Expectant mothers in Russia are being encouraged to give their unborns the best possible start and help create a future generation of art lovers.
St Petersburg’s State Museum is offering specially guided tours for pregnant women, claiming it cuts stress, having a therapeutic effect on the mums to be and their baby. Head of the project doctor Marina Komova said: ‘‘One of the major objectives of a doctor who looks after a pregnant woman is to decrease her anxiety level. Coming to a museum and absorbing art helps to rid a woman of her anxiety.’‘ Images of water and landscapes are included in the tour to focus on the positive and avoid exposing those still in the womb to works featuring death, blood and disease. ‘‘I personally believe that observing beautiful things, beautiful paintings and nature produces a positive effect on a child’s development and emotional state. And also the weather is not very favourable for walks outside at present so its better to pass time here,’‘ said one expectant mother. ‘‘When I was pregnant with my first child I watched football a lot and now my child watches football all the time. So I hope the next one will act according to what I do now. I’m sure they take everything in,’‘ said another mother to be. Some mothers are so convinced by the benefits they bring their toddlers back for a second viewing, and who knows maybe inspire Russia’s next Kandinsky or Malevich.