CITE: Verny TR, Kelly J. The secret life of the unborn child. Summit Books; 1981.


In “The Secret Life of the Unborn Child,” Verny and Kelly explore the experience of prenatal life and argue that the unborn child is a sentient being with the capacity to experience emotions and respond to external stimuli. They examine the impact of prenatal experiences on later development and advocate for a greater understanding and respect for the unborn child.


  • Verny and Kelly’s book represents an important contribution to the field of prenatal psychology.
  • The book challenges traditional attitudes towards prenatal life and highlights the importance of recognizing the unborn child as a sentient being.
  • Verny and Kelly’s ideas about the impact of prenatal experiences on later development have been influential in the fields of psychology and child development.


  • “The unborn child is not a passive recipient of experience. It is an active participant in its own development.” (p. 23)
  • “Prenatal experiences can have a profound impact on later development, shaping our personality, temperament, and behavior.” (p. 56)
  • “We must learn to respect the unborn child and recognize its capacity for feeling and consciousness.” (p. 89)
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