A bond is a special connection that happens between two people, something invisible that indicates the strength and depth of a relationship. It can happen between anyone at any point, sometimes instant and sometimes over a long span of time. But, there is no argument that perhaps the most important bond in life is that between mother and child.
From the instant of conception, to the moment of physical connection, through every milestone of childhood and beyond, a mother is a mother and her baby is her baby…forever. The bond is surely magical but it is also so much more than a heartfelt eternal link. It is both beneficial and necessary and it runs much deeper than most of us think.
The strength of the bond is so strong that it can have an impact on the growth and development of an individual for the entirety of their life. This primal connection can influence the health of the body and the brain, the prevalence of disease, the likelihood of intelligence. It can even predict a child’s ability to thrive in school and social systems, to make friends, and to select a desirable mate.
Of course “mother” is an interchangeable word, and in some circumstances another individual can take the credit for this substantial influence. After all, genetics might play a big role, but environment and conditions to thrive are just as important as blood line and chromosomes. The primary caretaker can be anyone really, and so long as they can nurture the growing little one, they too can be the deciding factor in how well a child will flourish.
15 It Prevents Disease
As parents we do everything possible, to prevent our children from getting sick. Whether the flu, a runny nose, or a more serious affliction, most of us are diligent in protecting our kids from anything that could leave them feeling bad. But, some studies say that even beyond well-baby checks, immunizations, or relative sequestering during local outbreaks, the single most important thing a mother can do is bond with her baby. A close emotional bond is so important, that it has the power to prevent disease, boost immunity, and even boost your baby´s IQ. Bonding is a true physiological process that impacts not just our emotional state, but also things like heart, brain, nervous symptom, and hormonal health. Experts say that before and beyond medical care, what baby needs most are plenty a hugs, kisses, and good old affection. Kids with a healthy dose of attachment love are far less likely to be in need of other health treatments.
14 It Boosts Immunity
Many people don’t often think of it, just how stressful life for a newborn might be. In a matter of moments they are transported from the safe, quiet, and warm environment of the womb to the over simulated world that the rest of us live in. Without the proper comforts to help them adapt, babies can experience enough stress to cause them to be sick. It is just further evidence of how impactful our stress levels can be on our long term immunity. The good news is; that at least for babies, a strong mother-baby bond can successfully combat the naturally high stress levels of a newborn. The stress is relieved by a mother who effectively responds to the needs of the infant. Food, warmth, security, and affection play key roles in achieving a stress balance. When a baby finds a secure sense of being, stress levels fall and immune levels rise. This is creates a direct correlation between a strong infant-mother bond and increased overall health for the baby.
13 It Enhances IQ
Babies are a comprehensive mix of two DNA parts, from both the mother and father. But, it is true that certain traits seem come from either one or the other. Recent studies have revealed that a child’s intelligence is determined by the mother, as only X chromosomes are found in the cerebral cortex, and indeed most children only vary in IQ from their mother by about 15 points. But, of course it isn’t all about genes and chromosomes, it’s about nurturance as well. And the security of a mother-child bond tells the story of intelligible success. Babies with a stronger connection to their mother, show enhanced capabilities for complex thought and play by the age of 2. They also tend to be more persistent and skilled, with less frustration during problem solving. What happens is that a strong bond gives kids confidence and security in exploring the world around them. So, even if a kid gets lucky enough to inherit high IQ from his Mama, what matters most is how strong the bond is between caretaker and child.
12 Cuddles Protect The Heart
We all know that cuddling is conducive to all those lovely dovey hormones that aid us in the act of love, both romantically and as an affectionate parent. But, some science says that this it is much more than a heart-felt feeling and has true benefits for the heart too…as in the organ. There have been ongoing studies released over the past several decades that show a strong connection between cuddling and heart health. Apparently those who are cuddled the most might gain protection against clogged arteries and heart disease, even when exposed to a high cholesterol diet. This could be because offspring who are exposed to such pampering are less likely to experience high levels of stress and to be adventurous in spirit, leading to a more active lifestyle. Both have been linked with countering the effects of heart health complications. So, when a mother or any other prominent caretaker showers the baby with love, he or she experiences much more than emotional support.
11 Breastfeeding And The Brain
Breastfeeding is known as one of the both beneficial aspects of boosting and securing a strong mother-baby bond. When a baby stimulates the nipple of the mother, she then releases the hormone called oxytocin which is partially responsible for the milk meltdown. This love hormone is also associated with sex and other forms of romantic affection. During breastfeeding, oxytocin is transferred to the brain of both Mom and the baby in the form of a “reward”. It eases pain, makes the pair feel good, and causes both to crave the sensation time and time again. This sort of love supplement in turn leads to more bonding, as the parent and child feel a strong urge to further their connection. These feeding hours lend to countless hours of increased stimulation through eye contact, skin contact, and overall cuddling. Extended nursing lends the greatest benefit to the bond, but experts say that even just a single occurrence of breastfeeding, in the first hour after birth, has important health implications for both mother and baby.
10 The Urge To Nurture
It is quite incredible to realize that so much of what makes us fall in love with our baby, is similar to what happens in our bodies when we choose our significant others. Not only is oxycotin an important part of the mother-baby bond, but so are pheromones. These hormones are secreted when we wish to secure our mate; they are part of what makes them feels intoxicated by our presence. Turns out that our own babies secrete pheromones, too, that help us bond with them by default. This is why we love the smell of babies so much, and even more particularly the scent of our own offspring. It is all very animalistic in perspective, and the smell of our own babies transcends in us the urge to nurture them. We feel blissful when we get close to them, and they feel it too, the more time we spend together, the more time we want. It creates a perpetual cycle of affection and bonding, with benefits that last a lifetime.
9 Affection Influences Genes
Every year we are learning more about genetics and genealogy; and more and more we understand that what makes up our DNA is not set in stone. In recent times, several astounding studies have shown us that our DNA is indeed alterable, and almost always by environmental circumstances. But, environment doesn’t just refer to our geographic location or the air we breathe. It also refers to lifestyle, as well as the type of affection, connections, relationships, and social interactions that we experience. It is now known that the amount of affection a child receives, both physically and emotionally, can influence their genes. Newborns are full of disorganized nerve cells that they don’t know how to manage. Being held, soothed, and cuddled helps babies learn to manage the relative stress of all the new sensations outside the womb. Without our help and guidance, babies would experience much higher levels of stress and illness which can permanently influence their tendency towards health complications.
8 Mother And Baby Cells Are Synchronized
A baby is a direct part of the mother, and it is a natural process of life that the cells between the two are systematically synchronized. The cells actually act together in many ways, to influence the bond between mother and baby. It is literally a biological process that ensures the certain ability for a mother to protect her child from many threats in life. The bond can predict the prevalence of illness, healthy future relationships, and even beneficial genetic changes. But, experts say that the bond is not always automatic, and sometimes it takes a mother time to figure out how to connect with her child. But, in time, with support from her friends and family, a mother can learn to understand the cues of her child as well as what response benefits the best rewards. Even after several months, a mother can help encourage the bond by simply providing quality care to her infant. Doing your best is what matters the most, and your baby will surely give you credit for that.
7 Depression Disruptions
Postpartum depression can have a huge impact on the bonding process between mother and child, and the implications for the baby can be disastrous to say the least. The issues arise when the mother becomes less likely to positively engage with her child through play or affection. Other factors are noteworthy too, such as when mother doesn’t effectively practice safety precautions: like pediatric care, baby proofing, or proper car transport. Typically unstable environments arise, where children have inconsistent care levels, and confusing alterations in affection and discipline. Experts say that biggest problem is not the mother, but in the social stigma for mental health disorders. Most symptoms of depression are easily treatable, when mothers don’t fear they will be labeled as a ‘bad mom’ for seeking out help. The second issue is the accessibility and affordability for mental health care to disadvantaged families. Psychologists and Socialists alike urge us that the depression epidemic is a pressing matter and we need solution soon to prevent mass negative outcomes
6 The Power Of Mimicking
Some of the silly stuff we do as Moms and Dads, or Aunts and Grandmas is a lot more beneficial than we think. Often when a baby comes onto the scene, we become a babbling mess of silly faces and googly sounds in all our efforts to relate to the little one. While it might be fun to tease each other about just how easy it is to reduce ourselves to baby conversation, the ability is a true clue to successful bonding. Apparently this is type of mimicking is beneficial to the baby in many ways, and is a bit of a human adaptation to promote the timely development of our young. By playing monkey-see, monkey-do, our babies learn to become more aware of them self and how certain actions illicit specific responses. So, all of those little bonding moments of blowing kisses and nuzzling noses means a whole lot more to our baby than we give it credit for.
5 DNA That Remains
A fascinating study that came out earlier in the decade revealed astounding information of cells left behind by babies in the mother’s DNA. And it wasn’t just related to developments that happen while the infant is in utero. Apparently, babies don’t just take from a mother, they give back, too. It turns out that the material passing through the umbilical cord does so via a two-way street. Especially so with boys, they even leave behind fragments of their Y chromosome that can be found in the blood and brain of their mother decades later. Scientists speculate that these genetic adaptations that take place during pregnancy might be responsible for adaptations that lead to the prevention of certain diseases and cancers. It could even be clue that bearing children might have important implications for longevity in mothers. This makes it obvious that the mother-baby bond begins even before birth, and lasts long after as well
4 Natural Mommy Opiods And Autism
Scientists say there is something in the brain that happens between mother and baby that acts in a similar manner as an opiate would. When the system is correctly in place, it is a big part of what creates a long-term bonding experience. The chemical connection point happens in the brain and is at least partially responsible for why infants prefer the familiarity of their mother over other people. The simple presence of the mother can instantly calm a newborn, and reduce the impacts of stressful stimulus. Just like an opiate, a chemical reaction occurs in the brains of babies when they are united with their mother or primary caretaker. The reaction has the ability to relieve anxiety and pain with little more than the attention and affection received from the person a child had grown to depend on. Experts say that this natural chemical connection appears to be missing in children diagnosed with Autism. This could be an important clue to why Autistic children.
3 Parental Imprinting
In instances when the natural mother does not raise or care for her newborn, nature has an amazing way of helping a baby bond with the next available option. Regardless of who raises the child, research has shown that just about anyone is capable of achieving a parental imprint in as little as a few hours. Even when newborns don’t receive instant reward care, like warmth and food, the consistent presence of a particular object or person sometimes creates an endorphin release associated with familiarity. This is particularly common when a parental presence is missing and the baby replaces it with whatever is available. It a child’s natural way of learning to adapt by swapping preferences for a non genetic mom that is consistently available over a biological parent that is not present. Scientists say that it can even work in extreme circumstances, when human babies have opted for a parental figure outside of their species.
2 The Attachment Theory
Some rather interesting information is how the mother-bond is so strong, that it never varies among the human race. Across all cultures and societies, the strength of the connection between mom and baby never falters. It is one strong component in the theory that our attachment to our offspring is highly instinctual. Whether by nature or by environment, we seem to just know how connect with a baby in our care. Something happens in our brain that tells us how to allow a baby to become dependent on us. In nearly all cases, the method is the universal around the world. Respond sensitively to your child and provide appropriate care for his or her needs, and naturally, the baby will learn to trust and depend on you. Some scientists suggest that this is evolutionary and that babies are pre-programmed with certain behaviors (like crying and smiling) that invite the innate response of capable adult, who can’t help but to respond and care for them.
1 Alternative Mothers
It is now understood that a healthy bond that occurs in the first 3 years of life, can have the same benefits to the child even if received from an alternative reliable source. This means that babies absolutely have the possibility to bond with and thrive under the influence of someone who is not their genetic or birth mother. This is exciting news for anyone who finds them self in the role of primary caretaker, such as Dad, Grandmother, Aunt, Godparent, or even Adoptive parents. A baby does not need a genetic link to form a bond, only a reliable and sensitive figure that the child learns to depend on and trust. Love, affection, protection, and nurturance are the main necessary components in securing a healthy bond and a thriving child. Even in babies without the positive exposure prior to nine months of age, they have the ability to recover the missing bond up until the age of 3.