This article reviews existing research on how a pregnant mother's mental health status, stress level, and temperament affect her unborn baby's sensory processing abilities. After a brief introduction to sensory integration and sensory processing, research on how scientists learn about the fetus' developing nervous system by observing his/her behavior is presented. Maternal temperament and increased stress during pregnancy often impact temperament and developmental delay. This appears to negatively impact the unborn baby's physical, cognitive, self-regulation, and sensory processing abilities. An unhealthy maternal mental state negatively affects the unborn child's development. This stress during pregnancy appears to negatively impact the baby's cognitive and physical development and self-regulation abilities.
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JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.