “ME.”  They thought of themselves as “WE.”  They made sacrifices for the “team” that they would never have made before becoming pregnant.  Men played a central role, and the “ME-to-WE” men were easy to spot.  They praised their women, they loved how their pregnant women looked, and they supported their women throughout the pregnancy.”

    What team experiences can you create with one another today?

  • Morning Sun Story.  The theme for this story is, “What I focus on grows!”

    • What do I think about during the day?
    • Where do I focus my attention?
    • Do I notice more negative or positive experiences?

    The reticular activating system within the brain functions whether we know about it or not.  It filters your thoughts, words and imagination bringing into your life whatever you are seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking about or believing.  As adults learn about and understand the concept of, “What I focus on grows!” they can use this concept every day.  For example:

    • Think about a negative experience.
    • How do you feel?

    It is important to breathe, feel, acknowledge and accept all your feelings. There are many ways to heal and release old painful feelings and experiences.  Finding a way that works best for you is recommended.

    • Think about a positive experience.
    • How do you feel?

    Whatever you think about, feel or focus on will grow.  As you focus on moments when you feel a connection with others and everyone is kind and caring, you will feel that experience and it will grow.

    Favorite Things Activity.

    Talk with your unborn baby about what you are positively experiencing and feeling.

    • “I can feel and see you growing bigger and bigger in my belly.”
    • “I can feel your little hand and foot as it moves around in my belly.”
    • Have fun imagining seeing, hearing and feeling all the favorite things that you will be doing with your baby once they are born.

    If you are in a couple relationship play, have fun, and practice focusing on all the things that you love to do together, and communicate those feelings to your partner. Keeping your relationship alive and strengthened while pregnant is very important.  Connect and respond with kindness as you communicate with your partner.  It could be that you are sharing things you enjoy or asking for assistance.  Responding in playful ways creates a warm friendship and environment for you and your baby in the womb. Talk about moments when you felt your love and friendship really connect.

    What you focus on grows!

  • Flashing Light Story. The theme for this story is, “I choose to love myself.”

    An unborn baby within mom’s belly experiences everything that mom experiences.  As you strengthen your love for yourself, your baby will benefit. As prenatal parents softly touch mommy’s belly, huge amounts of oxytocin are released into the mommy and babies body.  This hormone creates feelings of relaxation.  Relax into these loving feelings.

    Loving yourself is a choice that you make moment by moment.  As you become more unconditionally loving and accepting of yourself for all your characteristics, you begin to model and give unconditional love to others.

    • Be gentle, kind, caring and patient with yourself. Love yourself just as you are.  See yourself from a loving perspective and be a cheerleader for yourself and others.
    • Listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, rest.
    • Learn to have empathy and compassion for yourself and others.
    • Ask for help and support when you need it.
    • Recognize that you are always doing the best that you can. You are learning from each and every experience.
    • Smile, enjoy and appreciate the precious moments that appear.
  • Birds and Butterfly Story. The theme for this story is, “I appreciate nature.”

    As prenatal parents walk in nature it’s a wonderful opportunity to let go of the busy world and to appreciate and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds that are all around you. Imagine your child a couple of years from now walking in nature with you, discovering all the many surprises that nature offers.

    When stress happens, breathe to relax and then go outdoors and watch what happens to the stress you were feeling in your body.

  • Sandcastle Dreams Story. The theme for this story is, “I believe in wishes and dreams.”

    “The Little Engine That Could” storybook written by Watty Piper, reminds you that as you say, “I think I can, I think I can” you will be amazed by what you can experience and accomplish.  The little engine opened his heart to the children and offered his assistance even when he was unsure about his ability.

    This story encourages all who read it to focus on the words, “I think I can, I think I can” whenever we are approaching a challenge.

    • What attitudes do you wish to enhance in your life?
    • What wishes and dreams do you have?
    • Have fun thinking about a small dream and imagine it happening.
    • Write down your dream and look at it often. Believe in yourself and create an, “I Can” attitude, and see what happens.
  • Bubbles of Joy Story. The theme for this story is, “I am filed with joy.”

    There are many distractions in life that can take you away from having joy filled moments.  As prenatal parents become aware of moments when you feel joyful, know that at these moments your baby is also experiencing feelings of joy!

    Joyful, playful, fun experiences build relationships and are so important in our lives.

    When stress happens, joy is a wonderful stress releaser.  Move into a different environment, have some fun and watch what happens to the stress you were feeling in your body.

  • Rainbow Delight Story. The theme for this story is, “I feel my perfect wholeness.”

    In this story you are encouraged to focus your thoughts, feelings and imagination on feeling your perfect wholeness.  Have fun imagining your body and your baby’s body being perfect and whole in every way.

    Health professionals around the world encourage the use of imagery as part of the healing process for physically or emotionally challenged patients.

  • Loving Yourself Story. The theme for this story is, “It’s OK to be different.”

    Appreciating your own similarities and differences allow you to love and accept yourself and others unconditionally.  As you do this you are learning it’s OK to have a different opinion or idea from someone else.

    Learn to believe in yourself, respect and appreciate yourself for who you are and others for who they are.  Once your baby is born you will be modeling these attitudes for your baby, they will be learning to respect and appreciate themselves and others also!

    • Make a list of all the things that you appreciate about yourself and the significant people in your life.  What you focus on grows!

    Good Things Happen Every Day Activity.

    This inspiring activity encourages you to be optimistic as you imagine good things happening every day.  This playful idea offers you an opportunity to create a positive belief about what happens in your life each day.

    As you experience good things happening, celebrate all these little experiences and watch this belief strengthen for you.

    • Make a list of all the good things that have happened for you over the last year or so.  Spend time thinking about all these good events.  What you focus on grows!

    Each time prenatal moms celebrate something good happening, your baby will feel your joy too!

  • Shining Star Story. The theme for this story is, “I appreciate myself and others.”

    Feeling self-appreciation for who you are and what you do each day is very important.

    The following exercise is wonderful for everyone.  However, if you ever feel that you are not being appreciated, this exercise will help you to change that belief and feeling.

    • Each night before you go to sleep, appreciate yourself for all that you have done during the day.  Also appreciate others for the help you received during the day.  Create this habit and you will experience appreciation in ways that amaze you.  What you focus on grows!

     

  • Playful Journeys Story. The theme for this story is, “I have discovered a lot about me.”

    How you think and feel about yourself greatly influences how you act.  Whenever you discover yourself beaming and shining, feel the freedom within you at that moment.

    The concepts included in the 101 self-awareness activities in the Beaming Bright, You’re a Shining Light Lesson Plans focus on learning to calm and relax, believe in your wishes and dreams and to love and appreciate yourself and others.

    These concepts help to strengthen your belief in your lovable, happy self.

    Epigenetics is now proving that when a baby in the womb is in a supportive, nurturing, and loving environment the cells in their body respond positively.

    As you practice these concepts they will become a part of your everyday life.  You will watch wonderful experiences happening for you and your baby. All your relationships will benefit from these simple yet dynamic practices.

    What you focus on grows!

    Once your baby is born, you can begin the Parenting Program for Parents with Babies. Many of the same concepts will be expanded upon and are designed to help create a connection and an attachment relationship with your baby. The first eighteen months is a very important learning and growing time.  This is a time when you can influence your baby by creating a positive relationship with them and a foundation of inner strength for them based on love, trust and understanding.

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