Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Benefits of a Mother's Love and Nurturing

A recent study reveals the benefits of a mother's love and nurturing on her children...

"Children who are given love and affection from their mothers early in life are smarter with a better ability to learn.

The study by child psychiatrists and neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, found school-aged children whose mothers nurtured them early in life have brains with a larger hippocampus, a key structure important to learning, memory and response to stress.

The new research is the first to show that changes in this critical region of children’s brain anatomy are linked to a mother’s nurturing, reports." ("A mother's love can boost brain power, study shows" by Daily Mail Reporter, 1-31-2012). 

The way a mother nurtures and loves her child actually begins before birth. Not only does a mother's body biologically support the baby growing inside her, but most mothers facilitate a bond with their baby before birth-- praying for the baby or participating in religious ceremonies, hugging or caressing her growing belly, talking or singing to baby, sharing the pregnancy with family and friends and joining mother's groups or classes are all common ways the mother-child bond begins before birth. At as early as 20 weeks, an unborn baby can recognize his mother's voice and after birth, will prefer her voice (and her smell) to any other

After birth the bonding continues between mother and child, it is recognized that skin-to-skin contact between mother and child is immensely beneficial to newborns. Breastfeeding also increases that bond, mothers who bottle feed also benefit from holding or cuddling their babies. What babies learn about the world, begins first at home. 

Babies prefer the music their mother listened to when pregnant over any other music, they also recognize the smell of the mother's body and the sound of her voice. As young as 6 months old, babies learn to communicate by lip reading--and learn emotion from watching the faces of mother, and other adults important in their lives.

Although a mother has a special role in the lives of her children, researchers say that the effects of nurturing on the children are also beneficial from others providing care including fathers, siblings, grandparents or adoptive parents. Perhaps if we as individuals and members of a larger society, realized what power there is in demonstrating love and care for other people, the world would be a better place? We only need to look to our loving mothers to know this is possible. 

A mother's love can boost a child's brainpower, study shows

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