IN UTERO Film Documentary

IN UTERO Documentary Film: The Importance of Fetal Origins
NGAIO RICHARDS
Founder, House of Fertility & Healing

How much are we constructed during the nine months we spend in our mother’s womb? Do we carry the trauma of our ancestors into our daily lives? Are we who we think we are?

IN UTERO, directed by Kathleen Man Gyllenhaal, is a cinematic rumination on what will emerge as the most provocative subject of the 21st century – the environmental impact on pregnancy and its lasting imprint on human development, human behavior, and the state of the world.

Fetal origins experts, research scientists, psychologists, doctors, and midwives – as well as examples from popular culture and mythology – collectively demonstrate how our experiences in utero shape our future.

By tapping into cultural myths, popular movies, and technological trends, IN UTERO demonstrates how our experiences in utero come with us throughout our lives. The film manages to beautifully paint the complex tapestry of the human experience from the first moment of conception to birth through enlightening interviews with experts and pioneers. And there is certainly a lot to ponder.

According to epigenetic experts, we are not only our genes but a product of our environment as well. This proven fact will change our perception of stress and the environmental conditions that women are exposed to during pregnancy. In particular, the film looks at how these environmental effects are passed down through the generations via our genes. This adds further weight to the argument that it’s scientifically plausible that a traumatic event that affected your ancestors could actually leave a mark on your genes.

in utero documentary film
Award Winning Documentary
Film Poster via IN UTERO

What is becoming apparent is that the hard sciences are only just beginning to catch up with what others have been saying for decades. The film goes on to further reveal through extensive interviews with notable experts in the fields of psychology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis that similar theories of prenatal life have been in play as early as the 1900’s and they have gone on to garner traction ever since.

“World ecology has to start with womb ecology. We cannot have peace and good people in the world without raising peaceful, good children. And that has to start at conception—not at birth, but at conception.” – Thomas R. Verny, M.D., FRCPC

Increasingly, experts in all fields have begun to see the link between prenatal life in the womb and the state of the world at large. In the last five years or so, huge strides have been made in our understanding of the psychological, biological, and sociological impact of our time in the womb.

Researchers in Michigan have developed MRI technology so powerful it’s able to capture the most incredible images of a developing fetus’ brain. This has allowed them to be able to study how certain areas of the brain begin to link up and coordinate activity.

What is most amazing from all of this is that scientists and psychologists have been able to uncover that:

  • Prolonged stress induced through poverty, and traumatic events impact a developing fetus on a genetic level
  • Depressed or stressed mothers have 5 times the levels of the hormone cortisol, which negatively affects the fetus
Relaxed Pregnant Woman

“What we’re not recognizing is that people are parenting and conceiving and carrying and birthing children under increasingly stressed conditions. Increasingly, it takes two people now to provide a living in this culture to families. And they’re doing so in the context of less support because one of the ravages of industrialization and globalization is the destruction of the extended family, the tribe, the clan, the village, the neighborhood.

Parents who are stressed have been shown not to be able to be as attuned with their infants and children as parents who are not stressed. Not their fault. Not because they do not love the child. Not because they’re not dedicated, devoted, committed. Simply because the stress effect impedes their ability to attune with their child…And that has an impact on brain development.” – Gabor Maté, M.D.

Given the current state of world affairs, IN UTERO is an extremely timely and important film and brings into focus a new field devoted to prenatal life.

What the research urges us to consider is how the foundations of who we’ve become started a long time before we were even born, and ultimately, how we can set our children up for better lives in the future.

NEW – Pregnancy Meditation

Enid Guthrie takes you through a gentle process helping you to relax, reduce anxiety, and connect with your ‘little person’.

Available exclusively from PregnancyMeditations.com.

BUY NOW

My Mind is Too Busy to Meditate

How Could I Possibly Meditate When My Mind Is So Busy?
NGAIO RICHARDS
Founder, House of Fertility & Healing

I’m sure you’ve heard: ‘all you have to do is sit quietly and still your mind‘. They make it sound so simple, don’t they! And theoretically, perhaps it is.

But most of us soon come to realize that stilling our mind requires patience and dedication. That’s why it’s referred to as a meditation ‘practice’. No one knows how to do this stuff in the beginning! We have to practice. It’s not just you. Everyone’s mind runs rings around them, especially in the beginning. We’ve all been there (most people are still there).

“Life is a mystery – mystery of beauty, bliss and divinity. Meditation is the art of unfolding that mystery.”
AMIT RAY
As you sit, you need to be patient with yourself. Every time you catch yourself getting caught up and involved in a thought, quietly and internally congratulate yourself. Well done for catching yourself being attached to the thoughts! You are a success! Do not berate yourself. It’s not a drama. Just quietly, internally consider yourself successful and then move on.

Back to the breath. Another thought will come. Before too long, you may realise you have once again become ensnared by your sneaky mind. This is ok. This is how it is. This is the nature of the mind. Do not berate yourself. It’s not a drama. Just quietly internally consider yourself successful and then move on. Back to the breath. Observe your breath. Allow the breath to breathe you. No need to control the breath. Just watch the breath coming in and again leaving your body.

Initially, even a three-minute meditation session may feel like an eternity. This changes, and with more and more practice, you’ll find it becomes less challenging and that you’re more quickly able to relax and find your calm centre.

As with most things, the more you practice, the more it becomes second nature. Eventually, you will begin to find quiet within yourself and you will come to love your meditation sessions.

“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.”
DEEPAK CHOPRA

A common misconception is that meditation is about ‘controlling’ the mind. The reality is that if we try to force the mind to shut up it just gets louder. Our mind is not dissimilar to a 2-year-old child behaving badly.

As a general rule of thumb when this happens is to ignore the attention-seeking-behaviour. That is, we do not engage with it and by not giving the bad behaviour attention, generally the child stops that behaviour.

The questions you should be asking yourself are:

Will you allow this badly behaved, attention-seeking 2yr old to control every waking moment of your life?

‘Is this what you want? Does it make you happy?’

You Are Not Your Mind

Identifying with your thoughts is simply a bad habit. It’s similar in ways to gazing at the sky and seeing clouds. We observe the clouds, we do not get up on the cloud and ride around. We do not engage in a dialogue with the cloud. We simply see it. The cloud is there. The cloud comes, the cloud passes. We learn to allow thoughts to enter the mind and pass through again without engaging with them.

If Every Thought Was a Conversation We'd Be Exhausted

Let’s imagine you are standing right near Shibuya Station in Tokyo. Apparently 221,801 people live in Shibuya and the volume of people crossing the streets there is phenomenal. Would you stand on the street engaging in a conversation with every one of them? What if each of these people represented a thought running through your mind?
What if (for whatever reason) you found yourself walking amongst the council estates in London at night, by yourself? Would you be striking up a chat with the various dodgy people who approached you or would you keep walking with your head down and your hoody up? Would you make eye contact? Would you engage with them in any way?

A monk sits calmly in her house sipping tea. She has left her front door open and she has also left her back door open too. When asked why, she replies:

Thoughts enter and can pass out again unimpeded. I have not invited them to tea’.

So don’t be afraid to leave the door open!

NEW – Pregnancy Meditation

Enid Guthrie takes you through a gentle process helping you to relax, reduce anxiety, and connect with your ‘little person’.

Available exclusively from PregnancyMeditations.com.

BUY NOW

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