Conventional wisdom and science has taught us that the baby’s well being is dependent on the mother’s good nutrition, exercise, and taking the prescribed vitamins and minerals. However, new scientific evidence has demonstrated that the fetus or baby has a complex nervous system that is capable of much more. This new science called epigenetics (above genes) demonstrates that fetal emotional and physical development is also dependent on the neurochemicals and hormones that the mother’s blood is circulating. In his book, “The Honeymoon Effect”, Dr. Bruce Lipton explains that the stress hormones released when we experience fear, anger, and extreme sadness have a chemical affect that creates inflammation. Luckily, the emotions of love, joy, and pleasantness will bathe the fetus completely in the neurochemicals and growth hormones that promote health and emotional well-being, a love potion.
Science has come a long way in the past three decades to validate some of the ancient wisdoms. We are all connected but the mother and child connection runs deeper than we ever imagined. In 2012, Dr Robert Martone published an article in Scientific America. In his research he found that the actual cells of the child were living in the mother’s brain! These may have an impact on tissue repair and cancer prevention for the mother. This makes perfect sense as the placenta, which nourishes the fetus is made up of both maternal and fetal cells that travel back and forth between the two. It is only since 1986 when Dr Barker published the Fetal Origins Theory, that mainstream medicine has linked the effects of maternal stress, nutrition, and pollution on the developing fetus . It may also impact the health of the individual child throughout their lifespan. The mother is sending messages or clues to the baby about how to prepare for the outside world.
Pregnancy is an enormous time of change in our physical and emotional bodies. Connecting with the new life developing inside your womb hinges on you first becoming aware of yourself and conscious of your feelings and emotions. As science has now shown us, there is a direct connection between what is happening to you, the forming of your baby’s cells, and the networks in your baby’s brain. Your baby is a gateway for you to step through and learn more about your true self. While becoming more conscious, you are helping your baby to reach his or her highest potential. For this reason, it is important for parents to be aware of their actions and feelings from the very beginning of this journey.
Here are some Practical Tips on how you can become aware of the Connection between you and your baby. We have all seen the countless books and seminars on how to be happy. You can Increase your Happiness Chemicals and bathe your baby in them daily consequently creating happiness for your baby during pregnancy and therefore throughout their life.
~Decrease your stress by becoming aware of your stress signals, then take measures to reduce the stress such as deep breathing, moving away from the stressful situation, or to quote Wayne Dyer “change the way you look at things and the things you look at change”
~Give yourself an oil massage or book in with a professional- studies have shown that massage decreases the stress hormone cortisol and increases the happy hormone serotonin. Massage exchange with your partner can add to your massage and pleasure time
~Sunshine - serotonin increases with as little as 20 minutes of natural light per day. Get outside every day for at least twenty minutes, connect with nature and be aware of how it feels in your heart.
~Body Movement- gentle exercise increases all the happy neurochemicals, which is perfect for pregnancy. Try yoga, stretching, swimming, and walking. You can combine your body movement and sunshine time in order to be more efficient.
~Read poetry or beautiful stories and listen to relaxing music daily. Using aromas also aid in becoming relaxed and happy. These associations also help with deep relaxation in labour.
~Nutrition- having fresh, organic when possible, foods helps to keep our hormonal systems working well. Tryptophan is a compound found in high protein sources such as meat, eggs, fish, spinach, nuts and seeds. Tryptophan boost serotonin levels and serotonin is essential for overall health and well-being.
~Being grateful- Grateful stems from the Latin word Gratia, which means Grace. In positive psychology, gratefulness is strongly and consistently associated with happiness.
There are many techniques to increase your gratitude. Here are a few suggestions:
In a recent meditation with Deepak Chopra he explains that the secret of feeling grateful is you change your pathways in your brain, which changes your perceptions and opens your mind to more things you are grateful for.
Connect with your wee one several times throughout the day, place your hands on your belly and send loving thoughts from your heart to their heart. Your Hearts will synchronize.
Let your journey begin, finding out more about yourself, understanding what brings you joy and nourishes your soul. Work with your partner to create a healthy environment for your baby now, growing inside you and for the future of your child’s life.
Rachael and Kerrie would like to offer you a compilation their gathered knowledge in order to streamline information in a time when it can be very confusing to try to answer the simple questions about all things parenting, pregnancy and postpartum. They post highlights here on this blog. Enjoy!