Even in non-interventionist settings, it is uncommon for a baby to remain in his mother’s arms for the first couple of hours. Yet, nature’s blueprint for this time includes a specific and genetically encoded activation of the brain and nervous system for both mother and baby. For example, when the newborn baby is in skin-to-skin contact at the mother’s left breast (which is where new mothers in all cultures instinctively cradle their babies) and in contact with her heart rhythm, “a cascade of supportive confirmative information activates every sense, instinct and intelligence needed for the radical change of environment – thus intelligent learning begins at birth.”(44)
For the mother, “A major block of dormant intelligences is activated” the mother then knows exactly what to do and can communicate with her baby on an intuitive level.(45) This awakening of maternal capabilities is well known among animal researchers, who link it to the action of pregnancy and birth hormones on the brains’ of mothers who have recently birthed.(46) Such intuitive capacities need to be nurtured in our human culture, where we rely so much on outside advice from books and ‘experts’ to tell us how to care for our babies.
According to Joseph Chilton Pearce (47), when these activations do not occur within about 45 minutes of birth, “cut off from his mother’s nurturing and with none of the encoded expectancies met, the newborn’s adrenals continue to release steroids in the face of maximum fear and abandonment. The infant screams for a short time and then silence falls.” The damage caused by separation, Pearce writes is “massive and past the point of repair.” Like Odent, he believes that our current birth practices are psychologically crippling to babies, mothers, and society as a whole, and the evidence in his book ‘Evolution’s End: Reclaiming the Potential of Our Intelligence is compelling.