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PPNE course essay, module 10

Sharing some thoughts....

Module 10 essay

Please define "implicit memory" and the role it plays in the prenatal period, birth and bonding.

It is well known now that many physical and mental diseases and disorders are linked to prenatal development, birth, and early childhood experiences. Implicit memory is that memory that is not conscious, but resides in the subconscious and the body tissues themselves. The body/mind remembers everything that ever happened to it starting from development in the womb. These memories form “a template response to stress that can last a lifetime and is encoded both in body tissues and emotions at the limbic and brainstem levels”. This occurs by two main pathways; either repeating chronic patterns of disruption and adverse experiences, or the embedding or encoding of specific disruptions that occur during periods during development that are particularly sensitive. Birth itself can be traumatic even with the best preparations and most peaceful, conscious pregnancy where mother bonded intentionally with her fetus. Birth is the epitome of an extremely sensitive period of rapid brain growth and neuro-hormonal influence. It is important to remember that these implicit memories are wired as an evolutionary method to ensure survival of the species in a hostile world, so it is not inherently a bad thing… Exposure to stressors or adverse experiences during gestation prepare the offspring to survive in a world in which it perceives itself to be born into… probably pretty important to be aware of and prepared for actual predators (physical and emotional threats) if you are born into that type of a world. Thank goodness many many humans today are NOT born into that type of world… the problem is that they we are many times still programmed for it. This environment is created by the mother and her responses to the world in which she is living. These periods of development when the brain is maturing and influencing how the other organ systems are growing are highly receptive to all of the environmental signals that are being sent through the mother’s hormonal system as well as any toxins that are passing across the placenta (drugs, poor nutrition, air quality issues, hormones of stress, anxiety, etc.). Research shows offspring remember emotional states of the mother; how she felt during conception and pregnancy towards herself, other people in her life, and towards the offspring itself. These implicitly remembered states are translated into how they perceive the world and relationships; potentially causing various kinds of neurosis and emotional issues, physical ailments, chronic illness and body holding patterns. On just a simple physical anatomical level, the body of fascia that is the glue that holds our whole body together from skin to organs to joints; when formed in an environment of stress becomes tightly wound is such a way that can create patterns of pain as an adult that cannot be ‘unwound’ by talk therapy or medication. Body work that is targeted towards unwinding the stress holding patterns can be very helpful from infancy all the way into adulthood to unwind these patterns… and that type of work will also affect the emotional and mental holding patterns.

This period of sensitivity can also be used to download and prepare the growing human to be prepped for peace, love, connection and optimal health through conscious bonding, deliberate reduction of stress during gestation, good nutrition and a strong support system for mothers. This will prime the baby to be able to deal with birth better and make it easier for mom and baby no matter what complications may arise – as well as setting down pathways in the brain and body for long term physical and mental health through enhancement of the parasympathetic nervous system foundation and a foundation of positive emotional nurturance. Research in prenatal bonding shows that babies remember and retain intentional bonding interaction experiences. These experimental studies show that babies who had this type of experience have more advanced motor skills, better speech and language development, smile earlier, are more content, and show signs of higher cognitive functioning. (Chamberlain). Studies in China show that babies born of mothers who practiced meditation during pregnancy had higher cord blood cortisol levels which is correlated with a positive health status. These babies had better temperament at birth and throughout infancy and early childhood as well. Of course many ailments that are considered ‘normal’ during the aging process can be slowed or reversed by awareness of the long held patterns of stress that were developed in the womb and at birth and early childhood. Consequently if these patterns were not formed in the first place and patterns of ease and motion and spaciousness were fostered by deliberate stress reduction in pregnancy, conscious gentle birthing with minimal interventions, deliberate attachment practices during infancy and childhood . . . perhaps these problems wouldn’t arise at all.

All of these things that we can ‘study’ and observe don’t even take into account so much the theories of how the human consciousness is welcomed and integrated as part of the conception and gestational experience. Even more fascinating is the exploration into the awareness of prenatal experiences that could only be remembered by observations of the mother and those around her; such as clothes she was wearing, features of the room and colors of curtains, etc. Many studies have indicated that this prenatal ‘awareness’ state is similar to the state of those who have near death experiences, suggesting that our consciousness is moving in and out of our developing body during the gestational period…. ‘hovering’ between ‘spirit’ or ‘soul’ existence and ‘body’ or physical existence. These ‘memories’ of the gestational experience need also to be taken into account when we are discussing the effects of prenatal bonding, because as we know, our existence is not only made up of the physical body. The memories of existence as spirit beings before birth are just as much a part of our future health as the actual physical and physiological influences that were created by human blood, neuro-hormonal connections, toxins and nutrition. The spirit cannot be extracted from our being. It is interwoven into our cellular matrix as human beings. This notion that the most important aspect of our being is what we can see and touch and inspect (the physical body) is relatively new in the history of humankind. For thousands of years most of humankind recognized the spirit and soul as the foundational matrix of being with the thoughts and body as secondary and that the health of the physical and mental body was completely dependent on the health of the spirit. When it comes to the prenatal, birth and early childhood periods, conscious bonding including welcoming and bonding to the incoming soul and spirit essence could only enhance the health of that being as it moves forward in the world.

Ahhhhh… Watering the seeds of peace for the next generation… wouldn’t it be great.

How do we do this? Coming up ….

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