Power of first impressions!

Birth from a baby’s perspective

What are the newborns first experiences as it exits his mother’s womb?

 

The welcome the newborn receives at birth will colour his perceptions of life and will determine whether he perceives life as

  • Difficult or easy
  • Hostile or safe
  • Painful or comforting
  • Frightening or reassuring
  • Cold and lonely or warm and welcoming

The time immediately at and after birth is a once in a life time opportunity – so stop to think about how you are welcoming your newborn – is it with open arms and into the safety of having your baby skin to skin against you or is it being whisked away to be weighed, measured, suctioned or “warmed” in an isolating incubator unnecessarily?

For nine months mom and baby have been inseparable. He has been in a warm, cosy, loving, safe environment. All his needs have been met. Then one day out of the blue, this peaceful environment changes and contractions start and over the next hours he is pushed and shoved, pushed and shoved down a very tight, dark canal of the vagina to be squeezed and rotated in order to be born. What strange sensations he experienced for the first time.

Just think about it, how would you feel if you were emerging into this strange frightening environment- would you like to be whisked away or rather be in the arms of your partner gently yet firmly holding you, reassuring and loving you? Well the same thing applies to your baby – he is emerging into a strange new environment, he too would like to feel loved and reassured in the arms of those that love him and are familiar to him.

Early experiences shape brain structure and function. A traumatic hostile environment would require a brain designed for caution and defence, whereas a supportive environment, for a brain designed to grow and thrive.

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