Are there lifestyle changes to make before conception? The healthier and most free of drugs and toxins you and your environment can be, the better for the health of the baby. Long before conceiving is maybe a better time to quit smoking, than having to stop when you find out you have conceived. Before conceiving, it also seems preferable to stop smoking marijuana and taking any recreational drugs, and for the mother to stop drinking alcohol, and to reduce caffeine intake.[1] It is even better if both future parents stop smoking etc., which helps to create a healthy environment for pregnancy and gives the mother support in changing her habits. If you could become pregnant this month, it's best to leave alcohol aside altogether, since early in the pregnancy it can do a lot of damage to the foetus. [2], [3]

Also, because your attitude can make a difference, it may be a good time to look at your inner life. Some studies reveal that the mother's thoughts and attitude both in general and toward the baby have a direct effect on the unborn baby (measurable especially later in the pregnancy) and have a long-term impact on the baby's development.[4] So before conceiving may be a good time to observe your unresolved issues and fears and emotional habits, to make peace with them, and as much as possible to try to find inner calm and gratitude for life. This endeavour is, of course, a lifelong one, but bringing special attention to it at this time can be a great help for later.


The effects of the mother's thoughts and emotions on the unborn child


[1] Caffeine and Your Health. Health Canada, 28 March 2003, researched August 2009 <>, and 9 September 2009, researched October 2010 <>


[2] Alcohol and Pregnancy. Public Health Agency of Canada, September 2008, researched July 2009 <>


[3] Odent, Michel and Pascal Odent. Pre-labour intrauterine life, Maternal Emotional States and Prenatal Care 2006,  June 2009 <>

[4]  Van den Bergh, Bea R.H. Antenatal maternal anxiety and stress and the neurobehavioural development of the fetus and child: links and possible mechanisms. A review. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 29 (2005) 237–258. Researched March 23, 2011, <>

The annunciation by Botticelli

Two lovers play the shamisen

by Suzuki Harunobu