“This is something that we’re just beginning to explore gene by gene. It’s not what genes you’re carrying, it’s what gets expressed. It’s fantastic. Because the
idea of epigenetic change—based on exposure to the environment at different intervals—really provides the body with a way of continuously adapting to the environment. Bad environmental events cause change. Good environmental events cause change.
And what you’ve got to do is just make sure that you have enough of the good events.” – Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D.
If the offspring [of Holocaust
survivors] will be raised in the same context, their body will need to be prepared maybe for prolonged periods of starvation or maybe for overwhelming stress. So having a change that is passed from mother to offspring could be very helpful. Maybe less helpful
if the offspring is not going to live in the same environment. The offspring lives in urban New York where starvation is really not an issue then having the same kind of biologic adaptations being transmitted may actually result in a flip side of just being
anxious and people not understanding why or even you not understanding why. – Rachel Yehuda, PhD, from the film
Andre fra In Utero film:
When the sperm and the egg are forming, as part of normal development there’s this period of erasing past marks basically, and reestablishing the new set of marks for the future of that cell.
Then this happens again in early embryogenesis, in some ways wiping the old slate clean and starting new for this new fetus, this new baby. There’s a whole period of time during fetal development when many things, including just the environment that
the fetus is growing in, could alter or shift that process. – Carrie Breton, PhD, from the film
“What we see in infants exposed to
stress in utero is we see reduced brain volume, reduced grey matter density…So if you are less dense in those regions, that suggests that there are less processors available. We also see reductions in hippocampal volume, and increase in amygdala volume.
Disruption in those areas, disruption in structure or function of the amygdala is associated with higher risk for emotional psychopathology or neuropsychiatric illness.” – Moriah Thomason, Ph.D.
“What we’re not recognizing is that people are parenting and conceiving and carrying and birthing children under increasingly stressed conditions. Increasingly, it takes two people now to provide
a living in this culture to families. And they’re doing so in the context of less support because one of the ravages of industrialization and globalization is the destruction of the extended family, the tribe, the clan, the village, the neighborhood.
Parents who are stressed have been shown not to be able to be as attuned with their infants and children as parents who are not stressed. Not their fault. Not because they do not love the child. Not because they’re not dedicated, devoted, committed.
Simply because the stress effect impedes their ability to attune with their child…And that has an impact on brain development.” – Gabor Maté, M.D.
“Every woman who has a child puts on that child her experience. So any way that women are treated is what gets passed down… the more people really realize all of this, I think the more thought goes into how we treat the unborn child but
also how do we treat the mother? How do we start to make sure we’re really making this a world where we don’t have to send so much, very troubling difficult, thoughts and feelings towards our fetuses?” – Loren Weiner, Ph.D.
“World ecology has to start with womb ecology. We cannot have peace and good people in the world without raising peaceful, good children. And that has to start at conception—not
at birth, but at conception.” – Thomas R. Verny, M.D., FRCPC