As parents, we can have great influence on the feelings and beliefs our of little ones throughout their lives. I am going to focus on the beginnings of our influence in our child’s beliefs and feelings: pregnancy and birth.
Now I do need to back up just a little bit. We technically have influence on the beliefs and feelings of our little ones long before we conceive him or her. We actually are not the only ones with this influence. Baby will receive half of his or her DNA from Mom and half from Dad. It is the DNA that will determine the genetic makeup of a baby. Just as physical traits such as eye color, hair color, etc. are inherited from the DNA, scientists are also beginning to find evidence in the study of other traits being inherited as well.
This study is called, epigentics, and is referring to the codes that they are finding on top of the DNA. Just as we inherit and pass on physical traits, we can also pass on beliefs, emotions, feelings, and experiences: both positive and negative. As parents considering the influence we have on our child’s beliefs and feelings, it is important to clear away the negative beliefs and beliefs that are not God’s truth (the way things really have been, really are, and really will be). This goes not only for those negative beliefs and experiences a parent may have had, but also taking a serious look into both families of origin as well with the goal to resolve negative findings as best as possible. (NOTE: if we put having a little one on hold for fear of passing on negative genetic codes, most of us would probably not be conceiving.:) It is truly a life long process and I just want to plant some seeds of awareness).
The second consideration with influence to feelings and beliefs is during pregnancy itself. Have you ever stopped to think about that? Truly the Baby growing within is VERY aware of his or her environment, both immediately in-utero and also the surrounding areas. Even though a baby may not be able to process this information entirely in the same way as an adult, I strongly believe they are nonetheless processing. If babies in the womb aren’t already processing information, when would that “magically” begin? We obviously don’t know the answer to this question completely cut and dried; however, I watched as my 3 babies would literally slide over to the side of my womb that Daddy was reading or singing to. I have “played” with all 3 of my babies as they have “teased” by sticking a limb out and me tickling or caressing back. We know babies respond to hot/cold, music, light…it is my belief that babies are processing their environments and interpreting not only physical happenings, but also emotional, and therefore building beliefs. What if a Mom consistently ignores physical cues such as hunger or tiredness? What kind of a message would that send the baby? Maybe a belief along the lines of “I can’t count on others to get me what I need” or “I never get what I need” or “I am helpless to get what I need,” etc. What if the opposite is true? What if baby has what he or she needs to grow and thrive? What if baby is loved and can feel it in every cell of it’s growing body? Maybe beliefs of ”I am satisfied” or “I have enough” or “I always get what I need” or how about simply, but so powerfully, “I am loved?”
What about feelings? I learned in my hypnosis training that the way a mom is able to apply hypnosis during pregnancy and have an effect on baby is that baby’s subconscious mind becomes an extension of the mom’s subconscious mind. Again, in a physical way, we know that food, oxygen, chemicals, etc. can cross from mom to baby through the placenta. Why not feelings passing from a mom to a baby? We know that feelings can cause a physical response. Think about the way your body feels when you feel happy or angry or sad. There is a physical change. Is it possible that these feelings are perceived by baby? That a baby can sense what a mom’s mood is? Again, I strongly believe this to be true as well–that a baby is keenly aware of both a mom’s positive feelings and also negative feelings.
Also interesting to consider, feelings lead to beliefs. Isn’t it fair to say that when we perceive something as true, when we feel something is true, we believe it to be true….? Now in all actuality it may not be truth, but we believe it to be true because that is the “filter” we are looking through. What if a mom had feelings such as “I am inadequate” or “I am not good enough” or “I’m so overwhelmed.” If that was the track playing over and over in my mind (remember a baby’s subconcious mind is that extension of a mom’s subconcious mind), I know I would have a difficult time feeling (and therefore believing) I was somehow a good person. Similarly, if a mom has feelings of “I love myself” or “I am so excited to be pregnant” or “I am amazing,” etc. it would almost be as if the baby was hearing positive affirmations and would be more likely to have a stronger belief that he or she was worth loving, etc.
The same is true for a dad. He has great influence over how a baby feels about him/herself. Have you ever felt unwanted? Is it possible that a baby knows if it is loved and wanted or unwanted just like you can sense that? Also, the other family members or those who surround a mom both physically and emotionally can have an effect on what a baby feels, particularly about him/herself.
The following expert is from Vianna Stibal’s book, Advanced Thetahealing (page 195):
“How were you conceived? Were you wanted or not?…From the moment you are conceived, you are aware of everything around you. Your mother’s feelings and beliefs are often brought to you in the womb. you can feel her traumatic thoughts, feelings of not wanting a child, fears of being overwhelmed and other stresses, and they will affect your nor-adrenaline and serotonin levels.”
I love in Hypnobabies that we encourage early attachment parenting. We help our parents discover that it isn’t the birth of their baby that will make them a parent or the baby a mom has been carrying suddenly their child. As parents, we have that parental influence the moment a baby is conceived (whether we realize it or not).
You can send your baby unconditional love and I recommend doing it every day or more often. Add it in with your meditations if you are already doing that or your prayers. Let your baby feel your love and ask that any negative emotions or toxins be removed from your baby.
Again, just wanting to plant some seeds here. Are there any perfect parents out there? Is there a single baby who has come through pregnancy with a mom who was only experiencing positive emotions every moment of her entire pregnancy? Negative emotions are part of our existence here on earth. It is important to recognize that it is HEALTHY to have negative emotions and to find a positive way to release them. The purpose of these thoughts is to lead moms and couples to ideally making more conscious choices and do their best to help the baby feel loved from the very start by doing the very best they can.
Does birthing time effect feelings and beliefs? I would say a very strong and resounding YES! As the reader, you are probably saying yes because why else would I include it here? Have you taken time to consider this connection of beliefs/feelings and birthing time? Imagine what the womb must be like for a baby. Ideally it is warm, comfortable, baby has what it needs both physically and emotionally. It has been home for NINE MONTHS (give or take). Baby has become accustom to the soothing sound of mom’s constant heartbeat and her reassuring voice and the stability of home in the womb.
Even a very smooth birthing time could become a fearful experience for a baby. Think about it. Here a baby has ideally had great stability for 9 months and then one day the uterus begins to have powerfully strong and regular pressure waves. These pressure waves come closer together, last longer, and are hugging baby even more tightly.
Have you stopped to consider the effects of routine (unnecessary) interventions during birthing time on a baby? Pitocin is probably more obvious. It can stimulate the uterus to have pressure waves that are unnaturally stronger, longer, and more intense than the body would create on its own. Pitocin is the synthetic medication used to mimic the natural hormone Oxytocin. Oxytocin is released in waves, while Pitocin is a continuous administration. The baby is being squeezed in a uterus that is suddenly more active than what it otherwise would have been if left undisturbed. Can you imagine from a baby’s perspective having the uterus stimulated like this? ESPECIALLY when it’s not time for you to be born yet and/or mom’s body isn’t ready for birthing time?! What feelings and beliefs would you have after that experience?
What about other interventions that slow down birthing time?
IV’s: The IV fluid dilutes down Oxytocin, which can lead to pressure waves that are less effective. Also a mom may be more likely to spend most of birthing time in bed rather than using gravity utilizing positions to speed up birthing time
Continuous fetal monitoring: Again a mom tends to spend most of birthing time in bed
Epidurals: Actually relaxes muscles and the uterus is a muscle! Leading to again, less effective pressure waves. Often this slowing leads to pitocin and with pitocin comes the requirement of continuous external fetal monitoring. Also, at least 1000 mL of IV fluid is required before an epidural, so diluting of hormones again.
Picture from a baby’s viewpoint. What if your time during birth was extended longer than needful? What feelings and beliefs would you have?
What about the environment during birthing time? When the baby emerges from the womb, are there bright lights and loud voices? Is the baby removed from the mother or placed on her chest? Is the baby handled gently? Is the baby poked? What about the baby interventions that have become routine at many hospitals? How would you feel if those things were happening to you? Here a baby has just been through some major life (to that point) changes! What kind of beliefs and feelings would a baby having such experiences believe or feel? Maybe angry. Maybe fearful. Maybe powerlessness.
What if the opposite were true?
- What if your Baby were allowed to birth in his/her own time and way?
- What if during the pushing stage, you were allowed to push in your own mother-directed way?
- What if when your baby is born, you have low lights and quiet voices?
- What if when your baby emerges, he/she is lovingly greeted and covered with kisses and caresses?
- What if your baby was immediately laid skin to skin on your chest to reassure him/her with the familiar sound of your heartbeat? So he/she could smell your familiar smell and hear your familiar voice? Also, Did you know that your chest and baby laying skin to skin has been found to be warmer than the little warmer beds health care providers usually place a baby in?
- What if all interventions that were necessary, such as Apgar scores/assessment of your baby were to be done without your baby leaving your arms and others delayed until you as a couple have had enough time to meet and love on your little one?
- What if those interventions were carefully researched? And those deemed unnecessary by the parents opted out or the couple found other alternatives to those they felt unkind to their baby?
WHAT FEELINGS AND BELIEFS WOULD A BABY HAVE…having worked with you during a challenging time of change?
What if your baby was an active partner along with your birth partner in bringing your baby safely and gently into your arms?
How would those first few breaths be different for a baby knowing that he/she is safe?
That he/she can do challenging things? That he/she can believe in his/herself? That he/she knows how it feels to work together with others to accomplish great things? That change doesn’t have to be fearful? That HE/SHE is loved?
What if your baby was birthed gently, calmly, and lovingly? A birth that allowed for your baby time to adjust to the newness and process through such a big journey in a positive way?
I have had some interesting personal experience this week since drafting this post and actually publishing it. I am currently expecting our own little one. We have had a change of plans and our pregnancy has now become an “extra attention” pregnancy. Knowing well that we have done all we can to stay low-risk and healthy and planning to provide the “perfect” environment and the “perfect” birth for our baby, it was initially a bit of a shock for us. I strongly believe that every pregnancy & birth brings the experiences the mom & the baby need. I have come to have eyes to see that this change of plans was actually what our little one needed. To those who have had similar changes of plans whether in pregnancy or birth, when interventions were necessary or felt like the right choice, or the circumstances were less than the “ideal” I have previously spoken of, rest assured that all isn’t lost! You & your baby will have the experience that is just right for the two of you!
I would love to hear about your experiences with this! Do you have any little ones that you feel were molded because of his/her experience with pregnancy or birth? Do you have different pregnancy or birth experiences from multiple babies where you believe their temperaments were different because you made different choices or were more aware? Any other thoughts are gladly welcomed as well!
Written by: Katy Willis—I am a PROUD Mama of 3, RN, Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor & Doula in Southeast Idaho, Thetahealing Practitioner, and I also offer aromatherapy.
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