Koreans have an expression for the prenatal care of an unborn child: the attention of a pregnant woman to her own mental health and education of the fetus.
Strange as it
may seem, a well-known physicist with a doctorate from Columbia and now
teaching at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, is
one of the leaders in the study of the influence of the environment on
the formation of the child in the womb.
Kim Soo-yong was interviewed by the Catholic Times recently to uncover
the reason for his interest in prenatal education. With his background
in science, it makes many shake their heads when they hear about a
physicist becoming interested in the education of the fetus.
has for years read many of the Korean classics in this field and wants
to validate what they have uncovered with scientific knowledge. To the
professor, the human brain is as complicated as the universe which is
his primary focus as a physicist. He began to take an interest in the
study of prenatal education while in the States. He wondered how his
brain was different from other brains. He couldn't give up the study of
physics but continued the interest in prenatal studies. There was, he
admits, much frustration in the quest for knowledge on prenatal
University some years ago made a study of prenatal care that suggested
that inadequate prenatal care significantly affects a person's
intelligence. This was accepted with much interest throughout the world,
but the professor says the Koreans knew this many centuries before. In
other words, nurture is more important than nature. The Koreans often
say that one year in the womb is more important than 10 years after
professor gives us the example of the Holy Family with Mary and
Joseph doing all that was necessary in the prenatal education of Jesus.
They were both obedient and prayerful, waiting patiently and courageous.
The Holy Family is an example, he says, of putting into practice
correct prenatal care.
It is not only for intelligence
that prenatal care is necessary but to prepare the child in the womb to
receive all that God wants to give.The first thing the fetus should
come in contact with is love. And during this time to have the fetus
come in contact with the love of Jesus. This energy from love will make
the brain supple, says the professor, and enable the child to overcome the many difficulties in life.
With these words, the professor recommends that pregnant mothers routinely attend Mass. He
hopes priests will be more understanding of the importance of the
prenatal period. This interest in prenatal care and education is
something that has had little foreign influence, he says, and is native
to the Korean way of life.
He wants the Church to consider this a vital
part of its teaching and to have the laity put into practice this teaching by stressing the importance of holy family life and the influence this will have on the prenatal education of their children.