Nature vs Nurture in The Wombby Austin Stanfel Building a Foundation for the Future
Nature versus nurture is an argument that has been part of our lives for more than a century, and similar debates go back to ancient times. Are our personalities, our skills, and abilities predetermined by our genes? Are we blank slates on which our experiences, learning, and interaction create who we are? Good arguments exist for both sides, and many scientists have also argued the middle ground very well. Regardless of your stance, epigenetics plays into that argument. What has also become apparent is that it is not just the experiences we have once we are born that can influence who and what we are, but the knowledge we have in the womb (through our mother) is also essential.
So what is epigenetics?
This word has skyrocketed in popularity over the last two decades, but understanding exactly what it is can be a bit tricky. Stated, epigenetics is all the information placed on top of the DNA in our cells, and this information changes how the cell acts, and thus, it changes us. For the most part, the DNA in all our cells is the same. As we develop, extra information is placed on the DNA to tell the cell what it has to or doesn't have to do. Your skin cells, for example, act differently than your brain cells. This, of course, is nature and is simply what happens in the womb as we grow, and to an extent, it is the same for everyone. But other things happen, things that our mother does or does not do, that can also add information to a cell and determine what it does or does not do – this is nurture. One such thing is playing. preschool playground
Playing as an expectant mother
Studies suggest that the actions of a future parent can have long-lasting effects on their children's personality. These actions include those parents take while the child is still in the mother's womb or even before that. Playing as a grownup is one such activity, and it can have a positive epigenetic influence. Playing as a grownup includes various activities. Physical activities, like sports and mental exercises, like participating in some hobbies, are two forms of play for adults. You can also play with kids as this is a perfect opportunity to be spontaneous and take part in the silly play. A big influence playing has on a grownup is that it relieves stress.
For a moment we can forget about work or other responsibilities and enjoy life. It can stimulate creativity, help you connect with other people, heal emotional wounds, and the list goes on.
For a pregnant mother, this relief of stress and distancing from stressors can epigenetically influence the child by reducing the possibility of inheriting any symptoms of the anxiety of stress-related disorders. It is not just the mother that plays a role in this. The father can also influence the factor of stress inheritance as they can pass on the stress epigenetically through their sperm. Just like a child also has some DNA from the grandparents through the parents, an expectant mother that relieves stress through play will also epigenetically influence her grand- and great-grandchildren.
Created on Sep 29th 2020 08:30. Viewed 94 times.
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