Why Do Some Mothers Want To Lick Their Babies After Giving Birth?

Nothing compares to the early hours and days following welcoming a child into the world. When you finally catch a glimpse of their little faces or hear their first cry, or when you feel the weight of their small bodies on your chest, It’s a moment in time that is overwhelming and unexplainable. Therefore, it should come as no great surprise that a new mother occasionally could feel overwhelmed by emotion or have a rush of maternal instinct. However, a mother’s first, fairly “primal” reaction to holding her infant has gone viral on the internet. The award-winning photo taken by Senhoritas Fotografia lifts the lid on a birth ritual still practiced by some cultures, and something many mums admit they have the urge to do – licking their babies after birth.

This Facebook post described the occurrence and explained that humans are mammals and that most, if not all, mammals lick their offspring clean after delivery. Now, there might be a little bit of an ick factor in today’s society (perhaps because newborns become covered in their mothers’ bodily fluids during delivery). However, the article claims that it’s a widespread practice in various cultures, particularly the Tibetan and Inuit cultures.

Think of it like this: Many moms report loving that new baby smell and will say they “want to eat their baby up.” Well, according to the post, that feeling and the smothering of kisses that usually results from it is a remnant of the maternal licking instinct that helped mammalian moms bond with their offspring. Most of us still have the urge to lick our newborns, but resist and instead smell them, shower them with kisses, and hold them close. But some mothers still have the strong urge to lick their newborns. And they do just that. A physiological necessity: A calling from the ancestors Instinctual acts of love and ensuring the survival of young people.

“If you think about it, there’s not much difference between kissing and licking,” one comment said.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. It’s not a ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs practice, but I’ve never seen anyone who wanted to do it.” Another one

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