Fall 2011: Prenatal Parenting
Author: Jean Handwerk
Publish date:

The physical and spiritual consequences of the health legacy that parents pass on to children are enormous—quite possibly eternal.

In Canada when a beluga whale carcass washes ashore, it has to be buried as toxic waste because it is so full of heavy metals from the ocean.1

Belugas have been found to have from 80 to 200 ppm of PCBs stored in their blubber. The upper limit for human consumption is 5 ppm. One female orca was found to have 1000 ppm of PCBs in her blubber. Infertility, abnormalities, and weakness are increasing in whales, dolphins, and porpoises as a result of chemical and heavy metal poisoning.2 Extinction looms.

First-born dolphin babies, called calves, often die, poisoned by their own mothers’ milk:

In the wild, the many toxins, heavy metals, and PCBs in the oceans are absorbed by cetaceans and stored in their blubber. When a mother gives birth for the first time, her body purges these toxins through her milk and she literally poisons her own calf...

“The Inuit women are now like cetaceans—when they nurse their young, they risk killing them with all the toxins in their milk. So you see, the way the oceans and the dolphins and the whales go will be the way we humans go. It’s just a matter of time.”3

That time is already here:

Belugas are indicator species of the health of our waters, and as such, their failing health foreshadows our own fate.4

A study released this summer [2005] by the Environmental Work Group (EWG) tested the umbilical cord blood of infants born in the U.S. and found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants. In total, tests identified 287 chemicals of which 180 cause cancer, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 are linked to birth defects or abnormal development.5

This testing is before the toxins in vaccines are added to the newborn’s health disadvantage, and before further toxins are fed to children via pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals in non-organic foods.

These findings refute the assertion by some that the placenta shields cord blood (and the fetus) from most chemicals and other toxins in the environment...

For those who need a little more convincing, consider this: a Washington State University study reported in the June 3rd issue of Science magazine indicates that exposure to environmental toxins impacts health far greater than anyone ever imagined. Researchers found that the effects are passed along to offspring for as many as four generations.6

In a similar vein, in the 1920s and 1930s Dr. Weston Price, a dentist, researched healthy primitive human groups living entirely on indigenous foods and experiencing almost no dental decay and great resistance to disease. When these groups adopted a modern processed food, sugar-saturated diet, the results were disastrous for both them and any offspring born to them.

Not only did dental cavities become rampant upon their consuming “refined and devitalized” foods, but, more alarmingly, the children born to these people suffered “progressive facial deformities.” Narrowed facial structures and dental arches resulted in crowded, misaligned teeth. Birth defects and increased susceptibility to infections and chronic diseases also multiplied for these hapless children.

Significantly, when some natives returned to their traditional diets, open cavities ceased progressing and children now conceived and born once again had perfect dental arches and no tooth decay.7

Both Parents Affect the Fetus

While most studies of this nature focus on the mother’s responsibility in passing on health or harm, Dr. Price’s research revealed significant paternal genetic effects on prenatal development.

Disfiguring and dysfunctional structural aberrations often occurred in offspring when either parent consumed a nutritionally-deficient diet.

Either parent may contribute directly to certain of the defects of the children, due to defects in the germ plasm [DNA].8

In one example, an Eskimo woman prepared native foods for herself throughout a lifetime including twenty-six pregnancies.

For her second husband, she prepared his preferred diet of refined foods. She was free of tooth decay her entire life; the second husband was full of dental caries and also had facial structure abnormalities. “Several of the children [born to them] had incomplete development of the face and of the dental arches.”9

The role of parental health and temperance in the genetic blueprint of the fetus and post-birth child development is not news. At the turn of the 20th century, Ellen G. White wrote this:

There is a lesson for parents in the instruction given to the wife of Manoah [Samson’s mother], and to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. The angel of the Lord brought the tidings that Manoah should become the father of a son who was to deliver Israel; and in reply to the anxious inquiry, “How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?” the angel gave special directions for the mother: “Neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.”

The child will be affected, for good or evil, by the habits of the mother. She must herself be controlled by principle, and must practice temperance and self-denial, if she would seek the welfare of her child.

And fathers as well as mothers are included in this responsibility. Both parents transmit their own characteristics, mental and physical, their dispositions and appetites, to their children. As the result of parental intemperance, the children often lack physical strength and mental and moral power.

Liquor drinkers and tobacco lovers hand down their own insatiable craving, their inflamed blood and irritated nerves, as a legacy to their offspring. And as the children have less power to resist temptation than had the parents, each generation falls lower than the preceding.

The inquiry of every father and mother should be, “What shall we do unto the child that shall be born unto us?’Many are inclined to treat this subject lightly; but the fact that an angel of heaven was sent to those Hebrew parents, with instruction twice given in the most explicit and solemn manner, shows that God regards it as one of great importance (Te, 269, emphasis added).

Curses and Blessings

Many whom God would use as His instruments have been disqualified at their birth by the previous wrong habits of their parents. When the Lord would raise up Samson as a deliverer of His people, He enjoined upon the mother correct habits of life before the birth of her child...

In instructing this one mother, the Lord gave a lesson to all who should be mothers to the close of time. Had the wife of Manoah followed the prevailing customs, her system would have been weakened by violation of nature’s laws, and her child would have suffered with her the penalty of transgression (GH Feb., 1880; 2BC 1005).

Obedience to God’s health principles results in inestimable spiritual blessings.

He who will observe simplicity in all his habits, restricting the appetite and controlling the passions, may preserve his mental powers strong, active, and vigorous, quick to perceive everything which demands thought or action, keen to discriminate between the holy and the unholy, and ready to engage in every enterprise for the glory of God and the benefit of humanity (ST Sept. 29, 1881; 2BC 1006).

It cannot be denied, then, that a child’s usefulness in God’s service is greatly determined by the practices of both parents, both before and after birth.

Let old and young remember that for every violation of the laws of life, nature will utter her protest. The penalty will fall upon the mental as well as the physical powers. And it does not end with the guilty trifler. The effects of his misdemeanors are seen in his offspring, and thus hereditary evils are passed down, even to the third or fourth generation (ST, Dec. 6, 1910; Te, 56).

Our Baleful Inheritance

Our ancestors have bequeathed to us customs and appetites which are filling the world with disease. The sins of the parents, through perverted appetite, are with fearful power visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations. The bad eating of many generations, the gluttonous and self-indulgent habits of the people, are filling our poorhouses, our prisons, and our insane asylums. Intemperance...has resulted in great mental and physical degeneracy, and this degeneracy is constantly increasing (RH, July 29, 1884, emphasis added).

Even infants in the cradle suffer from afflictions caused by the sins of their parents (CH, 19).

Diseased children are born because of gratification of appetite by the parents (AH, 258).

How serious is this in God’s eyes?

When men take any course which needlessly expends their vitality or beclouds their intellect, they sin against God; they do not glorify Him in their body and spirit, which are his (CTBH, 8).

Emotional Legacies, Too

Behaviors related to emotions are also the inheritance of children:

Be what you wish your children to be. Parents have perpetuated by precept and example their own stamp of character to their posterity. The fitful, coarse, uncourteous tempers and words are impressed upon children, and children’s children, and thus the defects in the management of parents testify against them from generation to generation (CG, 278).

Even before the birth of the child, the preparation should begin that will enable it to fight successfully the battle against evil. If before the birth of her child she [the mother] is self-indulgent, if she is selfish, impatient, and exacting, these traits will be reflected in the disposition of the child. Thus many children have received as a birthright almost unconquerable tendencies to evil. But if the mother unswervingly adheres to right principles, if she is temperate and self-denying, if she is kind, gentle, and unselfish, she may give her child these same precious traits of character (AH, 256).

The basis of a right character in the future man is made firm by habits of strict temperance in the mother prior to the birth of her child… This lesson should not be regarded with indifference (AH, 258).

Again the father has influence, this time on the future moral character and physical health of the child. During this time, “the husband and father is under special responsibility to do all in his power to lighten the burden of the wife and mother” (AH, 257).

After birth, when nursing, a mother’s moods also affect the infant.

The character also of the child is more or less affected by the nature of the nourishment received from the mother. How important, then, that the mother, while nursing her infant, should preserve a happy state of mind, having the perfect control of her own spirit. By thus doing, the food of the child is not injured. …[If she is upset or irritable,] the nourishment the infant receives from its mother will be inflamed, often producing colic, spasms, and in some instances causing convulsions and fits (AH, 260).

What if Damage is Already Done?

For those of us faced with physical or spiritual struggles due to parental ignorance or intemperance, or perhaps due to increasing environmental toxins, there is no guarantee that the struggle to regain physical, mental, and moral health and temperance in all things will be easy or fully successful in our lifetimes.

Sometimes some aspects of the inherited physical condition are permanent, especially as relates to body structure or DNA.

Natural law—the law of heredity, in this case—means that offspring often begin their lives “under handicaps of the parents’ physical and moral sins.”

No one can escape completely the consequences of dissipation, disease, profligacy, evil doing, ignorance, and bad habits handed down by preceding generations (1 BC, 603).

God’s Provision and Our Response

God’s justice and mercy allow for “disadvantages of birth, inherited predispositions, and influences of previous environment upon the character.”

At the same time, our aim is to be victorious over every inherited and cultivated tendency to evil (1 BC, 603).

Despite the insult which man has offered him, God’s love is still extended to the race; and he permits light to shine, enabling man to see that in order to live a perfect life he must obey the natural laws which govern his being. How important, then, that man should walk in this light, exercising all his powers, both of body and mind, to the glory of God (CTBH, 8,emphasis added)!

When we choose to make God’s principles a priority in our lives, we have assurances of divine aid.

Although children and grandchildren of sinful men and women suffer inherited tendencies to disease and moral weakness, God offers “exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 4:1).

All things pale to insignificance next to that inexpressibly wonderful truth. Let men and women of childbearing and child-rearing years remember God’s promise in Deuteronomy 7:9 to “keep covenant and mercy... to a thousand generations” with those who obey not only His moral but His physical laws.



1. Brenda Peterson, Build Me An Ark (NY: W. W. Norton, 2001): 166-167, 276.

2. www.orccamm.org/toxicmeat article.htm; 1/17/06.

3. Brenda Peterson, Build Me An Ark (NY: W. W. Norton, 2001): 20-21. 4. Ibid: 276-277.

5. “Body Burden—The Pollution in Newborns.” ewg.org/reports/body burden2/execsumm. php (July 14, 2005).

6. James H. Martin, “New Orleans’ Toxic Soup is Served Up All Over America,” Total Health volume 27: 31.

7. A. Price Weston, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (La Mesa, CA: Price-Pottinger Nutrition Foundation, Inc., 2004): xv.

8. Ibid: 342-351.

9. Ibid., 342-348.

Science Deceptions
Media Deceptions
Spiritual Deceptions
A Basis for Conflict
Is there evidence for Creation science? How does it compare to evolution? The following articles give insight in to these questions and more.
Conforming Under Pressure Evolution Is Not Science—It's Religion How Can We See Stars That Are Billions Of Light Years Away? Creation and Evolution: Is Compromise Possible? Understanding the Creation Week Geocentricity: It's Time to Face the Facts The Rise of Evolutionary Thinking Earth's History: Conflicting Paradigms Lamarck Proposes Natural Selection Where did the Universe Come From? Evidence for a Young Universe Age Of The Earth Is Carbon-Dating Accurate? Flood Chronology
Evidence in Stone
Can we understand the age of the earth by the rocks? What theory does the evidence support?
Soft Rock Evidence for Rapid Washout
The Fossil Record
What does the fossil record show us? Is it all random or a defined science that we can understand? Where does evolution fit? Uncover mysteries in the history of the Earth.
Evolutionary Sequences Order in the Fossil Record Evolution of the Horse Explosive Evolution Fossils prove a Flood Fossil Footprints Dinosaurs and the Flood Petrified Trees The Biblical Flood Reasons For Extinction Fossil Reefs The Post-Flood World Human Evolution
Genes of Genesis
As we study the genome, the molecule, and the atom, we see a vast network of intricate systems beyond our understanding. Were these systems really formed by chance?
Why So Many Species - Glossary Is the Gastraea Hypothesis Viable? Mechanisms For Variation Built-in Variation in the Gene Pool Creating Life in a Test Tube? Post-Flood Distribution Answering Questions "Species" versus "Kind" Molecules That Began Life Natural Selection Reproductive Exchange Natural Selection as a Creative Force Transposable Elements The Evidence of Things Not Seen Recombination of Chromosomes Dinosaur Extinction and Global Catastrophe Ernst Haeckel's Theories Jesus Christ—All Things Become New Variation and Classification Why So Many Species? Evolution: Miracle of Miracles Is The Grand Canyon Proof of Noah's Flood? Spiders and the Creative Genius of God Things That Negate Evolution: Snake Legs Wrong Assumptions in C-14 Dating Methods Rapid Cave Formation The Australian Problem Synesthesia: Mystery of God’s Creation
Creation to Restoration
How did this world change from the perfection depicted in Genesis to a world full of thorns, thistles, parasites, and death? If God made everything perfect, how could it have all been so changed?
A Good World Gone Bad An Imperfect Planet Evidence For Design Evidence For Transformation Rapid Transformation The Dawn Chorus and Life Forces Clean and Unclean: The History of the Human Diet
Archaeology and the Bible
Archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true. But what's so special about the Bible that makes it a point of so much controversy?
Archaeology Confirms the Bible Tyre and the Bible Petra and the Bible Egypt and the Bible Babylon and the Bible The Lost Books of the Bible
Crossing Musical Boundaries
Music is a powerful emotional motivator that crosses cultural and language barriers. Its message can be understood by every culture and people across the planet.
Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Christianity The Philosophers Talk Music The Beat The Pursuit of Pleasure Music and Worship Can You Feel the Music? Whose Music? The Rave The Bible and Rock Music: Are they Compatible? The Last Great Contest – Worship The Ear Classical Music Therapy Music and the Frontal Lobe From the Horse's Mouth: The Rock Industry Condemns Itself
Hollywood and the Movies
What is the system of worship found most often in our society? Does it glorify God?
Hollywood's History Gnostic Themes in the Movies Hollywood and Gnosticism
Brain Closed—Please Come Again
Research has shown that our sensitivity to stimuli reduces itself yearly by about 1%. Is your brain hibernating?
The Dangers of Television
Beware of the television's abilities to hypnotize, alter moods, and even cause depression.
Violence and Video Games
Like music and movies, video games are addictive and can cause behavioral problems.
The Origins of Halloween
What is the origin behind this popular festival celebrated every October 31?
Introduction to the Reformation
What started the Protestant Reformation? Was the Reformation a success? Does it still matter today?
The Pope Claims to be God on Earth
Read proof that throughout the Roman Church's history, the Papacy has often claimed that the Pope is divine.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - A Timeline
The oppression of Protestants is widespread and consistent throughout history.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - Quotes
It was once written in America's oldest Catholic newspaper, the Boston Pilot, that "No good government can exist without religion, and there can be no religion without an Inquisition, which is wisely designed for the promotion and protection of the true faith.”

Read several authors' thoughts on papal Rome's history.
Catholic Councils
What happened at the Council of Trent? The First Vatican Council The Second Vatican Council
The Jesuits
Learn what people throughout history have had to say on the reputation, history, and political nature of the Jesuit Order.
An Introduction to the Jesuits Jesuits and the Hippie Movement Ignatius of Loyola and Martin Luther "Caring" and a New Morality Ignatius Loyola and Spiritual Formation Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises Protestantism Destroyed The Jesuit Superior General
Cross and Crown
This book "Cross and Crown" is a powerful and thrilling recital of the most romantic and dramatic incidents in history to be found on record, told in the simplest, most graphic, and entertaining form.
The Aggressive Intentions of the Papacy
The historian Ranke says this about Protestant-Catholic relations: "In the year 1617, everything betokened a decisive conflict between them. The Catholic party appears to have felt itself the superior. At all events it was the first to take up arms."

This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
Christianity and Violence
Would the world be a safer place without Christian fundamentalism?
Stories of the Reformation
Dive into history to uncover the remarkable stories of faith and passion in early Protestantism.
An Italian mystic. A minister to a British king. An Augustine monk. A Swiss farmer's boy. What do these men have in common? They were used by God in powerful ways to bring about the Protestant Reformation. Enter into the lives of these ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Inspiration for these articles comes from Gideon and Hilda Hagstoz' Heroes of the Reformation
Gaspard De Coligny Philipp Melanchthon John Laski Jerome of Prague John Wycliffe Louis De Berquin
Religious Doublespeak
Language can be used to communicate both truth and lies. Learn about the religious doublespeak being used to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.
Hegelian Thinking and World Politics
Hegelian dialectic thinking is applied in many situations in world politics. Often the ordinary people are used as pawns in the game of Hegelian psychology played by those who pull the strings of world control.
The Great Controversy
Read this classic work by Ellen G. White.
The Destruction of Jerusalem Persecution in the First Centuries An Era of Spiritual Darkness The Waldenses John Wycliffe Huss and Jerome Luther's Separation From Rome Luther Before the Diet The Swiss Reformer Progress of Reform in Germany Protest of the Princes The French Reformation The Netherlands and Scandinavia Later English Reformers The Bible and the French Revolution The Pilgrim Fathers Heralds of the Morning An American Reformer Light Through Darkness A Great Religious Awakening A Warning Rejected Prophecies Fulfilled What is the Sanctuary? In the Holy of Holies God's Law Immutable A Work of Reform Modern Revivals Facing Life's Record The Origin of Evil Enmity Between Man and Satan Agency of Evil Spirits Snares of Satan The First Great Deception Can Our Dead Speak to Us? Liberty of Conscience Threatened The Impending Conflict The Scriptures a Safeguard The Final Warning The Time of Trouble God's People Delivered Desolation of the Earth The Controversy Ended
Who is Jesus?
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
Did Jesus Ever Exist? Was Jesus the Messiah? Jesus: The Mercy Seat Is What Christianity Teaches True? The Godhead and the One True God Movement Is Jesus God? Why Did Jesus Have To Die? Six Purposes for Christ's Life and Death on Earth The 70-Week Prophecy What Day Did Jesus Die? Jesus, the Recycled Redeemer Names of Christ in Revelation
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
The First Beast—Comparing Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 Revelation Identifies End-Time Babylon Identifying the Antichrist The Second Beast of Revelation 13 The Final Confederacy The Seven Plagues Walking Through Daniel Walking through Revelation
Religious Trends
What are the trends in the religious world today? Sun Worship, The UN and the One World Religion, Eastern Mysticism and Spiritism... Just what do all these things mean in light of Bible prophecy?
Babylonian Religion Sun Worship Wealth Redistribution The Charismatic Movement Politics and the Papacy Paganism and Mary Spiritism throughout Religions Catholic Pentecostalism Unity at All Cost? Sustainability Paganism and Christmas Pentecostalism The Charismatic Movement and Spiritual Gifts The New Age Movement Manifesting the Charismatic Spirit Paganism in our Culture Secret Societies The United Nations' Global Government The History of Tongues Revival and the "Power of God" Signs and Wonders What’s So Bad about Spiritual Formation? Zionism
Most people can understand the reasoning behind nine of the Ten Commandments—don't kill, don't lie, don't steal. But what about the Sabbath Commandment? Why would God give such a law? Why should we follow it?
What is the Seventh-Day Sabbath? Creation and the Sabbath The Weekly Cycle Why Sunday? Sabbath FAQ
The Second Coming of Christ
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
Signs of The Second Coming of Christ The Second Coming of Christ Viewpoints How Christ will Return What will Happen to God's People? What will Happen to the Rejecters of God? Will there be a Secret Rapture? The Millennium of Peace
The Bible
Can the Bible be trusted to provide answers to our questions? Does it contain truth? Learn about the evidence that proves the Bible's authenticity.
Archaeology Confirms the Bible Choosing the Books of the Bible Testing the Gospel of Thomas Studying Scripture Scripture is Inspired by God Testing the Gospel of Judas The Spirit in Scripture The Gospel Story The Lost Books of the Bible Spiritual Gifts
Christian Living: Sin and Salvation
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life.
Christian Living Good God, Bad World. Why? God's Plan to Eradicate Sin Salvation By Faith The Ceremonial Feasts Pointed to Christ
Is there more to death than the fact that it is the opposite of life? What are the false doctrines involving the immortality of the soul?
Death: Understanding the Terminology A Biblical Understanding of Death The Resurrection of Lazarus Spiritism Hell and Purgatory An Immediate Afterlife? The Parable of Lazarus