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In several cultures, the belief that conceiving or pregnant women could jeopardize their fetus by uncontrolled imagination was widespread. Both parents' visual representations and apprehensions of both parents were present and imagined at the time of conception or during coitus, according to antique writers. Only maternal, no longer paternal imagination, was supposed to harm the fetus, whose apparent vulnerability spanned the entire gestation period in the late Middle Ages. Systemic skin disease was attributed to visual appearances, local birthmarks, aspirations, and touching her own body, as well as body, and infant birth scarring, according to reports.
Source link: https://doi.org/10.1093/med/9780198854807.003.0026
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