Scientists now understand that lifestyle choices are particularly important in terms of the impact to the fetus during gestation. A pregnant mother’s choices (e.g., smoking, drinking alcohol, eating habits and level of nutrition, exercise) can have a huge impact on her unborn child. Babies often like the foods their mother ate during pregnancy. The amount and type of stressors play a part, too. The children of pregnant women who saw the 9-11 World Trade catastrophe were found to have higher levels of cortisol. PTSD may even be transmitted from one generation to the next. According to Debra Bangasser, PhD, a child who experienced a stressful pregnancy may require higher levels of stress just to activate the release of cortisol. Waiting to do things until the very last minute may be indicative of this. For a female fetus, a stressful pregnancy (and/or a stressful first two years of life) can actually result in the female developing a more reactive brain and nervous system, which can increase her reactivity to stress over a lifetime. Paternal Contribution tomorrow.