This series is presented in celebration of Attachment Parenting Month in October 2020.
The “What Happened To Mothering?” Series
- Part 1: Mother Love Used to Matter
- Part 2: What Is “Good Enough Mothering” of a Baby?
- Part 3: Why Provide Empathic Care for Infants?
- Part 4: Disbelieving the Importance of Mothering
Part 1: Mother Love Used To Matter
In the 20th century, after the fad of focusing only on the physical needs of infants and the rash of infant deaths as a result, doctors and therapists concluded that impersonal nursing care was to blame. Mother love was key to keeping infants alive and growing well. Here is a description about what that looks like from a physician who did studies with hundreds of infants and mothers.
Dr. Margaret Ribble, M.D., summarized her findings in her book, The Rights of Infants. She discussed how modern medicine had focused on baby nutrition and hygiene even to the extent of assuming a nurse could replace a mother’s care. Institution after institution had provided nurse-type care to infants (patients or orphans) and a wave of marasmus (wasting away) took the health and even lives of many.
Part 2: What Is “Good Enough” Mothering?
Mothers, by and large, have the instincts to be good enough mothers. The processes of pregnancy and birth and postnatal life need vast support but also noninterference of natural rhythms, including initial breastfeeding and bonding, by professionals or culture. There is the beginning of mental health.
Part 3: What Does Empathy Look Like For Babies? And Its Absence?
As long as a child feels wanted and loved in the early months and years, they can be quite resilient to sudden changes later on. Meanwhile, it is important to support parents’ empathic responses toward their infants and young children.
Part 4: Disbelieving The Importance Of Mothering
A better focus for books by mothers stressed by baby’s needs would be on changing social support systems instead of adjusting down our provision for children’s basic needs. Every economically-advanced nation has paid parental leave, except the USA…
Let’s reassure mothers around us that it is good for their children if mother shows mother love and empathic care. Fathers too.
28 Days Of Baby Care!
What Does A Baby Need?
NOTE: Babies are children under about age 2.5 years.
NOTE: The terms motherliness, mothering, mother love, good enough mothers refer to empathic care or nurturing that mothers and other adults can provide.
The Evolved Nest, Kindred’s sister initiative, is happy to launch the 28 Day Baby Care campaign in celebration of Attachment Parenting Month, in October 2020. You can find out more about support for your attachment parenting choices on our Evolved Nest Components page, and on the Attachment Parenting International website.
There is a lot of misinformation about babies and their needs, and parents are often encouraged to ignore baby’s signals. Bad idea. Babies are “half-baked” at birth and have much to learn with the help of physical and emotional support from caregivers. Taking care of baby’s needs is an investment that pays off with a happier, healthier child and adult. Here are 28 days of reminders about babies and their needs.
You can follow the 28 Days of Baby Care on our social media outlets starting October 1 in celebration of Attachment Parenting Month! The full 28 day card campaign can be found on the
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