Begin Before Birth

Begin Before Birth

What happens in the womb can last a lifetime

We are all interested in understanding what makes us who we are.   We all also want to make sure that every child gets the best possible start in life.   We have known for a long time that how we turn out depends on both our genes and our environment. What we now realize is that the influence of the environment begins in the womb, and how the mother feels during pregnancy can change this environment and can have a lasting effect on the development of her child.   Therefore, we all need to support and look after pregnant women, both for their sake and that of future generations. We need to Begin Before Birth.   We hope that this site will prove useful to a wide range of people who are interested in understanding more about the importance of the environment in the womb, including:

  • Mothers 

who want to understand the importance of stress in pregnancy, how this can affect their well-being and what they can do to help manage their own stress Mothers and fathers may also be interested in learning more about how the fetus develops, the importance of the father, family & friends during pregnancy and the effects of fetal programming on the baby and child     

  • Students 

who are interested in the science behind fetal programming and fetal development, including the evolutionary background, the importance of epigenetics and the placenta, and supporting evidence from animal models   Students may also be interested in the social implications discussed in Charlie’s story and public policy     

  • Health Professionals 

who want to understand more about stress in pregnancy, its relationship with fetal programming and fetal development , how this may affect the baby and child, and what can be done to help


Professor Vivette Glover hosts an annual meeting specifically on this topic for medical professionals, policy makers and anyone interested about these issues.  The next Begin Before Birth meeting will be held onThursday June 16th 2016 at the Wolfson Education Centre, Hammersmith hospital, all are welcome. Click here to register for this event.

Professor Vivette Glover, Professor of Perinatal Psychobiology

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