The health and development of a fetus are largely dependent on the behavior, nutritional choices and attitude of the expecting mother. Medical studies point to the profound impact the pregnant woman's environment has on her unborn baby; how a positive and tranquil surrounding, and avoiding upsetting or anxious settings is beneficial to the fetus.

The physical development of the embryo mirrors its spiritual counterpart. The expecting mother's spiritual choices have lifelong effects on the developing new life.

Seek to be surrounded by a holy environment, such as attending synagogue services...Pregnancy is an appropriate time for a woman to increase in mitzvot (good deeds) and spiritual refinement. Seek to be surrounded by a holy environment, such as attending synagogue services and participating in Torah classes as often as you can.

Charity is especially beneficial. When we are generous to others, G‑d treats us in kind. Besides your regular charities, give a few coins every day—a charity box prominently placed in the home will be a constant reminder. The most auspicious time to give charity is right before lighting the Shabbat and Jewish Holiday candles.

And a meticulously kosher diet provides the best "spiritual nutrition" for your baby.

These are some pregnancy related customs:

  • "When the congregation takes out the Torah Scroll, the Heavenly Gates of Mercy are opened and G‑d's love is aroused"—Zohar. Some have the custom for the father to open the synagogue Ark before the Torah reading during the last month of pregnancy.
  • Throughout the pregnancy, mother and father should make it a habit to recite Psalms.
  • Have a scribe inspect your home's mezuzahs. If you don't have mezuzahs on all your doorways, now is a great time to install them.
  • Have a copy of Psalm 121 on hand during birth. Click here for a printable version, and pack it in your take-to-the-hospital bag.

Click here for more pregnancy customs.