Why Some Moms Are Licking Their Newborns Right After Birth

Why Some Moms Are Licking Their Newborns Right After Birth

There’s nothing like those first moments after bringing a child into the world. Hearing their first cry, finally glimpsing their little face, feeling the weight of their tiny bodies on your chest … it’s an ᴏᴠᴇʀᴡʜᴇʟᴍɪɴɢ, indescribable moment in time. So it’s no real surprise that sometimes a new mother may be overcome with emotion or experience a rush of maternal instinct. But one mother’s immediate reaction to meeting her newborn is making rounds of the internet due to its somewhat ‘primal’ feel.

The award-winning photo taken by Senhoritas Fotografia lifts the lid on a birth ritual still practised by some cultures, and something many mums admit they have the urge to do – ʟɪᴄᴋing their babies after birth.

This post on Facebook outlined the phenomenon, attributing the somewhat strange urge to the fact that humans are mammals and most, if not all, mammals ʟɪᴄᴋ their newborns clean post-birth. Now, in today’s society, there may be a bit of an ick factor (probably because babies end up covered in their mother’s bodily fluids during the birthing process). However, according to the post, it’s a common practice in some societies, namely the Tibetan and Inuit cultures.

Think of it like this: Many moms report loving that new baby smell and will say they “want to eat their baby up.” Well, according to the post, that feeling—and the smothering of kisses that usually results from it—is a remnant of this maternal ʟɪᴄᴋing instinct that helped mammalian moms bond with their.

Most of us still have the urge to ʟɪᴄᴋ our newborns, but resist and instead now smell them, shower them with kisses and hold them close. But some mothers still have the strong urge to ʟɪᴄᴋ their newborns. And they do just that. A physiological necessity. A calling from ancestors. Instinctual acts of love and ensuring the survival of young.

“If you think about it, there’s not much difference between kissing and ʟɪᴄᴋing,” one coment

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, it’s not a ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs practice, but I’ve not seen anyone who wanted to do it.”another one

 

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