What A Baby Knows

The author with her daughter in the 1970s


A baby recognizes it’s mother’s face, smell and energy,
feels a wide range of emotions, remembers, learns and
uses all five senses in experiencing life outside the womb.

Being handed over to a stranger is for the baby
a bewildering, even terrifying experience.

The adoptive mother lacks the physical, hormonal, psychological
and emotional preparation to know the needs and to be able
to mirror this particular baby – there is a great deal about which
the “unicorns and rainbows” kool-aid drinkers do not know about adoption.

~ The Primal Wound by Nancy Newton Verrier

I have had the most interesting kind of motherhood experience.  I had my daughter in the early 1970s and my sons in the early 2000s.  So much of the “philosophy” of caring for an infant changed during that time.  In the early experience with my daughter, the baby was only brought to the mother for short intervals and kept separated in a nursery most of the time (and bottle fed negating efforts to breastfeed along with no lactation support).  A baby was put on its stomach to sleep believing if the baby threw up it wouldn’t aspirate that material.

Then I had my sons and mostly they roomed in with me – the older boy more than the younger one because with the younger one my husband took over care of the older boy and could not stay in the hospital room with me 24/7.  So the baby would go to the nursery for its vitals check and I would nap.  Always when I was waking up the baby was waking at the same time or so the nurses kindly told me.  There was marvelous support from lactation consultants when I had my sons.  And then, I was told they should sleep on their backs as it had been determined to be protective somehow.

What I do know with ALL of my babies, they knew me from the first moment.  Nature provides the natural mother with 9 months of the most intimate bonding and preparation to be as responsive of a mother possible.  It is not possible for someone not thus prepared to equal her.