Instinctual Parenting Part I: How to be a confident Mama using the gift of Mother Nature

Instinctive baby, instinctive mama

I can’t tell anyone how to parent their little ones, and I suppose the question is really, can anyone? Do animals and birds have a helpline or service in place they rely on to get advice on basic needs of a living being such as feeding, cleaning and teaching their infants?

Of course not! Mother nature has supplied each of us mamas with a wonderful inner voice to follow when other advice, support and logical guidance doesn’t work- our instinct!

Who teaches babies that they need to feed for nutrition, excrete their waste and sleep to aid health and development? They too, share our unique gift which tells them to look for the breast as soon as they are born. Their little bodies adapt on their own to life outside the womb. Internally, they process this new environment as we learn to aid them from our own internal messages. The way our bodies changed throughout pregnancy to incubate our tiny offspring, a baby’s body and mind change to survive in this new world- their Eros (life drive) is in full force.

hearing your instinct (& your body)

All humans have instinct and Eros, like all living beings. Some may refer to this as our “sixth sense” or “3rd Eye” or even just our “gut feeling”. We all know it is there but how do we actually hear it?

I had heard of this concept and applying it through motherhood before I was pregnant, therefore I actually looked for ways to become more instinctual and in tune with my body during pregnancy. I didn’t need to do a whole lot of research because I learned so much from my own body as pregnancy developed!

My acupuncturist actually suggested that my heavy morning sickness and fatigue symptoms were actually my body’s way of letting me know, in effective means to slow down! Normally, because I am so active, I think my body just wanted me to wake up to the reality that I’m going to need to slow down and save my energy for this baby.

Photo by Stacey Jane’s Photography

After this, I was very in tune with my body’s needs for the rest of my pregnancy. I started my maternity early and took time to be peaceful, with nature and hours of mindfulness- just sitting in my back yard, hearing the birds and gazing over the back fields.

Pregnancy prepared me for the hard work ahead of me- I was an apprentice of Motherhood and by truly letting go and listening to my body, I was able to birth by baby boy with confidence.

Our first feed- nobody prepared us like nature did.

trust in your instinct

There is a reason that the NCT and other safe co-sleeping guidance sources stress that baby must sleep next to Mama. From the day our little ones are born, we never switch off to them- just in case they might need something. We recognise their cries and know, when making eye-contact, immediately what they want. Daddies, too, learn their infant’s cries and use their unique energy to calm (or humour) their babies- something the gentle protective masculine instinct gives them. Dean is particularly amazing at getting Jesse to laugh in the middle of a meltdown.

Dads are born with Mother Nature’s gift too.

In part II, I will be exploring instinctual parenting styles and what choices are influenced by instinct when it comes to feeding, sleeping and learning…

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