Parenting begins before birth. This includes prenatal maternal and paternal bonding with the baby, and biological effects on fetal development. Recent research has confirmed how prenatal maternal stress can alter the development of the fetus and the child, and that this can persist until early adulthood. Children are affected in different ways depending, in part, on their own genetic makeup. The fetus may also have a direct effect on prenatal maternal mood and later parenting behaviour via the placenta. The father is important prenatally too. An abusive partner can increase the mother’s prenatal stress and alter fetal development, but he can also be an important source of emotional support. New research suggests the potential benefits of prenatal interventions, including viewing of prenatal scans and cognitive behavioural therapy.