I recently read an article about how children remember the birthing experience. A 3-year-old girl described the noises in the birthing room and how she found some of the voices upsetting. She also remembered how she felt stuck during a challenging birth. So how much do our daily experiences of being birthed and mothered have on how we mother ourselves?
Perhaps your mother had planned for you, but as it came nearer to your birth, she became frightened and felt she was not good enough to give you what you needed?
Did this inadequacy pass on to you as a baby when you were at your most energetically receptive and vulnerable stage in life?
What about your bonding experience? As soon as you left your mother’s body, were you laid on her chest, with skin-on-skin contact? Or did the midwife take you away immediately for sometimes hours, days or weeks?
The Birthing Room & Our First Experience
“The baby must be touched and caressed immediately after birth. He must have the mother’s warmth almost continually during this time;otherwise all the touch in the world will not be enough.” ~Dr. Arthur Janov~
Imprints: The Lifelong Effects of the Birth Experience
I feel that everything surrounding our birth is significant. This is not to say that any mother’s human reaction to birth is wrong or that they are to blame for their child’s challenges, as I believe we choose our life circumstances to learn from and to evolve as spirit, but they do have an effect on us.
I don’t remember anything now about my own birthing experience, but from what my own mother has told me, I was taken from her immediately after I left her body, wrapped in swaddling, taken to a nursery where lots of other babies were, and I did not get visual contact, never mind skin-on-skin contact for at least 24 hours. I feel this probably made me feel less capable of mothering myself and also meant my own personality developed differently from those who had that first connecting bond. This also meant that my own bond with my mother was lacking and is one I am having to develop on my own now as I learn to open my heart.
I am educating myself in mother love. In many ways, taking the security, the safety, away from me so early on has probably affected my experience of the world as being unsafe and scary.
I have read a few articles recently since coming to these conclusions that confirm what can happen when that bond is not made immediately after birth. The baby goes into survival mode and shuts down its senses to protect itself through sleep, and later on this fear of loss, fear of death (from being left alone), can cause all kinds of issues later in life.
These can range from anxiety to depression, to feeling scared of the world, insecure, and becoming clingy in relationships with others be it friends or partners. For me I was clingy with my mother when strangers came towards me, extremely shy. I would cling to my mother’s skirt. I guess the early baby experience was and still is live within me, so to try to stop people leaving me I would naturally try to cling on for dear life.
Also, If mothers don’t get the chance for the skin-on-skin contact early on, it makes sense that they would feel disconnected from their children. And probably feel guilt for feeling that way and do what they can to feel something. Some may still not feel anything but make up for it by tending to the child’s general needs in order to try and feel good enough (washing, bathing, caring for when sick, etc). But this is not the mother’s fault either; nobody is at fault here (well the doctors and nurses who thought it was a good idea for the mother to rest after the birth may well hold some responsibility, but this is different. When a mother has been sick or unable to care for the child they need to step in). But we, as a complete civilisation, need to face this now; this lack of mother love in the world.
- A secure attachment bond ensures that your child will feel secure, understood, and be calm enough to experience optimal development of his or her nervous system. Your child’s developing brain organizes itself to provide your child with the best foundation for life: a feeling of safety that results in eagerness to learn, healthy self-awareness, trust, and empathy.
- An insecure attachment bond fails to meet your child’s need for security, understanding, and calm, preventing the child’s developing brain from organizing itself in the best ways. This can inhibit emotional, mental, and even physical development, leading to difficulties in learning and forming relationships in later life.
So it appears that our early birth experience can be a reason for many adult issues.
One of the most painful traumas relived by many primal patients, is being separated from the mother directly after birth. The baby ‘knows’ instinctively it cannot stay alive without its mother. It is completely helpless and totally dependent on her for survival. The baby feels instinctively that to be separated from her is to die. It cannot be made to understand that it has not been abandoned, but is simply waiting in a central nursery, and will be taken to its mother eventually. The baby has no way of interpreting what is happening to it, or of knowing that the separation and abandonment it is experiencing are ever going to end. The only way the baby can shut off the pain of the long hours without its mother, is by using sleep as a defense.
To me this is similar to owning a dog. If owners leave a dog at home while they go to work during the day, the dog will go into shut-down mode sleeping all day as comfort, or into aggression mode tearing up the home, or defecating and whimpering and crying. This is because the dog has no idea that the owner is going to return. To the dog, its parent has left them all alone and has abandoned it totally.
But there is more to this. Once we have developed from this traumatic birth experience, what happens to how we treat ourselves? How do we nurture ourselves and have confidence in our own abilities if the trauma has been carried for so long?
Well for me it means learning mothering skills. Mothering skills I never experienced and never knew I had. Discovering mother within me for the first time, so I can now trust who I am, my place in this world, and know that I belong and am never alone, as divine mother is within.
For me it has meant rediscovering who I am through meditation; allowing myself to feel any pain or challenge, and to be present with that. I am more recently immersing myself in ‘mother idols’, or rather the best examples of mother love I have seen on this planet. Mother Amma (video above), who has spent her lifetime sharing divine mother love with everyone she meets, is known as the hugging saint (I have written more about my experience meeting her HERE).
And another example of divine mother I saw more recently is Mama Hill. A wonderful lady who once she had retired, gave over her home and her heart to the children of her neighbourhood. She mothers, educates and loves them so that they too can be a great example in the world. To find out more about Mama Hill check out the video below.
On the videos above, two amazing examples of the power of mother love. Not many people on the planet receive this love. Most mothers have had a lack of healthy mother love themselves, so a distorted experience of mothering gets passed on down the generations. But we can mother ourselves now. Hold ourselves gently when we are hurting, scared, angry, jealous, sad. But we need to start by getting in touch with who we really are.
Meditation is one way of doing this. Repeating a mantra to focus the mind is another and finally immersing ourselves in Divine Mother love. Look around you at the world for examples of real nurturing, unconditional love and acceptance. I’m beginning to slowly feel my heart open to this.
All we need is to plant a seed inside to awaken to mother love. Request your unseen helpers, guides, angels, life, the universe, whatever label you give to love and allow this awakening to take place.
Mother Love Is Sorely Needed On Planet Earth
I would hazard a guess that most war, most pain, most suffering in this world is caused by the lack of bonding both before and after childbirth. Without a natural feeling of safety within, people will act out, and aggression, pain and everything that comes along with that ensues. So like Mother Amma, we need to learn to access that deep mother inside so that we can change this planetary signature from fear to love, and we can only do this from within.
Developing mother love isn’t easy, granted, especially when you have no knowledge or experience of it, but we can all begin somewhere. And as we do, we develop a natural self compassion and this in turn enables us to have empathy and compassion for the rest of the world. This ripple of love flows out from our hearts.