Challenge: Child Health

Evidence Based Solutions:

  1. Mental Health begins in the womb
  2. Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol Disrupts Brain Circuitry.
  3. The Role of Stress in Brain Development: The Gestational Environment’s Long-Term Effects on the Brain
  4. 5000+ year old tradition:  Ayurvedic Recommendations for Post-partum, Pre-Conception, and Pregnancy
  5. Drinking Coffee During Pregnancy Raises Childhood Leukemia Risk Up to 70 Percent: 
  6. Placenta Reveals Mother's Exposure to Stress Impacts Brains of her Offspring:
  7. The Complete Organic Pregnancy
  8. Obstetrician advises Transcendental Meditation to prepare for pregnancy and birth: To find a woman TM teacher near you go to TMWomen.org, TMWomenProfessionals.org

Challenge:  Stress Reduction During Pregnancy

Evidence Based Solution:  Regular Practice of the Transcendental Meditation Program

Evidence for interplay between genes and maternal stress in utero: monoamine oxidase A polymorphism moderates effects of life events during pregnancy on infant negative emotionality at 5 weeks.

Genes Brain Behav. 2013 Jun;12(4):388-96. doi: 10.1111/gbb.12033. Epub 2013 May 7.

Hill J, Breen G, Quinn J, Tibu F, Sharp H, Pickles A.

Source: Centre for Developmental Science and Disorders, University of Manchester, Room 3.305, Jean McFarlane Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract: The low activity variant of the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) functional promoter polymorphism, MAOA-LPR, in interaction with adverse environments (G × E) is associated with child and adult antisocial behaviour disorders. MAOA is expressed during foetal development so in utero G × E may influence early neurodevelopment. We tested the hypothesis that MAOA G × E during pregnancy predicts infant negative emotionality soon after birth. In an epidemiological longitudinal study starting in pregnancy, using a two stage stratified design, we ascertained MAOA-LPR status (low vs. high activity variants) from the saliva of 209 infants (104 boys and 105 girls), and examined predictions to observed infant negative emotionality at 5 weeks post-partum from life events during pregnancy. In analyses weighted to provide estimates for the general population, and including possible confounders for life events, there was an MAOA status by life events interaction (P = 0.017). There was also an interaction between MAOA status and neighbourhood deprivation (P = 0.028). Both interactions arose from a greater effect of increasing life events on negative emotionality in the MAOA-LPR low activity, compared with MAOA-LPR high activity infants. The study provides the first evidence of moderation by MAOA-LPR of the effect of the social environment in pregnancy on negative emotionality in infancy, an early risk for the development of child and adult antisocial behaviour disorders.

  1. Maternal anxiety and infants' hippocampal development: timing matters