Recent study confirms that hearing the voice of our mothers triggers positive brain responses and growth.

We can effect health as mothers from our touch to our voices.

“Think of DNA as books in a library. That library is not particularly useful until you read those books. So the DNA is sitting there in the cells but when there is an experience that that individual has, then that DNA can be read.

It can be opened up and then the gene can be expressed. In the case of epigenetics, there are proteins that interact with the DNA that determine if it can be read or not. So if a child grows up in a very stressful environment, the genes that are important for coping with stress get wrapped up in those proteins and so they cannot be expressed. And that’s what is meant by epigenetics,” said Dr. Sokolowski. Dr. Sokolowski discussed the groundbreaking rat studies by Michael Meaney, Moshe Syzf and Gustavo Turecki, Ph.D’99 at McGill, showing that when a mother rat licks her babies, a gene that decreases the amount of stress hormones that get released gets turned on.

Mother-infant interactions

Dr. Sokolowski spoke about her current CIHR funded study about mother-infant interactions, which seeks to find how those interactions vary depending on whether the mother had a history of abuse. Everyone has one of two forms of a gene that controls how much serotonin, the major chemical responsible for regulating mood and emotion, is transported from one place to another in the brain.

But that gene may not always be expressed, if epigenetic tags have been added from abusive experiences. Dr. Rosanna Weksberg spoke about how environmental factors can impact on how genes are expressed as early as when new life is first implanted. She cited the case where Danish mothers who were 0-10 weeks pregnant during a famine delivered very low birth weight babies that even 60 years later carried different growth factor marks on their genes compared to those who were not affected by the famine.

Dr. Weksberg is Staff Physician with Clinical and Metabolic Genetics at The Hospital for Sick Children and Professor, Pediatrics and Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. Dr. Albert Wong talked about his research which hopes to find potential drug treatments that could help prevent the expression of strong inherited susceptibilities for schizophrenia and depression, by acting on the epigenome.

Dr. Wong is Research Scientist, Neuroscience Division at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto. – See more at:…

The health of the mother’s gut also affects the health of an infant’s gut.

A strong willed positive and loving mother can breed happy and confident children.