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Humans are social beings, and our bodies really benefit from learning to fall asleep in the calming presence of someone who loves us.
As we grow, and throughout our lives, our interactions with each other are informed by our approach/avoid reflex: we either approach or avoid someone as a result of repeated positive or negative interactions with them.
In order to have a social response to a person, you first have to notice them. That is why we call the orienting reflex the foundation of our social reflexes. We orient when any of our five senses detect something significant in our environment. And that includes each other.
Expressing our emotions—even (and perhaps especially) the negative ones—is an essential part of building strong connections, supporting a baby’s development, and protecting mothers from postpartum mood disorders. Here, Drs. Welch and Dumitriu sit down to talk about the science behind emotional connection and how it impacts a mother and baby’s health and resilience.
Preliminary results from the COVID-19 Mother-Baby Outcomes (COMBO) Initiative at Columbia University show that one of the most affected aspects of the mother-baby relationship has been breastfeeding.
The COVID-19 Mother-Baby Outcomes (COMBO) Initiative in collaboration with NSP has responded in real time to the growing need for information about how this pandemic is affecting vulnerable populations, and to the even greater need to support at-risk families.
When you approach bath time from a Nurture Science perspective, it can become a way to strengthen your emotional connection and improve your and your child’s health and mood.
A Nurture Science perspective on picky eating, dinnertime meltdowns, and how changing our approach to mealtime can have immediate and lasting benefits for the whole family.
At the Nurture Science Program, we use sensory activities to help moms and babies connect to each other. One of our go-tos is Kangaroo Care. But we’ve also added an element called Emotional Expression, which is key to fostering an autonomic emotional connection, which significantly improves outcomes for babies and supports parents’ health and resilience.
Through Family Nurture Intervention (FNI), the Nurture Science Program has developed a way to help connect moms and babies. And one of the most rewarding results from our study of FNI was that moms felt less depressed and anxious, and more confident caring for their babies.