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This article addresses the function and value of joy in pregnancy. Beginning by addressing the lack of scientific studies of joy, moving on to discuss joy as depicted in art and poetry, then delving into scientific studies of other emotions, the author leads us through the practical applications of this knowledge to the wonderful conclusion that the function of joy in pregnancy is to protect the unborn child against the effects of the harmful stress hormones and, further, that this ultimately affects the adult individual and the culture as a whole.


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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.

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