A Theory of the Psychophysiological Consequences of Umbilical Cord Manipulation by the Fetus

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Imaging techniques have permitted us to observe the prenatal environment, and the human fetus has been caught in the act of grasping its umbilical cord. One aspect of what I had much earlier envisioned was thus confirmed. Yet to be confirmed is that the fetus, by that activity, takes a hand in its own creation. Fetal cord manipulation, or hand-umbilical contact, can be equated to self-stimulation. This act fortuitously initiates a primitive emotional conditioning and complements some phases of physical gestational development. It predisposes the fetus to emotional experience of a particular sort, and is a preliminary to the love-bonding so essential to the healthy maturation of all human children. The cord becomes a major "consoling presence" within the limited space of the fetus.


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Mary F. Straub is a freelance writer and an independent researcher long interested in the human condition. She is a hypnotherapist and instructor of the history and practical application of meditation as it applies to health. Address correspondence to the author at: 7600 South Cork Avenue, Justice, IL 60458.