Newborn Babies

I spent the first ten days of my life in an isolette.  The doctor suggested this as a service to my mom, allowing her to rest in the hospital without having to care for a newborn.  He also advised her that she should not breastfeed as it was an inconvenience to the staff.  The convenience of all was considered except for the baby and at that time it was the generally held belief that babies had no human feelings to be considered.

When I had my first baby, now 43!, I had to fight the hospital staff to allow him to stay with me.  I’d read Frederick Laboyer and despite my timidity around medical professionals didn’t give in.

I really believed that, by this time, it would be generally accepted that babies need to be with their mothers from birth.  But when I participated in my daughters’ births in hospital, I still saw many newborns in brightly lit rooms, separated from their moms.

There is no primate, and very few mammals, whose babies are separated for extended periods from their mothers.  Judging from contemporary hunter-gatherer societies and records of chid raising practices in lost societies, we evolved continuing that strong uninterrupted physical bond between baby and parent.

I don’t know what doctor where first came up with this stupendously destructive idea of separating the neonate from their mother, but can we now reject it?

Here’s one link of many if you want to read more; some research sited:


One thought on “Newborn Babies

  1. This is from my friend, Najwa. She is an old friend from high school, from the middle east and a scholar of the culture of Yemeni women. I think she is right on in contradicting the misunderstanding that patriarchy and sexism exist only in Arab cultures:

    Where does this desire to separate mother from child come from?

    It has to be cultural. Look at how easily Freud’s sexist ideas are accepted here. Although I come from a patriarchal society, there is nothing in the Middle East region that matches the hostility to mothers that I find in the US. Different kinds of patriarchy, for sure. In the Middle East, mothers are highly respected and they are in total charge of child rearing and the house. Men continue to seek advice from their mothers way into adulthood. Even national leaders are known to do this. I don’t know too much about Asian societies or Polynesian societies, but I cannot get used to the disdain for women found in Europe and the US.

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