What does maternal instinct even mean? Well the word “instinct” goes along with something immediate. A reaction, a feeling, an urge that one has instinctively. Motherly instinct seems to be the instantaneous feeling of motherhood that a women has the second they become a mother. They are filled with an automatic love for their child; a love that is unconditional.
Tara Parker-Knope of the New York Times wrote, “A mother’s impulse to love and protect their child appears to be hard-wired into her brain…” A new imaging study was created by observing 13 women who all had 16 month year old infants. These women were shown videos of their children laughing and videos of their children crying. It was concluded that there was change in the women’s brain activity when a mother was shown a video of their own child crying, as opposed to a video of a child who wasn’t theirs. It’s interesting that a mother responds stronger to their child crying than to their child laughing. This study helps show that mother’s do have a biological instinct to their child.
Is this always the case though? We hear stories of mothers doing horrible things to their children. Mothers who don’t seem to live their lives always keeping in mind what’s best for their child. Mothers who may feel more for one of their children than the other. Is it true that all mother’s have a biological instinct to their children?
There are some women who become pregnant and feel like they don’t have that automatic maternal instinct. They fear that when they have their baby they won’t know what to do. Could it be because maternal instinct is actually learned and not predisposed? Scientists Sarah Blaffer Hardy believes that motherly instinct is not instinctual. The more time you spend with your baby the more your feelings grow. This act seems to be similar to the relationships humans have with other humans. The more they get to know another person the more they start to like them. But, is their no difference when it comes to your own child?
Is a mother’s love truly unconditional for their child?
When I asked Lea Woodford, creator of Smartfem, she said, “The umbilical cord is never really cut, the energy flows from mother to child for a lifetime.”
What do my other mothers think?