Pros Talk Pregnancy

The pregnancy podcast that’s shifting the paradigm in pregnancy, birth and recovery

Ashley Makan
Episode 10
8/5/2022

Navigating stress, trauma and the effects of epigenetics

Ashley Makan in conversation with Lindsay McCoy

Summary of show:

Navigating stress. Trauma. Drama… We all deal with it in one way or another. How do our lived experiences and that of our ancestors impact our bodies, our births, and even what we pass on to kids? When we are living in a prolonged state of stress it can become our baseline. Maybe we always feel rushed. Or on edge. This not only impacts our mental health, it impacts our physical health as well. And that of our children. Our brains are powerful. And learning how to hone the power of our brains can allow us to change our world (including our pregnancies, births, recoveries, and even the stress response of our kids).

Yet too often we may feel like our brains are working against us. Navigating stress can be difficult, especially when we have negative coping mechanisms that we can’t seem to take control of. We yell, freak out, or sometimes we shut down. And then we are expected to be calm during birth? It’s normal and sometimes necessary to react with fight-flight or freeze. This is our nervous system’s way to protect us from danger. What happens with trauma, however, our bodies internalize and store that. Essentially we are ‘running from danger’ internally, all the time. Causing not only mental struggles, but physical as well. In this episode we chat with Ashley Makan and dig deep into the stress and trauma response including studies looking at prenatal stress and trauma’s impact on the developing fetus and go into ways to take control rather than feel controlled.

Navigating stress. Trauma. Drama… We all deal with it in one way or another. How do our lived experiences and that of our ancestors impact our bodies, our births, and even what we pass on to kids? When we are living in a prolonged state of stress it can become our baseline. Maybe we always feel rushed. Or on edge. This not only impacts our mental health, it impacts our physical health as well. And that of our children. Our brains are powerful. And learning how to hone the power of our brains can allow us to change our world (including our pregnancies, births, recoveries, and even the stress response of our kids).

Yet too often we may feel like our brains are working against us. Navigating stress can be difficult, especially when we have negative coping mechanisms that we can’t seem to take control of. We yell, freak out, or sometimes we shut down. And then we are expected to be calm during birth? It’s normal and sometimes necessary to react with fight-flight or freeze. This is our nervous system’s way to protect us from danger. What happens with trauma, however, our bodies internalize and store that.

Ashley Makan is a Pre- and Perinatal Educator specializing in Birth Psychology, and a trauma-informed, DONA-trained doula.

Ashley is the founder of Bodhi Birth and Wellness, serving the Upstate of South Carolina, and the creator of The Mind Body Birth, a Birth Psychology-based educational program.

Website: The Mind Body Birth

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