What Does "Maternal Instinct" Mean?
When a woman holds her baby in her arms for the first time, an amazing connection is born. Before you know it, the new mother’s maternal instinct kicks in. So, what exactly does “maternal instinct” mean?
Before a baby’s arrival, many women may feel overcome by fear because they don’t know what lies ahead. Their lack of experience leads them to think they’ll be incapable of being good mothers. And, of course, they couldn’t be more mistaken.
A mother’s love is the most pure and irreplaceable love that exists. It causes women to develop qualities they never knew they possessed. Little by little, they become exemplary mothers.
Today, there is plenty of material available to support women and help them make maternity simpler. Millions of tutorials on how to do things are out there on the internet to assist you in different daily tasks.
There are books, blogs, social networks that act as fundamental allies in facing the challenges of motherhood.
Without a doubt, the best tool that mothers have to connect with their little ones and decide what to do in the face of different situations is their maternal instinct .
What is maternal instinct?
There are infinite definitions when it comes to maternal instinct. In general terms, maternal instinct refers to “what mothers know, without knowing how they know it.”
The strong bond that mothers have with their children even from gestation could be responsible for the development of this “sixth sense.”
The bond becomes stronger as mother and child share different experiences. Both magical moments and unpleasant experiences contribute to this connection.
How does maternal instinct manifest itself?
Maternal instinct can manifest itself in a number of ways, but below are the most common:
Without a doubt, every mother has had the sensation that something either happened or was going to happen to her child. You’re going about your work day and, out of the blue, you get the feeling that something isn’t right.
For no apparent reason, your heartbeat increases, you feel anxious, and get a knot in the pit of your stomach. Not much time goes by before you find out your child has lost his backpack or fallen down.
Even though your feeling comes out of nowhere and has no explanation, you know you’re right. This is part of your maternal instinct.
You’ve probably heard your own mother say things like: “This just doesn’t feel right” or “I don’t think so-and-so is a good friend for you.” These affirmations come from more than just experience – they come from our instinct as mothers.
“The strong bond that mothers have with their children even from gestation could be responsible for the development of this ‘sixth sense’”
Prediction of thoughts and actions
Children have a tendency of being mischievous. However, before they can even put their well-planned schemes into effect, their mother often figures everything out. How did she know? This is great source of mystery for little ones.
With just a glance, mothers can already suspect what their children are planning to do and what they’re thinking. Mothers know their children better than anyone else and can foresee their action before they even take place .
From the time their children are born, mothers carefully observe their every expression. They know their different cries, the movement of their hands, their smiles, pouts, laughter… They register all of this in their minds, and their maternal wisdom grows every day.
Gestures, movements and looks are enough for mothers to decode what their little ones are thinking and planning. And their suspicions are almost always right.
If your maternal instinct manifests itself and you aren’t with your child, the best thing you can do is call him or her to make sure everything’s okay. But don’t let your fears get the best of you, thinking that bad things are always about to happen.
At the same time, if you think your maternal instinct isn’t strong enough, don’t worry. Experience and everyday challenges will help you tune this newly acquired sense .
A mother’s intuition is simply sensational. It warns and prepares her for anything that might come her way. So don’t fear, and trust in your sixth sense. It’s here to stay, and will help you take on all of motherhood’s challenges.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- de María Cáceres-Manrique, F., Molina-Marín, G., & Ruiz-Rodríguez, M. (2014). Maternidad: un proceso con distintos matices y construcción de vínculos. Aquichan, 14(3), 3196-326. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/741/74132361004.pdf
- Molina Torterolo, S. (2014). El mito del instinto maternal y su relación con el control social de las mujeres. https://www.colibri.udelar.edu.uy/jspui/handle/20.500.12008/5336
- Manitta, M. G. Del instinto maternal. https://www.ucongreso.edu.ar/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2.-Del-instinto-maternal…-G.-Manitta.pdf
- Halsband, L. (2013). Un acercamiento histórico al “instinto maternal”. In V Congreso Internacional de Investigación y Práctica Profesional en Psicología XX Jornadas de Investigación Noveno Encuentro de Investigadores en Psicología del MERCOSUR. Facultad de Psicología-Universidad de Buenos Aires. https://www.aacademica.org/000-054/154