As I sit here and watch our family cat with her three kittens that were born three weeks ago, I realize just how backwards and cruel that we humans have it. She lies there attending to her babies unfailingly. She doesn't wait for them to meow incessantly before lying down to nurse them, doesn't ignore them. She doesn't leave them in their area to sleep by themselves, while she sleeps in a different room. She cleans and inspects them constantly.
As they were born in our living room, as all of us watched quietly, I realized that we give animals more respect while birthing (on average) than we give human women. How would she have reacted if she had had someone shoving a hand inside of her vagina to see how much progress she had made? Or if I had began to shout at her to PUUUSSSHHH!!!?? What if she had people in the room, rudely talking about how much longer it would be, or how excited they are, or about how long they had until an appointment? How would she have reacted if people were talking, period?
I made sure to stress the importance of no one touching the babies, or disturbing them during this vital period of bonding between mom and baby. After all, we know that with animals, if you touch babies immediately or handle them too much, bonding will be changed. Mom may not care for her babies as much as she would if this period was truly undisturbed.
Why has it become accepted in our culture to do all of these things to human women? Why is it okay to disrupt the bonding time between mom and baby? And then why do we wonder why there is a disconnect? I am *heartbroken* when I hear that parents put their babies in not only a separate bed, but a separate BEDROOM. This is cruel. You are taking a brand new baby who is still 10000% dependent on mom and who has spent 10 months hearing mom's heart beat, hearing her breathing rhythm, her voice ... and then removing him from everything familiar. I'll risk sounding judgmental and say it again - this is *cruel*. No other mammal does this with their young. In fact, no other mammal would refuse to nurse their baby because it's inconvenient or feels gross. The way human babies are treated is atrocious. And what's worse is - it's ACCEPTED. It's all about CHOICE, right? Sadly, baby doesn't get a choice in whether or not he's fed artificial food that isn't good for him. Baby doesn't get a choice about whether or not he's abandoned in another room.
So really? Who are these atrocious accepted practices benefiting? The only people who are benefiting are the ones who are supposed to be selflessly loving their baby.
Women would do an amazing thing for their babies by observing how beautifully protective and caring most mammals (on average) are with THEIR young. If this could shift, so many more babies would be better cared for, and the bond would be stronger.