There is a correlation between the way we were born and the quality of our emotional life as adults. Limbic imprint is an inborn capacity of the nervous system to absorb and memorise non-cognitively all of the information from the surrounding environment during the pre-verbal formative period from the moment of conception of the foetus, through nine months of gestation, birth, and the first few years of life.
It means that if the baby was predominantly saturated with mother’s ‘love hormones’, oxytocin and other dopamines, the baby grows well and feels safe about coming into this family. If, on the other hand, the baby was exposed to stressful experiences while in utero, then had a traumatic birth, and baby’s needs were not properly met afterwards, that would automatically mean adopting neglect and pain as the norm by the baby’s limbic brain. Against any logic, the nervous system would register loneliness and suffering as ‘comfort zone’, as the cortex (logic) is not developed yet and cannot cognitively rationalise.
Napoleon, for what he was, said in 1810: “If France would have good mothers, it will have good sons” – he understood this dynamic clearly, way before the field of pre-natal psychology was developed and neuro-biologists published huge amounts of scientific research on that matter. Mr. Napoleon just used his commonsense and powers of observation. It is no coincidence that the drug culture of the 1960s exploded after medical drugs were introduced into the delivery rooms during the 1940s. Mothers were numbed and gassed. It set up the whole generation to depend on chemicals as a way of dealing with life. The experience of drugs on a newborn, and rough manipulations right after birth by masked strangers in the hospital, and the deep loneliness that follows when the baby is taken away from the mother, have devastating effects. These procedures come as a complete shock to a baby – numbness, disoriented, disconnect from the Source from which the soul of this child has been so rudely yanked away… The biggest problem is that the nervous system registers this cocktail of sensations as the ‘life-giving’ potion.
Violence also has the same source as any form of addictive behaviours; in fact, violence is just another side of that coin. An unbearable emotional pain of lost identity and lost ‘tribe’ can become an urgent need to inflict pain onto others, onto oneself, or both. The greatest irony is that it is our inherent desire to feel good, about ourselves and the world around us, to find that ‘paradise lost’ – the sense of belonging to some omnipresent loving Source – it is exactly what drives the unskilled search towards the quick fix. Needless to say that babies who were not traumatised during their formative period are not prone to become violent and addictive adults. Even if later in life they experiment with drugs, they have what it takes to recover and get on with their life.
Ramana, one of the legendary yogis of India, once said that when he finally experienced enlightenment, it lasted for 15 seconds, but it had enough of an impact on him to spend the rest of his life in devotion to this moment. For women, this kind of experience of enlightenment is biologically available every time they go into labour to deliver a baby. The amount of oxytocin, the ‘love’ hormone, that her brain is capable of releasing into her bloodstream, would be sufficient for her to enter that state of enlightenment that millions of people are striving to achieve through yoga and various other spiritual practices. It is the natural ultimate high that is supposed to be our ‘basic setting’. If it was missing at the moment of ‘programming’ at birth, we are bound to long for it for the rest of our lives, never finding it.
When a woman’s body is able to do its work without interference from her own anxieties or medical interference, she is capable of experiencing a total state of bliss during delivery. Then the corresponding hormones in her system ‘dialogue’ with the baby’s hormone production – thus ‘wiring’ the baby’s ‘settings’ onto a deep sense of well-being and fearless attitude towards being alive, present in the body, and melded in deep connection with the mother, who is felt by the baby, in this case, as an enormous protective, nurturing, loving source of existence. That is the most basic sensation every one of us has the right to experience, because that is how a female procreational neurobiology and hormonal landscape is supposed to function. Unfortunately, so far, it is only the privilege of so few. Because if a woman was not born well herself, her body doesn’t know how to produce enough oxytocin during delivery. The good news – it’s possible to re-train our nervous system to the sufficient production of it, without medication. There are many ways of doing it; for more info go to www.birthintobeing.com. We have to learn to be kind to ourselves. It’s, in most cases, harder than to learn to walk or speak – being truly kind to ourselves, without enabling addictions. It is sometimes the biggest taboo in our nervous system, if it was ‘trained’ on suffering from the very beginning of times. This is exactly why the journey from the head to the heart is a long one. The only journey that is longer than that, is the one from our genitalia to our hearts. If our nervous system is disconnected from our body from the start, due to high stress levels during our formative period, we don’t have a reference point of what it is supposed to feel like – to be safe, loved, welcomed. Even if our parents loved us, it doesn’t mean that they knew how to express their love in a way that we could actually feel loved, because they, themselves, probably did not have a good role model to feel loved by their own parents.
In my estimation, there are about 2-5% of people on our planet, who can say: “I felt loved as a child”… Maybe about 15% who can say: “I felt emotionally safe with my parents”. Now, the logical, responsible thing to do in our society is to put birth into the context of life; so women don’t feel helpless when it comes to pushing the baby out and don’t look for somebody else to give their power away to (whether that be a midwife, a girlfriend, a partner, or some expert in an outfit of authority, who thinks he knows about birth just because he went to school). Any female cat knows how to give birth. Any male, of any species, doesn’t. It’s not a mental activity! A man has too many body parts missing when it comes to understanding birth. It’s as if one is trying to understand a very long and complicated plot of a psychological drama watching it on TV with muted sound – can see it, but can’t relate.
There is so much more to giving birth than the eye can see! It’s a deeply mystical, shamanic experience. That’s why initiation into motherhood in indigenous cultures has a rank of rite of passage in spite of its also being a normal anatomical function. A woman goes through a complete metamorphosis, through the end-of-the-world-as-she-knew-it, through surrender to her own mortality and then emerges on the other end victorious, activated to the power she never knew she possessed… or she misses the whole ordeal and gets the drug and the surgery.
The main reason for complications at birth is the mother’s own birth trauma; her fear – of birth, of life, of her own potential – and of course, her inability to relax in the midst of intensity of her sensations. This is where introducing the consciousness into the approach to people-making comes in. To consciously create a new human being is to be aware of all the complexities and responsibilities of such a huge task and prepare for it properly. Giving birth is an ultimate activation of the Divine Feminine in a woman. Afterwards, her creativity, her grasp of life’s mysteries, is available to her if she chooses to pay attention. It’s such a waste to miss this amazing opportunity and just opt for an elective C-section!
Of course, if there is a real medical indication, we are very grateful that the professional help is available in the hospital! But, still, in the normal society, C-section should not be over 10-12%, speaking very conservatively – it’s a dangerous major abdominal surgery with huge psychological side-effects for the child, and what we have in some countries now, is C-section rates are up to 85-95%! I believe that it’s very unprofessional that doctors who are pushing for C-section are not going to the trouble of educating themselves about the consequences of this procedure on the emotional aspect of the new person’s life. The staggering stats are available from the last 15-20 years and none of it is in the medical textbooks; none of the research of prenatal psychologists is in the mandatory curriculum.
We don’t have a moment to lose to wait for changes in their policies. It’s really in women’s hands to educate themselves and know what they want and what they don’t want. Babies are being born every moment! We can sit and point fingers or we can just wake up and do what’s right.
One of the main aspects of the Conscious Procreation Model is Conscious Connection with the spirit of the unborn child before conception. With it comes in so much emotional support, and oxytocin floods the body! Afterwards, breastfeeding is a purely shamanic act, too – a woman’s body produces the most nurturing substance in the world. She calls it forth on demand. It brings an enormous oxytocin production for both, mother and babe. A Conscious Pro-Creation movement is marching the world! I travel a lot with my seminars and can testify that there are very few places on Earth where women are still in deep slumber. Mostly, we are on the rise, ladies! The answer to all problems of our civilisation, not only destructive addictions, but all fear-based, violent or simply stupid messes that we’ve created – is to raise a new generation of humans not programmed on pain and suffering, free from guilt and shame from the start, and free to live by the law of commonsense and simple compassion towards each other, which is our natural state of being. We can claim the Eden back and bring Heaven to Earth in one generation!
Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova directed the groundbreaking film, “Birth As We Know It” (2006) aimed at illuminating future parents on the impacts of conscious conception, pregnancy and birth. She will be visiting Melbourne in March 2012 to host a Limbic Imprint Re-Coding workshop.
A letter from Elena:
I got a long letter from your reader, Lisa, who felt inspired to write to me after reading my article in your magazine. Not sure if she wrote to you, too. I answered to her and in case, you want to open a conversation with your readers about this very important subject, here is a copy of my response.
Hello, Lisa! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond to my article! I really appreciate the feedback. I am so happy that we have a growing community of women who are as passionate about the subject of raising awareness of the importance and profound influence of the formative period of our children, as yourself.
To answer your concerns, – yes, those pieces are missing in this article, – I had very specific size limitations for the blog. Also are missing over 300 other topics that I could be discussing, closely related to this subject, that I make sure to address in different variations in my courses and longer presentations.
I am very happy that you are willing to take the stage and talk about those things. We need every one of us to say our piece, raising those issues dear to our hearts. No one could do it alone – mention all of the topics every single time they open their mouth 🙂 Simply not possible.
Regarding your statement about my ‘implication’
‘that children born from a c- section were to be considered as having emotional setbacks and psychological side-effects’:
– first of all, I understand that I offended you with my article. I am very sorry about it. It certainly was not my intention. My only reason for writing it was to help the future mothers to avoid the unnecessary major abdominal surgery that they routinely schedule, not knowing that there is an alternative, not knowing about the numerous possible side effects and numerous ways of preparation for birth that can turn it into the most profound eye-opening, empowering experience, like so many women had done already.
It was not, by any means, to make guilty those who didn’t have that information available when they needed it. But what should we do now? Keep from sharing, because somebody else didn’t know?
It’s a bit like with watching the Olympic Games. Should we ban showing it on TV because not everybody can jump as high or run as fast? Yes, somebody watching it can get very upset, but it’s not what the purpose of the Games is. It’s about the possibilities, breaking the records, molds and limitations… We always have a choice to get offended or get inspired.
I am sure your children are very lucky to have you for a mom. My biggest emphasis is always on the positive message that no matter what happened at birth, loving mothering can heal the baby’s sensory over stimulation during the formative period. The ‘mammalian’ aspect of our physiology, is able to get away with massive amounts of stress – from the time before current civilization, when we not protected from the elements, from unfriendly attacks, etc…
– secondly, it was not ‘my ‘implications’… there is a huge body of academic research in the field of prenatal psychology (www.birthpsychology.com) accumulated in the last 20 years that points to that.
– thirdly, I am actually seeing a lot of the opposite in real life, vs academic research; and I talk about it tirelessly everywhere. Here is what I wrote last year:
“When the birth didn’t go the way a woman was hoping for and ended in a c-section, it’s important to remember that it’s not only her journey, – the baby’s soul has it’s own agenda for the circumstances of birth, too. There are no accidents in the matters of death and birth. It happens according to it’s own underlying logic, which we have no way of knowing. We can only do our best with our limited resources of grasping the bigger picture. Besides, in case of emergency c-section, when a mother wholeheartedly tried first to have a natural birth, c-section actually imprints as a positive experience for a baby that ‘help arrived when it was really needed’.
It is a different story in the elective c-section, when it’s scheduled according to doctor’s convenience, before the due date, and the baby never had a chance to ripen, to initiate labor naturally. But I don’t want to go into this right now”.
But I am grateful that you brought it to my attention. My passion for this subject is not always patient; and I need to learn to express it so I don’t create more hurt than already exist in the world. I always urge the mothers to please be be kind to themselves, no matter what happened at birth, and focus on the beauty of the baby, and any little positive aspects that they can allow themselves to notice, to fight off the postpartum depression and recover fast. Most of all, I am very proud of you that you give yourself the credit you deserve for all you’ve done to prepare yourself for this experience, the whole journey – from your deep commitment to become a portal for your baby to come through, to manifesting the support that you needed!
Also, what I’m noticing now, is these new beings that are coming thru these days to our beautiful Earth, are mostly not showing any signs of their birth trauma at all. They seem to be not negatively emotionally affected that much by all the chaos around us. I think, it’s a newer model, equipped with the latest gadgets that were not available in our days 🙂 – somehow they’ve adjusted their transition effect upon arrival. Now I see babies everywhere who had a very rough entrance, but they are sweet, healthy, very calm and are simply not displaying any ‘damaged’ symptoms.
Please accept my best wishes and blessings!
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