Dr Nitika Sobti
Founder – Virtue Baby
Sr. Consultant ( Obstetrics and Gynaecology)
Max Super Speciality Hospital Shalimar Bagh
Of all our existence, the 9 months we live ,the womb is the most eventful for our growth and development.
"The history of man for the nine months preceeding his birth would be far more interesting and contain greater moments of excitement than all the years that follow it"
Peter Harper: Director Fetal Behaviour Research Centre, Queens University, Belfast
CLASSICAL VIEW: develop from a blueprint from the parents genes--- healthy baby
Not any more !! Dr Pathik Wadhwa ( univ. of Kentucky college of Med ) At each stage : organism uses cues from the environment to decide how best to construct itself within the given parameters of the genes
Germinal period (single-cell zygote morula blastocyst) - Conception to attachment (8-10 days later)
Embryonic period (embryo) - Attachment to end of 8th week (when all major organs have taken primitive shape)
Basic organ system formation
Fetal period (fetus) - 9th week (with first hardening of the bones) until birth
Growth and maturation
Begins with skeletal ossification, From week 8/9 until birth, From 1¼ - 20 inches, From 8 - 3250 grams
Begins with implantation and lasts for about 6 weeks
10th week: Intestines in place; breathing and jaw-opening movements
12th week: Sexual characteristics; well-defined neck; sucking and swallowing movements
16th week: Head erect and lower limbs well-developed
5th month: As many nerve cells as it will ever have
7th month: Eyes open and lungs capable of breathing
8th month: Many folds of the brain present
9th month: Brain more convoluted
Fetus doubles in weight in final weeks before birth
"It is all in the genes" or Epigenetics ????
Interactions between the cells and their environment generate the new cell forms and emergence of body organs
Patterns established in the womb Influenced by maternal diet / psychological state/ environment of the womb
BABIES DO NOT FEEL - even if they feel they will not remember later.
Babies do not think, are without consciousness- Very limited brains – brain is unable of superior functions as thinking, meaning atribution or memory. Myelination only completed during adolescen, it only works when it’s completed?
Age myth – we see all age groups diferent from our own, as inferiors in all levels: embryo, fetus, newborn, child, teenager or elderly
Chamberlain, the mind of your newborn baby, 1998
Brainstem – fashioned around 33rd day of gestation ,matures completes myelination by 7th gestational month.
Medulla- controls gross body movement, HR, respiration and head turning. Spon movement by 7thwk, first breath by 10thwk
Pons- controls the vibratory acoustic perception, head turning and FHR acceleration
Forebrain – develops at term and over the following weeks and months
"When a mother is extremely stressed during pregnancy , she produces hormones called glucorticoids that cross the placenta to the baby and can alter the development of kidney and heart"
Dr Karen Moritz: Univ. of Queensland
Historically, fetal research was merely about physical evolution, because the mechanisms of prenatal consciousness - and the means to measure them – were not thought to exist.
William James in 1981 first described developmental fetal psychology increase in our knowledge of the sensory ability of the fetus and its consciousness and how the internal and external factors combine to influence the developing child from birth
Association For Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology and Health, APPPAH, founded in 1983.
Centre of natural neuroscinces NI H- Dr Brian G Dias and Dr Kerry Ressler stated 'We have a mind that is a composite of our experiences, our ancestors experiences and what we are taught within the womb. Each generation tells the next to unconsciously avoid what is unfamiliar and fearful Such a phenomenenmay contribute to the etiology and potential transgenerational transmission of neuropsychiatric disorders , phobias and anxiety.'
Dutch Hunger Winter 1998 – Susser
Costello et al 2007
UTERUS : SENSORY PLAYGROUND
THE FIRST SENSE TO DEVELOP
BEFORE 8 WEEKS – MOVEMENTS TO AVOID THE TOUCH OF A HAIR ON THE CHEEK;
10 W – SENSIBILITY IN THE GENITAL AREA;
11 W– PALMS
12 W – SOLES;
17 W - ABDOMEN AND BUTTOCKS;
32 W – WHOLE BODY IS SENSITIVE TO THE SOFT TOUCH OF A HAIR
11 - 15 W – NOSE DEVELOPS, ODOURS BECOME AVAILABLE IN THE FLUIDS BATHING THE NASAL CAVITY
14 W – THE STRUCTURES OF TASTE ARE COMPLETED – SWALLOW MORE WITH SWEET TASTES
120 odours in amniotic fluid
Changes in FHR and breathing movement when mother drank coffee ( caff vs decaff)
Newborns are drawn to the odour of breastmilk though they have no previous experience with it
MORE CHANCES OF EARLY COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION. FOOD PREFERENCES (COMMON AND LEARNED).
Vivette Glover: Imperial college , London
"The newborn when it hears music that its has heard when it was still in the womb eats more, sleeps more and cries less– not because they have received any special treatment but because powerful links were created through love and music"
"Sleep better , are more alert to their environment and surroundings and are far more content than who did not receive any prenatal stimulation"
Thomas Verny, Rene Vande Carr
Children who are “bathed” in music do better in maths and reading
Janellen H. : univ of chicago- Musica Prenatal, scientific discoveries
Learning and memory are interlocked EVIDENCE
Twins develop habits and gestures at 20wks
Parents – Kick game
Mothers read The Cat in a Hat by Dr. Seuss, 2x/day for last 1½ months of pregnancy
Method: Changes in rate of sucking turned on or off a tape recorder of mother reading (half read that story, the other half another story)
Finding: Infants modified their rates of sucking in the direction that produced the familiar story
Babies learn their native language before birth
Traumatic experiences in the NICU
Babies learn their mothers emotional state Australian study- 20mt film segment
Parents pass more than genes to their offspring
Child may be inflicted with specific genetic defects , degree of defect’s expression is highly variable
Maternal effects add a powerful avenue
Material content- nutrition, toxins, smoking, alcohol, drugs e
Perceived attitudes about life
Mother emotions fear ,anger, love, hope can biochemically alter gene expression MOA