Blog, Chirosecure Live Event July 17, 2020

The Coming Epidemic: Manifestations of Prenatal Stress

Click here to download the transcript.

Now here’s, today’s host

Dr. Monica Berger.

Hello everybody out there in Cairo Facebook land. And to those of you that are not chiropractors. Welcome to look to the children’s show. And again, thank you Kira secure for giving us this platform to get our message out and to keep educating the amazing chiropractic profession I wanted to bring to you today. Something that’s very near and dear to my heart and is so incredibly critical that we as professionals in the chiropractic around really need to understand this material. Whether you look at work with families and children at not, this is, um, information that we are going to be needed to be mindful of from here on out, given the paradigm that we are practicing in now and what is going on in the world and the COVID epidemic or pandemic the consequences of what we’re experiencing. Now, in addition to how the world was before this pandemic, the two combined are, um, essentially leading us up to what I’m referring to as a next epidemic.

And what I’m talking about is not a specific disease or diagnosis or label. It is the effects of prenatal stress. So again, whether you work with preconception care, prenatal care, um, pediatrics, if you work with anybody, this information, um, is a must know, and it’s extremely, extremely profound. So what I’m going to try to do is take you, um, set up a PowerPoint. You can see my slides. I’m going to take you kind of through a mini course, um, from prenatal stress and what that’s going to look like down the road or what that does look like down the road. This is information that is bast. It’s profound from the new world of neuroscience. I’m not making this up. I’m not overstating it. I’m not overexaggerating it. And if we look at, in the depths of neuroscience, this is this information that I’m going to talk to you about today is the foundation.

It is the basis for the neurobiology of disease. I want you to sit with this, the basis of the neurobiology of disease, physical disease, and especially mental disease, mental illnesses. So let’s dig in a little bit again, please, please pass this information on to all of our colleagues. This is such profound information that is, is going to set the foundation for generations to come. No joke here. So this paper came out a few weeks ago in regards to prenatal stress. And it specifically how moms are proceeding stress in this particular time look pretty much probably 99.9% of the global population is experiencing some kind of added stress due to the situation we’re in stress. Anxiety, anxiety has gone drastically up during this time. What does this mean for the pregnant mom? And what does this mean for the offspring? It’s huge pregnant moms right now.

This came out of, I believe Alberta, Canada, but what they showed is pregnant moms. Um, the prenatal period and the early weeks postnatally that they’re pre COVID stress levels would be reported about 15% in the current paradigm, their depression in regards to depression solely Precoa time, 15% current paradigm about 41% depression anxiety. Their prenatal reporting of anxiety is about 29%. And in the current paradigm is about 71%. These are the vast jumps in pre and pregnant mamas experience, depression and anxiety. Okay. They also looked at, which was very interesting is, um, exercise rates. Okay. Um, prenatal activity rates and about 65% of pregnant women report that their exercise levels has gone down during the COVID period. About 15% of said up at about 21% say it’s been staying stagnant. Okay. What does this mean? Why is it a big deal? Again, this information is hands down where, how we’re going to see generations to come.

The program that the premium programming that’s happening now in utero is bast and profound. We know from the neuroscience literature, that when a mom is stressed, the enzyme, the gene that works too as a barrier protective barrier to the fetus, keeping cortisol out of not being able to pass the placental barrier, that enzyme it’s called, um, hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase too. Don’t worry about the name of it. Bottom line is that enzyme is protective to the fetus and it doesn’t allow more than 15 to 20% of cortisol should not pass up the central barrier. More than that passes a placental barrier, a dynamic cascade of neurophysiological consequences. Cause that fetus is exposed to more cortisol, which is neurotoxic. This is very much associated with preterm birth and low birth weight with which those two factors in the world of neuroscience has been shown to be key in the neurobiology of disease, lifelong disease of offspring, especially mental health and a lot of cardiovascular. Okay. So we need to minimize the stress. Bottom line is we needed to minimize the stress on those mamas.

Um, low protein levels also, um, will inhibit that enzyme. The enzyme needs good proteins to work, um, and, uh, B3, niacin my moral, my story for this lecture or for this presentation, I wanted you to understand that wow, stress is altering fetal development. And one is by cortisol, excess cortisol exposure. That is very neurotoxic. So we need to have these mamas under care to help regulate that stress of which we’ll talk about when we finished it at the end of this little presentation, but I want you to understand that prenatal insults maternal stress is one of the biggest ones, psychosocial stress, psychosocial stress is stressors. We all have, especially these days, right? Worried about your job, paying the bills and going out in public. Just those dynamics that pregnant mamas have extra psychosocial stressors that they report that is the fear of giving birth. The concern about being birthed that is magnified in this particular crisis.

We’re under, are they going to be allowed to have a birth partner in the room or not? They’re having to mask the whole time in why they’re in the hospital. Are they going to be separated from the baby? All these extra things. The number one psychosocial stressors that, um, pregnant mamas report is, or pregnant couples report is giving birth to an offspring with, um, developmental challenges. So they have these extra stressors happening. All right, we know that these premial stressors are leading to, to circuit, uh, developmental circuit changes in the brain, prefrontal cortex, amid Dilla, hippocampus, incredibly profound connections, especially between the limbic system and the frontal lobe, which we know from neuroscience, that connection or that misfire, that misconnection between the limbic system and the prefrontal lobe is the basis of mental illness. Okay. This is from the medical literature. And of course, then we’ll get the labels as a result of this at this prenatal stress.

Now we get the labels down the road, add ADHD, autism, et cetera. So it’s really kind of works like this. We use it, it used to be referred to as a two hit model. Now they’re looking at it as a three hit model. We have genetic factors, which actually are epigenetic factors. Okay? So we have these epigenetic loads that are vast right now hit number two is prenatal stressors, psychosocial stressors, depression, anxiety, everything that is up ramped right now with, I mean, globally, the third head is a subsequent hit that can happen up to 20 years later that finally tips the scales. And this is really the basis of most mental illnesses and individuals in mental institutions. And whether it’s a viral load that is especially if, if mama right now has had, COVID why she’s pregnant. That is a viral load that’s that fetus is exposed to.

So we have stress. It leads to enhanced cortisol, passing the placental barrier neurotoxic insult on the developing fetus and the developing nervous system, other genetic predispositions. And now down the road, another key hit can happen. It can be anything, it can be viral, come back bacterial. It can be from inoculations. It can be a poor bonding with mom and dad, whatever. So we know that prenatal stress also alters the microbiome. The mom, I’m just going to brief over this, but this is incredibly incredibly important for us to understand for supportive measures from mama during pregnancy. So a couple of key strains of bacteria have been known to be altered or, or, um, deficient in pregnant mamas under stress. And these particular strains are also coincide with supportive measures, four key areas, the brain like the Olympic system and the frontal lobe. So more of the story is stress wipes out the microbiome wipes out, excuse me, these critical bacteria, which all can alter function of these key areas of the brain.

Okay. Lactobacillus, rhamnosus, and material to those strains abberant um, or, um, deficient microbiome of mom leads to a deficient microbiome of the vaginal microbiome. So next moral the store on next golden Pearl, it doesn’t matter. A lot of people are concerned about, um, seeding of the microbiome or giving probiotics. If a baby is born via a Syrian section, because they say, well, baby, didn’t get a exposure to mom’s bathroom, microbiome. Hello, newsflash. If Michael biome of mom is poor vaginal microbiome, mom is going to be poor, whether they were born vaginally or not, they could still have a dysbiotic offering. The baby can not have a optimal microbiome, even if they’re born vaginally. So we may still need to help support that after birth, because we know a dysbiotic a, a, a non-sufficient microbiome, well also alter, um, an absorption of key nutrients. And these key nutrients are going to be imperative for metabolic function for metabolic demands on the developing brain.

So stress equals altered. Maybe pre stress is very much related to preterm birth and low birth weight altered microbiome of mom altered vaginal biome of mom altered microbiome, but baby lack of absorption of key nutrients needed for metabolic development, metabolic support of the developing brain key structures of the brain. So we have stress or infectious load. It earned again, it, it alters the maternal microbiome. It alters the microbiome, the baby. It is shown in neuroscience that this will change the trajectory of neurodevelopment of the baby. However, early intervention measures chiropractic care. For sure, especially during the prenatal period, trying to deescalate the stress load on that pregnant mom, deescalation of stress on mama is deescalation of stress on the fetus equals a more optimal chance of neurodevelopment.

When we look at fetal development, we have to look at autonomic nervous system development and bagel tone development, which that critical window of neuro-development is in the end, the second, and into the entire third trimester of birth, absolutely even more critical weeks, 35 on what we’re seeing in this COVID world is an increase of C-sections. Whether that’s because of stress or not, um, an increase around 37 weeks, this is a critical, critical message because we also know that the microbiome of baby, um, if deliberate, if, if born before 37 weeks, um, has a higher chance of what we call this necrotizing enterocolitis, okay. Inflammation in the gut, which is going to be another, um, another factor in their neurodevelopmental trajectory. This is bagel tone. Um, so prenatal stress lowers, heart rate variability and mom and baby mom and baby, which this equals abberant, um, development of the ans autonomic nervous system and bagel tone decreases the function of a culinary trick anti-inflammatory pathway. That is Vegas that’s bagels, baby, that’s his pathway call energetic anti-inflammatory call energetic anti-inflammatory pathway. This is the big kahuna to downregulate inflammation and upregulate the immune system.

When this is down-regulated this thing called zonulin, that that functions it, uh, it controls the, the tight junctions in the gut. Not allowing them to say open and end up with a leaky gut or gut permeability. So you see the, see the picture I’m painting right now. This is incredibly important to understand, because this is the basis of neurodevelopment. We also know that heart rate, variability, vehicle tone, and mom, the baby’s going to mimic the big tone of the mom. Baby is going to be born. It’s called fetal programming with mom’s stress response. The way mom is perceiving her environment, perceiving her stress and adapting, neurally, adapting. We all talk in our, in the chiropractic profession about neural adaptation. The nervous system has to adapt to our stressors the way that mom is perceiving her stress, her environment, and the way she’s responding to it will be Feedly programmed that fetus and that offspring will adopt her stress reactions and her stress patterns. And that will alter their vehicle tone, their heart rate variability and their ability to distress it, to adapt, to stress their ability, to calm their ability to digest their ability to be an eLearning Grossberg. So we also know that prenatal stress is, um, very much so tied to a neuromuscular development.

So it is tied to, um, sensory modulation, how they perceive their world through the 10 sensory systems, sight smell, sound, touch taste from the outside world and our inner interoceptive inner sensations, which are the Stabler proprioceptive, um, sensations coming from the viscera from the immune system, the immune cells and from the microbiome. So all of these can be dysregulated average, sensory modulation or input to the CNS is going to lead to Averitt, neuromuscular output pre and neuromuscular output. Motor output will then alter sensory input. It’s a loop, but we also see that prenatal stress is very much associated with neuromuscular tone and neuromuscular development in the offspring neural muscle motor tone, motor motor control core pastoral control is associated with things like asthma allergies, dyslexia, ADHD, scoliosis.

So what happens prenatally and how that fetus is preprogrammed by mom’s stress response, and mind you that study. I decided that we just got in regards to the COVID crisis, a vast increase in reported depression and anxiety in pregnant mamas. They also reported lower exercise about 65% reported decrease in their exercise regime. We also know from neuroscience literature, that prenatal exercise during the prenatal period enhances a vagal tone in the offspring. So if you look at the entire picture, that dynamic what’s happening right now, we must be mindful. We must be knowledgeable. We must be educated at a little higher level because what we’re going to see downstream, it may be two years in these offspring. It may be in six months, it may be in their twenties. It may be when they start to go to school and they get slapped with the label of ADHD. Cause they can’t sit still because they have poor postural tone. We must understand that what we lay the foundation of as now is going to have a profound effect on generations to come. And we got, we need to be able to acknowledge it to, to be recognized these red flags in practice.

We, we look at. So if you have an older child coming in, you need, you should look at the history. When were they born? What time period, what was the prenatal stress exposure, but also be mindful that if you’re seeing pregnant women, right during this time period, neuroscience research also shows that even if, when, when these stressors have been resolved, they’ve done a lot of work looking at, um, disasters and, and the, the am longterm effects on offspring during Nat, during when moms are experiencing national disaster, like, um, earthquakes, like even the Holocaust, like, um, one big one is called project ice storm. It was regarding an ice storm up at Canada. And the stress that prenatal stress on mom was then, um, nine 11, all these hallmark disasters, floods. They looked at the implications on the ops spring, and they all show a, uh, uh, post traumatic stress disorder, response, higher anxiety, higher depression levels, um, cardio increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Even if the mom conceived two years after that disaster had dissipated. So my message to you is we need to be mindful of the potential that we’re going to see down the road, preterm natal, prenatal stress, higher risk of preterm births, um, or assisted bursts higher. I’m getting pinged on social media all the time about, um, increased risk of breach presentations. That’s going to happen. Breach presentations, um, are, can be, there’s a tie between thyroid dysfunction and the mom and a breech presentation. When mom is under all the stress and the adrenals are compromised. It’s going to compromise the thyroid. You can’t stabilize a thyroid unless you stabilize adrenal function. So it stands to reason we’re going to see more of these breech presentations. Plus mom is much more physiologically, stressed out, much more tense. Um, so we may see more assisted birth, more [inaudible] section, which we’re tending to see on babies being delivered during this Cub of time.

Um, more assisted deliveries. Maybe I have not that statistic yet in regards to, um, section of forceps, but these all play a huge role in the trajectory of neural development down the road. We’re going to see more. We’re ready. We ready before this cupboard crisis have seen a vast increase in babies presenting with more agitation, colic difficulty with feeding difficulties sleeping. This is the pattern you’re going to start seeing more and more of. Then we lead because their, their nervous system is so tapped out and their immune system is compromised. They can’t nearly adapt increased in infectious load, higher risk of chance of antibiotics early in life. One dose of antibiotics wipes up the microbiome for life. It alters the microbiome for life. It can never reestablish back to its original microbiome. After one dose of antibiotics, we may see hyper or hypo more chances of hypo muscle tone because of the neural muscular, um, mal adaptive development, more developmental motor delays, um, or development delays in general.

And this is going to up even more. So our rates of labels of autism add ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, developmental coordination disorder, whatever label you want to put forth. So my message to you is early intervention chiropractic care is going to be incredibly important for pregnant mom and that baby. But remember, they’re going to be born into this world are ready with difficulty in neuro adaptation. Less is more for these little fiddle farts children that are born and they’re stressed and they’re colicky and they’re hard to console and so forth. It’s harder to bond. And that, that leads to a less maturation of the social engagement portion of the Vegas. Another story for another time, the microbiome, I understand that many of you may not be comfortable or may not wish to venture in supporting the microbiome, but I can tell you that this is absolutely a critical key, important point that you need to understand.

And if you don’t feel comfortable, maybe reach out to a colleague that feels comfortable helping support that microbiome. The adjustment’s going to do that, but in this day and age, we need to look bigger and deeper. I know we need to understand how to foster optimal sensory motor development, get yourself in a program, take classes, but we need to be able to recognize these red flags because the sooner we can intervene, the better the chances for that little fiddle fart, longterm. And again, I thank you. You know, when we should start thinking about how we’re going to articulate our message, going forward from a pain based, you know, to a brain based model. And hopefully this information helps give you some, some nuggets to think about and to investigate and to further study and learn and understand because we are going to need this information and we’re going to need to get this out to the world because this crisis has changed generations to come that have not even been born yet.

Um, so I’ll leave you with sit with that. Um, here is there’s. I have many classes that you can go to and I have one and one coming soon just on the effects of prenatal stress and what we need to think about. So I’m going to close with that, with that said again, thank you Kira secure for being an amazing vehicle for us to get this information out and more than ever, we are needed, um, to guide the world and help in truth and knowledge and education of how we can change the trajectory for generations to come. Um, I will see you next month with an incredible surprise, amazing guests, um, and you can be with dr. Eric Kowalski the first Thursday of August until then keeping amazing and keep being out there and changing lives.