Not Really Brand New

Too often in our approach to the newborn we deal with him as if he is exactly that – “brand new”.  We neglect the fact that the neonate is really the culmination of an amazing experience that has lasted forty weeks. . . . By looking at the neonate as if he had “sprung full blown from the brain of Zeus” we are missing the opportunities that the newborn’s history as a fetus can provide. ~ T B Brazelton

I remember when my husband and I were contemplating becoming parents about 20 years ago, and I didn’t know about all of the issues surrounding adoption at that time, we briefly considered adopting.  We were so uninformed that we didn’t even realize that one could adopt a newborn.  We didn’t want an unknown back history and decided to have our family in a more natural way, though we did need medical assistance.

What I have learned in only the last year or two is how much bonding takes place within the womb of the mother.  I did know that important developments were taking place and I remember my OB telling me that he believed the gestating mother turns on or off the genes that eventually express in the new person.  He also said that what I ate, flavored the amniotic fluid, and that was how new babies had already received the food preferences of the family, even before they began to eat solid foods.

So it turns out that adopting a newborn is really not the best outcome for any baby.  Their development is a continuum of physiological, psychological and spiritual events which began in utero but continue to further develop throughout the postnatal bonding period and that original mother is crucial to the best development of the infant.

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