From the very start of life within we need to pay attention to the way it’s done in nature, in order to help not only ourself, but the future generations.
Animals go away to a dark, quiet place to have their baby. Mothers left alone with their babies afterwards to bond are those who become responsible “good” mothers in nature. The minute we step in and manage their births, they sense our scents on their young, and leave them to starve with us. So many mothers having their births micro-managed by hospital staff comment that they didn’t feel bonded with their baby. Not feeling connected, bonded and empathetic with babies can lead to bad choices in their care, and nursing issues even with the best of intentions.
Not to be depressing, but if our mothers didn’t nurse us (much less for 2-4 years like they did historically) we are going to be at a disadvantage in our health even as an adult. Natures’ way is usually letting the baby self wean. . .which usually happens at 2-4 years old in other cultures. And nature shows the baby to dictate when it’s hungry as well. Following that method of “Demand” feeding from the start, a mother is practically guaranteed the absence, or at least lessening, of the nursing problems so much more common in this culture. (Engorgement, milk drying up, mastitis, plugged ducts. . .)
There are a lot of other physical, neurological and psychological issues that we can cause in the next generation simply by not following our instinct and natural ways. How our moms birthed and fed us is only the start!
How we learned to trust or not has been theorized to start in babyhood. There aren’t mothers in nature, that I am aware of, who let their babies cry, “just to exercise their lungs”, or because they think their babies are “manipulating them because of their sinful and fallen nature”. When our parents immediately come when we cry, it builds a natural trust that our parents are there for us. Interestingly, they are linking that trust to a carryover trust in all authority as an adult, which for better or worse, makes us not question authority as much. To continue to see and look for help from “above”, even as adults, is a likely result of a childhood trust in being rescued by a parent from your crying. It has been observed that the more that trust is broken by letting a baby cry, the more the baby will “shut down”, not laughing much, not communicating much, and playing alone often. As an adult these tendencies lead to relational issues as well as bad self esteem.
So consider the “Ferberizing” method of sleep training (named after Dr Richard Ferber who came to regret what he use to teach) and the unnatural scheduled feedings that make miserable the millions of babies for two decades. . . It may be my imagination, but I see a connection with those methods of raising children and the going away from blindly trusting our authority, and the going away from the presumption that God is up there listening to us when we cry to him. I’m obviously not going to say we should go against nature, and many of you think it is a good thing to believe in a God, so maybe we can compromise and both just help our children to trust us AND think for themselves because of our example. . .just a thought.
So, if we are typical of our generations as of late, we are both hurt ourselves and often hurting our own children, in the name of “progress” from “being like animals”. Next I’ll get into how our cultural blindspots can lead us away from nature.