When can an unborn developing baby feel pain? Estimates are at 15 weeks or earlier. The issue of when they can start to feel pain is a major inflection point in the societal debate over abortion: because we all can relate to pain, we feel the baby is “more human” at that stage and would feel the horror of the abortion. But here is another question: when does the baby feel stress?
For about nine months, a baby’s sole environment is that of the mother’s womb. The medical condition of the mother fully supports the baby’s development, for better or worse. So we could say that on day 1 the developing baby feels the effects of stress. A stressed-out mother will not be able to provide the baby the full range of nutrients needed to develop full health in the womb. The mother’s stress becomes the baby’s stress.
ACE in the hole
This sort of ACE is no advantage as it is in card games, and it affects many people. ACE stand for Adverse Childhood Experience, and we all have ACEs to some degree, because none of us avoided having anything traumatic happening during our formative years. ACE can also refer to trauma transmitted through the mother during pregnancy, because life doesn’t begin after exiting the womb.
What really counts for the baby in the womb though is what affects the mother’s ACEs, the environment she is providing the growing baby. Day by day, hour by hour the baby is receiving a good or compromised environment, and will grow from that. The worst trauma is usually chronic stress, because that affects mother and baby each day and each hour.
Research focuses on extremes to get clear results, and in a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine, researchers from the University of Rochester, New York assessed a sample of pregnant women across all three trimesters, comparing ACE history with levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone, and found that cortisol tended to stay high for those with greater ACE impact. The cortisol levels indicated ongoing stress, which meant the baby was experiencing these high hormone levels as well.
The study proceeded to link high-stress levels in children with changes in the child’s brain chemistry and architecture; neural, immune, and hormonal system development; and gene expression. The researchers cited studies linking ACEs with chronic diseases such as autoimmune disorders, diabetes, and heart disease, and behavioral issues such as obesity, alcoholism, drug use, and poor school performance — also with a reduced life expectancy as much as 20 years.
Stress takes its toll on any body. It has a cumulative effect over time. So a mother’s health is torn down by chronic stress, sometimes so much that she cannot get pregnant in the first place: the body’s innate wisdom determines that the mother’s health is insufficient to carry a baby. This also is shown by research: in a study published in Human Reproduction, researchers tracked 501 couples in a cohort study for a twelve month period that were trying to conceive, and used alpha-amylase levels as a stress biomarker. They saw a 29% increase in time-to-pregnancy for women with the highest alpha-amylase levels, and a 2-fold risk of infertility.
Stress tears down your health. It’s like a tax, constantly sapping your resources. It causes changes in your biology, pregnant or not; but if pregnant, those changes are affecting both of you. Even if the stress tax is removed, it’s had an impact.
Paying it forward
When can the baby feel stress? Not just after birth, and not just in the womb — stress happening well before pregnancy can affect the future baby. Remember what stress is: it is a push for change, a signal to your cells that the current metabolic function is not adequate and needs change. The changes are geared to dealing with the stress, but those changes are not generally helpful for daily life, because they are meant for emergency use only. Your body is constantly trying to optimize its function within the environment that it sees currently. Chronic stress causes longer-term changes that have already shifted your health, assuming you are stressed out these days or carrying stress from your past. If you are planning to be a mother, now is a great time to deal with your stress.
…but you aren’t perfect
Some women may hesitate to have children because they doubt that they can provide the best possible environment for their family. If you are concerned enough to think that, you are more conscientious than many. You care, and you realize that your life is stressful, so you hesitate. This isn’t a call to avoid having kids because your home environment isn’t perfect or you are feeling some stress. In fact, you are likely to provide a better environment than most because you do care. So how about turning that care to improving your own health? Then your future baby will benefit.
Some of us won’t work on our own health for our sakes, but will for our kids. You already know to eat well for your baby, because your nutrition is your developing baby’s nutrition. The same goes for anything that affects your health, both before and during pregnancy. You won’t be perfect, but if you are trying to eat a better diet and do what you can for your future children, also consider rooting out and reducing stress.
You can make a difference
The Psychosomatic Medicine study mentioned gene expression in relation to high stress. Gene expression refers to epigenetics, where your DNA is not altered, but different and otherwise dormant codes in your DNA are being activated to deal with the current stress. The sooner you reduce the stress, the more likely your cells will switch back to their healthier genetic expression. You pass along genes to your children. You also pass along some gene expression.
This makes perfect sense. If parents are living in a cold climate and have adjusted to it, kids born into that climate are already somewhat tuned to deal with it, because their genes are acting like their parents’ genes to deal with the environment. In famine situations, infants are born with a higher insulin sensitivity so that the baby can better handle the scarcity of food. But if the parents are dealing with major, chronic stress, you don’t want your kids tuned into that. The good news is that epigenetics change fairly rapidly in either direction, so if you can lower stress before pregnancy, the epigenetics passed down will be favorable to good health.
A review article published in Neuropsychopharmacology by researchers from the University of Zurich, Switzerland reviews two mechanisms by which epigenetic factors are passed between generations: DNA methylation and histone post translational modifications. These mechanisms alter the read-out of the chromatin or DNA, and can even pass along disease and disease risk. “Recent evidence has indicated that certain epigenetic marks can be inherited, and reshape developmental and cellular features over generations.”
Do you want to make a difference in the world? You will through your children. Give them a good start in life.
Dr. Nemec’s Review
What does almost every newly married couple desire? To have healthy children, to have a family of love, lifetime friendship, and unity. But the first prerequisite is a healthy child, physically and mentally-emotionally.
Thousands of studies have proved the environment made by mother AND father passes to children, genetically, and epigenetically. What does this mean? Simply: the healthier mother and father are physically and mentally-emotionally, the healthier the baby is going to be.
For those with infertility issues, the healthier mother and father are physically and mentally-emotionally, the greater chances of becoming pregnant, then carrying a pregnancy to term and delivering a healthy baby physically, mentally-emotionally and stress resilient instead of being infertile.
We want a baby!
It make no sense to go through in vitro fertilization to force an issue that isn’t meant to be. If you try to get pregnant and your body will not, that means your body and mind — AND your spouse’s body and mind — are not capable of producing a healthy baby mentally,emotionally and physically. Yet we force the issue because we just want to have a child — you need to revisit this issue. It’s not about you only, it’s about this precious new life that is coming into this world. It would be much better for parents to wait a while, work on their physical and mental-emotional health, and make sure those areas are very strong before they opt into having children.
We have a epidemic of genetically and epigenetically weak children that are mentally and emotionally extremely out of balance at a very young age,; one can’t help but think maybe we need to work on ourselves at a much higher level, before we bring the next generation into existence.
This is what we’ve been doing for 40 years at Revolution New Medicine. We’ve had so many women come to us — they could not get pregnant, and ended up getting pregnant with very healthy children mentally, emotionally and physically. The key though is we’ve always worked on and balanced both wife AND husband. This is critical, first to become pregnant to carry a pregnancy the full term and then to deliver a healthy physically, mentally, emotionally balanced baby that is truly stress resistant, because their parents became that way BEFORE, and I’ll say it again BEFORE, they started the pregnancy journey.
What are ACEs?
Adverse Childhood Experiences are so foundational in health and healing. Let us begin with this explanation from in utero: when you’re in your mother’s womb, up to age 6, you are in a brain-wave state that is super learning, absorbing the environment like a sponge to develop the neurons in your brain and nervous system to adapt to the environment, so let’s say your mother became pregnant with you unexpectedly and was contemplating an abortion. You are a real person with a real consciousness in utero, and your mother who represents love is sending a message with her mind, emotions, and intent that she does not want you, is going to get rid of you — you’re not what she wants. This is a tremendously detrimental ACE.
This stores on the hard drive of your brain as a program — a subconscious stress program. We’ve developed a very unique Nemec New Medicine® MBEB Protocol at Revolution New Medicine over the last 40 years to read these programs with 3-D brain imaging and then do very special therapy and treatment to release and reprogram these subconscious programs. Because if you do not, then your child is born into the world with the worst stress program possible-nobody wants me and nobody loves me.
Since a child has 50% mother’s genes and epigenetic programming, including mental and physical programming, AND 50% father’s genes and epigenetic programming, also including mental and physical programming, you can see how critically important it is to have a healthy mother AND father, who have worked out all of their genetic and epigenetic programming issues AND released their own subconscious and conscious stress programs stored on the hard drive of their brains PRIOR TO conceiving children.
Let’s not treat the next generation of our family like a lotto ticket, like a gamble, but instead let us plant the seeds of total health of body, mind and emotions, of genetic and epigenetic programming, and most importantly of releasing subconscious and conscious stress programs that are stored on the hard drive of our brains and rewrite them to make them balanced and stress resilient. Then the most beautiful thing will happen: we will actually bring forth into this world children that are more balanced mentally, emotionally, and healthier physically than we were when we came into this world. This is the true pay it forward; this is what counts the most, so let’s stop gambling and let’s start changing the mental-emotional and physical environment in our minds and bodies, so not only are we balanced and stress resistant right now, but we will usher in a new generation even better than we are in every way — the future generations that we bring forth.
Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.