Good Mothering passes genetic benefits to later generations


VanIsle
#1
This story starts off about rats but I was surprized to read the part I have underlined regarding human births.

VANCOUVER - Rat mothers who touch and groom their offspring create happier, smarter rats — not just for one generation, but for successive generations, according to researcher Michael Meaney. Good mothering, in other words, changes the DNA of generations of rats.
Meaney is a featured speaker at the Brain Development and Learning Conference, which will bring cutting-edge scientists, doctors, psychologists, and prenatal development experts together with 600 teachers, social workers, educators and front-line medical professionals for five days beginning this Friday.
If you take rat pups bred to be high-stress and low intelligence and have them raised by a mother bred to be low-stress and highly intelligent, the pups will turn out like Mom, her actions changing the expression of the pups’ genes, said conference organizer Adele Diamond.
“Not only that, but they will mother like their mom. It will change the gene expression for generations to come,” she said.
“We know what it means for good rat mothering, but what are the implications for human mothering?” Diamond asked. The conference will present four speakers who will address that question from a variety of angles, including how a mother’s depressive state affects her children and the effects of skin-to-skin contact in kangaroos.
“It may be that the touch between mother and child is critical, and we tend to downplay touch,” Diamond explained.
Though much of the research presented at the conference sounds on the surface to be unimaginably complex, buried in the murky processes of the brain and difficult concepts such as gene expression, the take-away message could not be more fundamental. Sound advice about nurturing, nutrition, learning, joy and healthy social behaviour are absorbed and taken back to schools, hospitals and homes.
And the messages do not just flow from experts to attendees. The real synergy of the conference happens when the floor opens up at each event for the teachers, doctors and social workers to share what they know, said Diamond, a professor and developmental neuroscientist at the University of British Columbia and B.C. Children’s Hospital.
California-based researcher Paul Patterson will present findings about the relationship between maternal stress and schizophrenia, with real-world implications for prenatal care.
“We’ve known for about a decade that if a mother has the flu when she’s pregnant her offspring is more likely to have autism or schizophrenia,” Diamond explained. “Paul’s work shows that it is not the flu infection that causes the effect, it’s the immune response that the body mounts, the same immune response that comes from stress.”
So not only do expectant mothers need to protect against getting the flu; they also need to avoid the effects of stress to head off potential problems for their children, she said.
The conference takes place July 16 to 20 at the Hyatt Regency. Other themes include the impact of math instruction on learning and the brain, and how we develop memory.



 
karrie
#2
"avoid stress or your baby's brain disease is your fault!" There, that oughta stop her from stressing.
 
AnnaG
#3
Yeah, people are mostly ignorant of the fact that environmental factors can cause genetic evolution. Fortunately, humans take a long time to evolve, so as long as we can recognise a negative factor and stop it, evolution should be positive.
 
Chiliagon
#4
well.. Parents upbringing can really effect how a child is in turn brought up and becomes an Adult.. and then he either gets married or becomes a crook..

if he's married and then has Children, he then uses those methods that his parents used (not all but most) with his Children.. and the pattern repeats ad nauseum.

If a Parent has a bad childhood or some point in their life has a dramatic incident that changes them, it can definitely affect their child or children..

The kid may lose a parent.. that will affect how they grow up.. and then they'd likely pass it on to their children by their behaviours and how they educate their own children.
 
AnnaG
#5
Funny. I found kids either rebel against what their parents are, become like their parent(s), or somewhere in between.
 
Chiliagon
#6
well the kids are just too immature to know it yet.

even if they rebel, they still grow up and become a lot like their parents. even if they refuse to admit it until they're mature.. so about 50 then? hehe
 
VanIsle
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Chiliagon View Post

well.. Parents upbringing can really effect how a child is in turn brought up and becomes an Adult.. and then he either gets married or becomes a crook..

if he's married and then has Children, he then uses those methods that his parents used (not all but most) with his Children.. and the pattern repeats ad nauseum.

If a Parent has a bad childhood or some point in their life has a dramatic incident that changes them, it can definitely affect their child or children..

The kid may lose a parent.. that will affect how they grow up.. and then they'd likely pass it on to their children by their behaviours and how they educate their own children.

We had proof of what you say again this morning in our family. Our son's ex told the children she would be there to pick them up today. Our son has custody but more than anything because she said she no longer wanted to be a wife or a mother. She was not treated well by her own mother who lived to "do her own thing in life". She did show up and my son simply said to her "you did not make any arrangements with me to pick up the children, you told them and you have just shown up". She could have said something as simple as "sorry - next time I'll give you a call". Instead, it was her excuse not to take the kids. She just said "Fine - I'm out of here". Leaving the children in tears. She has missed two Saturdays with the kids as they have been camping with their Dad. They asked her if she would visit with them another day this week as they have not seen much of her. Last week she took them for an extra day, hired a babysitter and went to work (on her day off) leaving them to spend part of the day in her tiny apt. Then she sent them home after 7:00 PM without feeding them dinner! She always told me that her rule was that the children must be fed at 5:00 PM. I guess it went out the window with all her other rules. She has become a mirror image of her mother.
 
Chiliagon
#8
wow, too bad you can't take that to a judge and say "she deserves NO custody rights"
 
VanIsle
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Chiliagon View Post

wow, too bad you can't take that to a judge and say "she deserves NO custody rights"

Judge time will be coming - soon hopefully. My son does not want to keep his children from their Mom. He believes that as long as they want to see her, they should have that right. He is beginning to realize that her need to see her children is nowhere near their need to see their Mom. She has not seen, or called or emailed her children since last Thursday. At this very moment, she is less than a 1 minute drive from where they are. She could probably walk to my house and ask to see them in less time then it would take her to get in her car and drive here. She just never does. When her son asked her why she doesn't call she said "I work so hard and I'm tired when I get home. I just forget to call". How do you think that feels to a 12 yr. old? Pretty sad isn't it? With staying on topic - we are doing all we can to let the children know how much they are loved and hugs are frequent. The 12 yr. old was the most upset this morning. He has been in for several hugs today. Some music came on the TV so him and I jived for a few moments. He had a few laughs.
 
Curiosity
#10
I think the researchers have one thing a bit backwards here....

Schizoid mothers tend to be stressed in pregnancy and in life itself, therefore pregnancy would also be
a time of "stress".

The mental defect is probably passed genetically not because of the mother's reactive mood swings but by the disease.

The idea of the topic however is on point - mothering is the one gift which is a lifetime endowment if done well and a satisfied happy mother will have an excellent opportunity to raise optimistic children but it is not the only definer of a person's growth and development.

The input even upon newborn babies is huge.... when they first gain sight .... think of what light and sunshine do to their comfort..... as one example. Same with noise.... can be frightening or comforting once recognized as a frequent part of the baby's day. Temperature and body comfort (diaper issues) and hunger needs also play a role.

I quietly award all new mothers an Oscar or other similar accolades for their huge role of carrying - delivering and nurturing all of our beings.

What is newer in our society is the welcome and beneficial role males are now "allowed" to play in this
sequence of events .... it's fantastic.
 
SirJosephPorter
#11
Aren’t pregnant women already ridden with enough guilt, to put additional burden upon them?

Do this, do that, don't do this, don't do that. And now, don't stress out. At some stage women are going to decide it is not worth it getting pregnant, it is too much trouble.

In fact, could this account in part for the low birth rate in developed countries? The fact that too much burden is put upon pregnant women, as to how they should behave?
 
Curiosity
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorter View Post

Aren’t pregnant women already ridden with enough guilt, to put additional burden upon them?

Do this, do that, don't do this, don't do that. And now, don't stress out. At some stage women are going to decide it is not worth it getting pregnant, it is too much trouble.

In fact, could this account in part for the low birth rate in developed countries? The fact that too much burden is put upon pregnant women, as to how they should behave?

I agree totally

One of the major roles in a woman's life is childbearing/rearing and we treat it like a part time event wherein the female gets "maternity leave" for whatever period her workplace allows until she is due back on the job.

It's become a travesty the expectation put on families wanting to raise children having to weigh the "cost" vs. the time spent in actually nurturing.