Our Journey begins long before we are born. Like a seed buried deep within the ground, we carry potential in the womb. While there, our mother’s thoughts and experiences are chemically passed to us and these experiences affect the development of our body, mind, and potential.
Did she feel loved and supported or did she feel unloved, frightened, or overwhelmed by life? Did she feel capable of creating what she wants and needs or did she feel held back or inadequate? Was her relationship with her child’s father filled with love, hope, and potential? Or was it filled with judgment, unresolved anger, and bitterness?
Research shows that the emotional state of the pregnant mother can have both immediate and long-term effects on her offspring. Maternal stress and anxiety during pregnancy has been linked to infant outcomes such as increased fussiness problems, attention regulation, emotional reactivity, and lower scores on measures of mental development. It has also been associated with hyperactivity, inattention, and emotional and behavioral problems later in life.
Since there are no direct neural pathways between the mother and fetus, scientists have looked for more indirect pathways to understand how a mother’s level of stress and anxiety may impact her baby. One avenue that has been explored is that of stress hormones. When we are stressed, a series of chemical changes is set off in our bodies and brains, such as the release of cortisol and adrenaline. Normally, these chemicals help prepare us for danger and are important for our survival; however, if we are chronically stressed and anxious, these stress-related hormones can remain high for too long and wreak havoc on our bodies.
When a pregnant woman is chronically stressed or experiences extreme stress, the baby may be exposed to unhealthy levels of stress hormones, which can impact its brain development. Chronic or extreme maternal stress may also cause changes in the blood flow to the baby, making it difficult to carry oxygen and other important nutrients to the baby’s developing organs.
So how can we counteract this problem during pregnancy and/or how can we resolve the damage much later in life? The simple answer is finding ways to reduce stress and be proactive about getting what you need during that critical time of life.
Don’t know where to start?
If you are a health practitioner, I suggest you look at and use some of the free services on the I Create What I Believe!(ICWIB!) website, which can help you or your patient learn how to move from stress and reactivity to a calmer and more stress-free approach to life. If you are a pregnant mother, this will also provide you with the ability to create a life that is more authentic and supportive for yourself and your new baby. If you are reading this and are personally aware of the long-term negative effects of your own gestation, then I would also suggest you explore some of the ICWIB! art activities and videos for FREE.
The ICWIB program is the outgrowth of my own personal healing. As a child dealing with prenatal drug exposure, abuse, and related brain dysfunction, it would have been very difficult for me to succeed without these tools.
Also, this program can be helpful for children exhibiting symptoms of stress or a stress-filled gestation period.
In a recent interview, said, “Freedom is the ability to create without the limitation of generational programming. The I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB!) Program is a gateway and a pathway into a new and better future because it allows children to fully express themselves and to not be limited by the beliefs that have been passed down from generation to generation. This program also frees up children’s minds and allows their creative nature to create a better world for all of us, which is what we need right now!”