Your Baby As A Mammal

December 14, 2007

Even though your baby looks nothing like your cat or dog, as mammals they all have certain traits in common. A look at these traits will help you understand your baby better.

Newborn Mammals Can Find The Source Of Food

If you have ever witnessed the birth of an animal, you saw that the newborn animal, who's eyes haven't even opened yet, is able to make his way to his mother's abdomen all by himself. There he finds warmth, security and a teat. Without any outside help, the newborn animal latches on and begins suckling. The animal's survival depends upon using these instincts. Your baby has the same needs and the same abilities. Researches found that babies rely on their sense of smell, touch and body position to find their mother's breast. A newborn baby placed naked on his mother's abdomen will scoot his way up to her breast and latch on. We disrupt the natural chain of events by interfering. Your baby's self-attaching behaviors can be thwarted by the use of narcotic pain relievers during birth, being clothed and being separated from you.

Mammals Need Their Natural Habitat To Thrive

Your body is your baby's habitat. It is the only place where he can take care of himself. All newborn mammals experience a protest-despair response when separated from their mothers. First the baby cries in protest, and if his cry is unanswered, he goes into despair. While in despair, his brain sends out a torrent of stress hormones that shut down gut function, digestion and growth. On the other hand, when a baby left on his mother, particularly in skin to skin contact, his heart beat, breathing and body temperature stabilize, and his gut begins to process food. In short, the baby cannot grow and develop properly away from his habitat - you.

Mammalian Milk is Species Specific

The fact that we produce milk for our young is what makes us mammals. Each animal produces milk that is specific for his species. Cache mammals, like dear, leave their babies for long periods of time. Their milk is high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates. It takes a long time to digest and these animals may nurse only twice a day. Humans however are ‘carry mammals' also known as ‘continuous contact,' and take short frequent feeds around the clock. The milk of continuous contact mammals is quickly digested. More importantly, nature has designed human milk to meet the needs of our highly developed brains as opposed to the milk of other mammals, which meets their specific needs. Humans are the only mammals that feed their young the milk of other mammals. We can learn something from them. Cow milk is perfect for little calves; your milk is perfect for your baby.

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