Environmental Conditioning at Birth

‘Mohammad’ was born during the Iran-Iraq war. While is mother was being wheeled down for a C-section, the hospital in his home city of Shiraz kept going into blackout. Bombs where dropping all around him as the doctors made several attempts to bring him into the world.

15763905_mYou might expect that Mohammad came into the world with a high amount of stress. However, his mother, being extremely religious, had very little fear about the plight of her son. The story was always told to him with affection and humour as Mohammad grew up. Although the Iran-Iraq war was long lasting, this was one of the only occasions that his city was bombed in the war. Subsequently, his doctors had a special name for him, Azahir Allah, which means alarm of God, which they shared with a smile on every doctor’s visit. As a result, Mohammad didn’t learn to fear the world in the way that you might expect. He wasn’t impacted later in life by his extreme situation at birth.

The Impact of Birth Trauma

I share a contrasting story in my new book, Heal Your Birth, Heal Your Life. One of my clients, ‘Sheila’ was born during World War Two in a London air raid shelter. Her mother was in an understandably high state of fear about the survival of her child. Sheila came into the world learning that it was a dangerous place to be.

The interesting thing about Sheila is that in this heightened state of fear, she didn’t just pick up on what her mother was feeling. Instead, she extended her energy field out into the environment around her and picked up on the fear for miles around. She literally felt the fear of death from the whole of London as she came into the world.

Like many of the clients I worked with, Sheila didn’t leave this learning about the world around her at the moment of her birth. She carried it into life. She became hyper vigilant and highly influenced by her surroundings. She constantly tuned into the fear of others and went through life with a sensitivity, which could almost be described as a kind of emotional paralysis. Even the slightest hint of fear could take her back to her birth experience. She was frequently sick with stress related conditions and it was very challenging for her to be out in the world.

Although Mohammad and Sheila were born under extreme circumstances, what they experienced at birth is common to every single one of us. They learned how to respond to the world around them by the way those in their environment were acting.

We are all empathic to our surroundings whether we are conscious of it or not. We not only tune into the energetic fields of our family, but also those of our ancestors, our culture, the human collective consciousness, and also the energies of the earth.

The Environment and Our Brain

The conditioning that has the biggest impact on us is our environment. According to Dr Bruce Lipton, cell biologist and bestselling author of The Biology of Belief, up to the age of six, children are in what is termed a hypnogogic state, which enables them to download massive amounts of information into the subconscious mind. Before a person can express self-consciousness, the brain must go about its primary task of acquiring a working awareness of the world by directly downloading experiences and observations into the subconscious mind.

From birth up to the age of two, the predominate brain wave activity is in the theta range. From two until six years of age the child’s brain state is in delta and theta. These are known as the hypnogogic trance states, and they are the same states as those that hypnotherapists use to directly download new behaviours into the subconscious mind of their clients. This means that young children are like sponges, absorbing the world around them and learning how to respond to it from those near to them. (You can learn more about these brain wave states in my book, Heal Your Birth, Heal Your Life.)

How We Carry Our Conditioning Into Life

We don’t have to be born into a war zone like Sheila for our birth to be a highly traumatic event. If our own life, or the life of our mother, is threatened during in labour, if a significant amount of drugs are used at our birth, if we get stuck in the birth canal or the chord wraps around our neck, for example, we can experience a trauma that impacts on how we relate to the world.

We learn we are not safe from the chemicals we experience through our mother. And if, like Sheila, those surrounding us have a heightened sense of fear about our safety too, as sentient beings we may also absorb that fear. We enter the world with a high level of adrenalin and other fear based chemicals in our blood stream, misperceiving the world we have arrived in to be one that is hostile. In turn, our brains begin to shape and form to accommodate our ‘hostile’ environment. Neural connections are formed in the brain that support our perception of a hostile world, and we begin to respond to it accordingly.

Rewriting Our Environmental Perceptions

Like Sheila, your whole life, up until now, may have been shaped around the experience you had coming into the world. If this is the case, there is hope for a different experience.

When I worked with Sheila she couldn’t comprehend a life beyond her hyper-vigilance because she had never actually experienced one. However, using a tool that I created, known as Matrix Birth Reimprinting, we were able to take Sheila back to the moment she came into the world and rewrite the sensory experience. Matrix Birth Reimprinting isn’t just telling ourselves a different story about our birth. It is changing the way we experienced the birth through our senses and perception, so that we no longer hold the old experience on a subconscious level. For Sheila, nowhere felt safe to her until we created a safe place for her to be born using Matrix Birth Reimprinting. The result was that she was subsequently able to develop a sense of safety and wellbeing in the present, because we had changed how she was holding the experience internally.

You may not have come into the world experiencing a war trauma. But whatever you learned in those vital first hours as you entered the world may still be with you today. To find out more about how you can rewrite your birth experience read Heal Your Birth, Heal Your Life, or book a session or workshop with Sharon.

One more interesting thing to note that was a late edition to this story. After I had written this blog, Mohammad revealed that his school friend Saman was born within 2 hours of him, so he was also born in the time that Shiraz was being bombed. Interestingly though, Saman was hugely sensitive to noise. So sensitive, in fact, that he had to be taken out of regular school because any noise would send him into overload. Although Mohammad didn’t have the direct details of Saman’s mother’s reaction to the bombing, he said that given her character, and the overprotective nature that she showed Saman during his childhood., it was likely that she was very stressed during his birth. It just goes to show that even though these two children were born hours apart in the same city, and in the same circumstances, the reaction from those around them severely impacted the way they showed up in the world.

Join the Conversation


  • Valerie Palmer

    August 19, 2015

    This article is long overdue and great! I was born April 1944 and grew up with the story of my Mum taking my brother to the cupboard under the stairs. Mum was pregnant with me and the sirens sent my Mum and brother to the safest place in the house. Mum was highly strung and a very nervous person. We live South East of London and were right in the path of the bombs coming over from Germany! I am 71 now but through reading and counseling understand about ME and all the things that I have been hypervigilent about. A few years ago I took EFT and have been able to heal many problems that started right in my Mum womb!

    • admin

      September 22, 2015

      Thats wonderful to hear Valerie that EFT has really helped you.

  • Thanks for writing this book Sharon. So many people are out there suffering from early imprinting. You are showing them that there are healing tools to help them be the best self possible. They then have a new start in life. Blessings.

    • admin

      September 22, 2015

      Thank you Barbara and your also doing amazing work with women too <3

  • ed dulaba

    August 19, 2015

    where & when can I get a copy of this book? also do you know of a birth practioner in the Toronto Canada area? Thank You.

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