Moms can recognize their newborn by touch alone

While I was working on last week’s Transition to New Motherhood post, I came across this study:

Parturient women can recognize their infants by touch.  Kaitz M et al, Developmental Psychology, 1992

Unfortunately the full text is behind a paywall I don’t have access to, but you can read the first page here and a very brief summary here.

It turns out, brand new mothers can identify their newborns by touch alone, after only spending an hour with them after giving birth.

From what I can glean from the abstract and descriptions online, women were allowed to spend time with their infants, unaware of what the researchers were going to ask of them. It turns out that the majority of women were able to identify their own baby if they had spent a minimum of 1 hour with it since giving birth.  (And this paper would suggest fathers are similarly capable)

I can’t say I was that surprised.  When I delivered Mable, Mac accompanied her to the nursery while the surgeon completed my C-section.  Afterwards, I was in the recovery room with a nurse, and I hear a baby cry in the hallway.  I was a total mess- 36 hours of labor, a C-section, epidural, vomiting, etc.  However, when I heard the cry I said (to the nurse?  to myself?), “That’s my baby.”  The nurse replied, “Oh, honey.  All the babies sound the same.”

Moments later, this guy and this little gal appeared in the doorway.

mabelcry mcphd

My guy.  My gal.

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1 Comment

Filed under #scimom, Scientist

One response to “Moms can recognize their newborn by touch alone

  1. I also could recognize my daughter’s crying when she was being wheeled over!
    I have access to the article if you are interested in reading it in full. DM on twitter for email address. @braziliancakes

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