The journey of life begins in the womb, a place of holding and nourishment for 9 months where a tiny human grows and develops it's sense of self, it's primal nervous system. But what happens when that womb is not a safe space? And what does a safe space even mean? When trauma and stress invade this sacred space, the consequences can be far-reaching and long-lasting, affecting not only the mother but also the developing fetus. The mystery of perinatal womb trauma is a complex and often misunderstood topic, with implications for physical, emotional, and spiritual health. In this blog, we will explore the latest research and insights into this fascinating and important area, shedding light on the impact of trauma in the womb and offering tools for healing and growth.
Understanding the Primal Nervous System
The primal nervous system is a fascinating and vital component of our bodies, controlling everything from our heart rate to our digestion. But did you know that it begins developing during the very earliest stages of embryonic development? That's right, even before most of us even know we exist, the foundations of our nervous system are being laid.
As we continue to develop in the womb, the nervous system takes on even greater importance, helping to regulate all sorts of processes that are crucial to our survival and development. But what happens when the developing fetus is exposed to stress or trauma during pregnancy? Research suggests that this can have a significant impact on the development and functioning of the nervous system, potentially leading to a range of physical, emotional, and psychological health issues.
By understanding the complexities of the primal nervous system and its development, we can better appreciate the importance of supporting healthy nervous system development during pregnancy. This can involve everything from healing deeper trauma, supporting our nervous system at a more substantial level, promoting stress reduction and celebrating our own existence. With this knowledge, we can work to promote healthy development and well-being for both mother and child, and help to set the stage for a lifetime of optimal health.
How our Primal Nervous System sets the Stage for Our Sense of Self
The development of the primal nervous system during embryological development is closely tied to our sense of self. As the nervous system develops, it begins to play a crucial role in shaping our early experiences of the world and our place within it.
Studies have shown that early experiences, including those that occur during fetal development, can have a significant impact on the development and functioning of the nervous system, which in turn can affect our sense of self. For example, researchers have found that maternal stress during pregnancy can affect the development of the fetal brain and nervous system, potentially leading to long-lasting changes in behavior and emotional regulation.
Additionally, studies have shown that experiences of attachment and bonding between mother and child during the perinatal period can have a profound impact on the developing nervous system and the sense of self. Secure attachment has been linked to better emotional regulation, higher self-esteem, and better overall mental health outcomes.
Understanding the role of the primal nervous system in shaping our sense of self highlights the importance of supporting healthy nervous system development during pregnancy and in early childhood. This can involve everything from promoting healthy attachment and bonding to providing a safe and nurturing environment for the developing child. By doing so, we can help to promote optimal development and well-being, setting the stage for a lifetime of positive outcomes.
Here are some signs of a low sense of self and existential uncertainty:
Lack of confidence in decision-making
Feeling unsure of one's purpose or direction in life
Difficulty setting and maintaining boundaries
Difficulty with self-expression and asserting oneself
Constantly seeking validation and approval from others
Difficulty with intimate relationships and forming attachments
Feelings of emptiness or dissatisfaction with life
Difficulty with self-reflection and self-awareness
Difficulty with emotional regulation and impulse control
Feeling disconnected or detached from oneself and others.
Feeling of being burdened by something bigger than yourself and your own life experiences and emotions
Feeling of shame around your own existence
Feeling of holding your mother's pain particularly grief and fear
Just Much Can an Unborn Baby Feel?
The question of how much an unborn baby can feel is a complex and controversial one. While it is difficult to definitively say what a developing fetus experiences, research suggests that they are capable of feeling some level of sensation and responding to external stimuli.
Studies have found that developing fetuses can respond to touch as early as 8 weeks into gestation, and can experience pain starting around 20 weeks. However, the extent to which a fetus can experience pain is still debated, with some experts arguing that the nervous system is not yet developed enough to support the experience of pain, while others contend that pain perception is possible.
Additionally, research has shown that developing fetuses can respond to other external stimuli, such as sound and light, suggesting that they are capable of some level of awareness of their environment.
Overall, the question of how much an unborn baby can feel is a complex and nuanced one, with much still unknown.
Can an Unborn Baby Really Feel it's Mother's Emotions?
There is growing evidence to suggest that developing fetuses may be capable of experiencing and responding to the emotions and emotional state of their mothers. One study published in the journal Psychological Science found that when pregnant women were exposed to a stressful event, their fetuses showed an increase in heart rate and movement, suggesting a stress response. This can often trigger premature labour or emergency C sections if the fetus becomes distressed and the heart rate changes too much. An investigation conducted by the University of California finds that chronic tension, discrimination, or depressive symptoms are related to the incidence of lower birth weight babies. Another study published in the journal Infant Behavior and Development found that fetuses of mothers who reported feeling depressed during pregnancy showed a slower rate of habituation to repeated stimuli, suggesting a lower threshold for emotional reactivity.
A study used 4D ultrasound to actually show the fetus' facial expression changing in utero depending on what food their mother ate (tip: they smiled for carrots not kale!) You can watch that below
These findings suggest that there may be a deeper emotional connection between mother and child during the perinatal period than previously thought.
Scientists continue to puzzle over the neonate sentient experience, which goes beyond the limitations of the brain and measurable observations. As a result, it has largely been dismissed in scientific circles until more recently. Advances in technology have allowed for better images of the faces of fetuses in the womb. If you're really techie you might be interested in the fact that in 2016 Brazilian researchers devised a way to immerse parents in virtual reality visualizations of their unborn babies using an Oculus Rift 2 headset and a combination of traditional ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI.
However, this mysterious level of consciousness - particularly in relation to the birthing process - is crucial to understanding human development and healing, not just at a personal level but also on a collective stage. By delving into the realm of deeper consciousness study, we can gain a deeper understanding of the perinatal level of consciousness and birth dynamics, unlocking new insights and potential for healing and growth
What do Individuals Report Experiencing while In Utero?
The idea of individuals experiencing emotions while in utero is a fascinating and relatively unexplored area of study. For those who delve into somatic exploration, energy healing and rebirthing work this can be a particularly intriguing topic.
Through the healing journey it's possible to uncover a range of emotions that were experienced during in utero, which can have a significant impact on their sense of self and overall well-being. It can also help people to get to the root causes of their nervous system dysregulation, particularly where other therapies haven't been effective.
I have helped hundreds of people heal in utero trauma. These sessions have revealed some fascinating insights:
Feelings of suffocation or being trapped
A sense of pressure or constriction
Memories of medical procedures or interventions in utero
A sense of being invaded or violated
Emotional pain or distress due to maternal substance abuse
Feelings of rejection or abandonment from the mother / father and even other family members
Trauma from prenatal exposure to violence or abuse
Physical discomfort or pain related to fetal development or maternal health issues
Feeling of being in a womb that is on fire or restricted (unresolved maternal anger and often abuse imprints)
A sense of disconnection or dissociation from the self or the world outside the womb.
Anxiety or fear related to the impending birth process
Trauma or distress from the mother's experiences during pregnancy, such as accidents or illnesses
Feelings of isolation or loneliness
Confusion or disorientation related to sensory input or changes in the womb environment
A sense of being overwhelmed by the mother's emotional or physical state
Anger or resentment related to the circumstances of conception or pregnancy
Shame or guilt related to the child's perceived role in the mother's life or relationships
Insecurity or a sense of inadequacy related to the child's physical or developmental differences in utero.
Trauma or distress related to the mother's relationship with the father or other partners during pregnancy
A sense of abandonment or neglect from the mother or other caregivers
Feelings of jealousy or competition related to other siblings or family members
Trauma or distress related to experiences of domestic violence or abuse that the mother experienced while pregnant
Anxiety or fear related to the mother's mental or physical health during pregnancy
Confusion or distress related to changes in the mother's emotional state or behavior while pregnant
A sense of loss or grief related to the mother's experiences of miscarriage or termination
Trauma or distress related to prenatal exposure to environmental toxins or pollutants.
10 Physical Conditions that Develop in the Womb
Some of the more common conditions that can develop in the womb include congenital heart defects, spina bifida, Down syndrome, cleft lip/palate, and cerebral palsy. Advances in prenatal diagnosis and medical treatment have improved outcomes for individuals.
Down Syndrome: A genetic condition that affects physical and cognitive development.
Congenital Heart Defects: Abnormalities in the heart's structure that can affect blood flow and oxygen levels.
Spina Bifida: A neural tube defect that occurs when the spinal column doesn't fully close, leading to nerve damage and mobility impairments.
Cleft Lip and Palate: A birth defect that affects the formation of the mouth and facial features.
Anencephaly: A neural tube defect that results in the underdevelopment or absence of parts of the brain and skull.
Gastroschisis: A condition where the baby's intestines protrude through a hole in the abdominal wall.
Hydrocephalus: A buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain that can lead to brain damage and other complications.
Asthma: A chronic respiratory condition that can develop in the womb due to various environmental factors such as maternal smoking, pollution, unresolved trauma and stress. In some cases, asthma symptoms can even manifest before birth, with the fetus exhibiting signs of airway obstruction and difficulty breathing. This can lead to a higher risk of respiratory infections and other complications after birth.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A group of physical and mental abnormalities caused by maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Preeclampsia: A pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and organ damage that can be life-threatening for both the mother and baby.
How I Helped My Client with Spina Bifida to Walk: A Journey of Healing and Empowerment
Here's what she experienced:
My name is Rhodope. I am 61 years young. I was born with Spinabifida. In the last couple of years my disability has deteriorated significantly affecting my mental and physical wellbeing. I have two replacement knees and osteoarthritis in my hips. I have felt like a prisoner trapped in my own body. These last couple of years have been totally overwhelming, exhausting. Just my first session with Safa was unbelievable, it was transformational.
Safa travelled through different parts of my body with such a beautiful caring energy. She realigned my spine. She removed all blocks and debris that needed shifting in other parts of my body. She also healed my hips, pelvis and legs. I could feel my entire spine becoming so much calmer, peaceful and so much lighter, happier. My whole mobility has improved and my body has softened.
She removed the emotional and energetic armour I have been carrying around with me for such a long time because of my childhood and in utero development.
After our session I could walk with so much more ease and no pain in my body! Now I can now get up from a seated or lying down position with ease. I have not been able to do this for many years. The difference was phenomenal! I am feeling so alive today, my body and spine feels so realigned. My husband was so happy to see the change in me.
After decades of disconnection I can say Safa introduced me to my body again- my organs and my wholeness. She helped me reunite the whole of my body as one beautiful oneness. - Rhodope, UK
The Impact of Experiencing Negative Emotions and Fear In Utero
While it is still a topic of debate among researchers, some studies suggest that exposure to trauma in utero may increase the risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) later in life. The stress hormones released by the mother during traumatic events can cross the placenta and affect the developing fetus, potentially impacting their neurological development and increasing their vulnerability to PTSD. However, more research is needed to fully understand the link between in utero trauma and the development of PTSD.
Experiencing negative emotions while in utero can significantly impact our lives. The pre-verbal emotional charge can shape our sense of self, influence our relationships, behaviors, and ability to cope with stress and trauma.
For instance, feelings of abandonment or neglect during gestation can lead to attachment issues and difficulty forming healthy relationships in adulthood. Trauma or distress related to our mother's mental or physical health during pregnancy may lead to heightened anxiety or depression in later life. Prenatal exposure to environmental toxins or pollutants may result in physical health problems and impaired cognitive development.
Overall, addressing and working through these emotions and experiences can be an essential part of healing and personal growth for individuals impacted by perinatal womb trauma.
Check Out these Podcasts:
Stress transfer in utero
The importance of womb healing for men
Why womb wisdom matters 15 min soothing anxiety practice
Guided womb meditation
Exploring Fetal Consciousness and Collective Structures of Human Consciousness
To fully understand the fetal experience in utero, we must transcend the personal level and explore the broader and deeper consciousness paradigm of a transpersonal nature. In this realm, we encounter phenomena such as shared waters, resource allocation, nutritional abundance or scarcity, and safety, among others.
The transpersonal realm offers us an opportunity to appreciate how the experiences that arise through perinatal inner work are not simply replays of gestation and birth processes, but also reflect broader collective structures of human consciousness - from phylogenetic to ancestral, karmic, and cosmic.
This includes information about space-time and archetypal realms of the collective unconscious, such as paradise or hell, and the profound suffering experienced by humanity as a whole. It can also include mystical insights and a sense of spiritual union. These experiences have the power to transform the ego boundary, expanding our sense of identity to incorporate realms beyond the personal self.
By exploring the transpersonal realm, we can gain a deeper understanding of the fetal experience and its impact on our development and healing, both personally and collectively. Through this understanding, we can unlock new insights and potential for growth and transformation.
Navigating Transpersonal and Spiritual Experiences for Growth and Transformation
Integrating impressions is a crucial step in our development and growth. It requires some element of ego consciousness to go through a process of meaning-making or interpretation, which should ideally happen in all aspects of our being - psychologically, spiritually, and somatically.
Access to different fields of consciousness is available to everyone, but I have noticed two trends: those who are further along in their psychospiritual evolution tend to experience more transpersonal content, as do those who are caged in by their egoic structures.
However, the latter group is more vulnerable when it comes to integration and inherently needs more support to make meaning. There is commonality in the transpersonal experiences of this group, such as divine light, deep feelings of oneness, heightened synchronicity, ancient images such as Egyptian symbols, connections with transcendent peace, and a deep sense of existential purpose.
Visiting paradise for a fleeting moment is pointless if it remains a memory. Paradise - and hell - await us at all times. It's not access to dimensions that we need, but the ability to navigate between them with mastery and self-devotion. By integrating our experiences and developing a greater sense of consciousness, we can unlock new levels of growth and transformation, both for ourselves and for the collective.
Healing and Transforming Womb Trauma in Womb Room!
Participants in Womb Room have reported a range of personal and transpersonal experiences. The transpersonal experiences include descriptions of the void eclipsing, propagating through space and time, and feeling the ego melting away. These experiences are often described as a merging with everything around them, including the air, trees, and flowers. Clients have also reported feelings of great depth and peacefulness.
>>Transpersonal: 'The void eclipsed' 'I propagated through space and time like photons do: FAST. Faster than our thoughts can figure out, totally massless' 'I felt my ego melting away.....i felt peace entering my body, I felt my heart and the unlimited love that I have' 'Energy descended from my head to my toes & felt like it was erasing me. Wiping out everything I thought I was. I merged with everything. The air, the trees, the flowers.' 'It took me to great depths of the ocean, dissolving into the unexplainable void' 'I felt as if I was still in space/time and nothing was moving. I wasn’t even breathing. I don’t know long I was there within this point in the centre of my womb but it felt so peaceful'
>>Personal: 'My physical body started twisting, contracting, unwinding and went into foetal position' 'Womb Room was life changing to say the least. The effects were so profound, words cannot do justice. My internal environment and the way I process incidents of my past has completely changed.' 'I have never felt this good in a long long while. I feel so aligned and grateful. I'm filled with light' 'I felt so much lighter and connected like I had really let go of any trauma' 'I felt my spine light up like tube of light. I felt my womb expand to fill the room. I feel light after, like a weight has been lifted from my chest and throat.'
What happens in Womb Room?
In the Womb Room, the work extends beyond personal regression and delves into transpersonal experiences. It involves propelling forward into the planetary and cosmic womb, and even beyond into the Void. Along this journey, we encounter and dissolve ancient and ancestral structures, while meeting the elusive Great Mother and Great Father as alive vibrational fields within our own consciousness. By accepting and integrating this nurturing from within, we release ourselves and our parents from attachments based on need, and instead appreciate them with compassion.
This experience can help adjust our expectations, as few parents have experienced a rebirthing or the tangible safety and calm of the Great Mother. By reorganizing our experience with our own sensation, relation, and mental perception of self, we culminate together in a final clearing that invites a total surrender and a rebirth. This deep level of healing and transformation can lead to profound shifts in our understanding of ourselves and the world around us, and can be a powerful catalyst for growth and self-realization.
Heal From Perinatal Womb Trauma in a Transformational Personalised Healing Programme
Discover the Power of Your Primal Nervous System with 1-1 Healing Sessions" - Book Your Sessions Now!
Are you struggling with emotional or physical issues that you believe may be related to perinatal womb trauma?
As research has shown, the emotions and experiences that we feel in utero can have a significant impact on our lives, shaping our sense of self, influencing our relationships, and impacting our ability to cope with stress and trauma. I can help you identify and address any unresolved issues related to perinatal womb trauma, empowering you to take control of your health and wellbeing.
But the good news is that healing is possible. As a healer, somatic expert and womb alchemist I offer you a profound journey back into healing your in utero imprints that are held in your nervous system and energy body,
By addressing and processing this, you will experience profound personal growth, improved relationships, and enhanced physical, emotional and spiritual well being.
Contact me today to get a personalised treatment plan and begin your journey of transformation. Click here to book a clarity call. I look forward to meeting you!