The Relationship Between Bonding, Intuition & Confidence
Intuition is developed through confidence. To be a confident mother you need to know what your baby wants and needs. Bonding with your baby is the first step in getting to know her. When you are bonded with your baby you feel confident that you can care for her. When you are confident you can trust your intuition.
The bond with your baby starts during pregnancy. It begins with trusting your body to give birth. Trusting birth is a natural process of the human body. When your baby is born, your brain actually changes (we know this through MRIs). The part of the brain that changes is the area responsible for processing reasoning, emotional response, and maternal motivation.
“When the process is uninterrupted, oxytocin is one of nature’s chief tools for creating a mother. Roused by the high levels of estrogen (“female hormone”) during pregnancy, the number of oxytocin receptors in the expecting mother’s brain multiplies dramatically near the end of her pregnancy. This makes the new mother highly responsive to the presence of oxytocin. These receptors increase in the part of her brain that promotes maternal behaviors.” – Linda F. Palmer, the Baby Bond
Your bond deepens as you get to know your baby. You learn to read your baby’s wants and needs. with regards to your child, one size does not fit all, and what works for one baby may not work for the next. That is the downfall of most parenting books. The majority of resources tell you exactly how to parent a one size fits all, generic baby. If a book states that this is the “only way” to do something, then that book is making assumptions about your child and your family. You know your baby and you are the one entitled to make decisions in her best interest.
We all know how important bonding is – it connects you to your baby on every level, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We can physically measure the hormonal changes in you and your baby as you interact. When you interact lovingly with your baby, cortisol, the stress hormone, is lower and the heart and respiratory rate of your baby is lower. Oxytocin is another hormone responsible for bonding. At the moment of your baby’s birth, the hormone oxytocin is higher in you and in your baby than any other time in your life. This sets the stage for the ultimate bonding experience; that moment of chemical release is the moment you physically fall in love with your child. If, due to other circumstances, this initial period of physical bonding after the birth doesn’t take place, it can be nurtured through interaction with your baby – by touching, caressing, snuggling, etc. When you do these things oxytocin is released through you and your baby. Oxytocin is the “feel good” hormone, the “love” hormone. It is what makes people feel loved and connected to each other. The chemistry between a mother and child facilitates the love between them, and this is the first step in creating a lifelong bond. As it creates an addictive response, the baby and mother will crave more of the hormone oxytocin; they will not want to be separated. Your baby will want to be held, caressed and loved, and you will want to be nearby your baby to constantly love and protect her.
Bonding is a mix of chemical reactions and emotional ties. Understanding the strength of that bond allows you to trust in the power of it. Intuition is not learned – it is just known. It is a hunch, a sixth sense or a feeling. Intuition grows as we become more confident in the bond we share with our child and we become more secure in trusting our own judgement as a mother.