“No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you.  After all, you’re the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.”

Mother’s Day is a day when we honor our relationships with our mothers.  We pay tribute to the woman whose heart we first heard from inside her body.

Groundbreaking new parenting research confirms that a strong emotional attachment between a mother and her baby may help prevent diseases . . .

. . . boost immunity, and enhance a child’s IQ.

Mother-child bonding is a complex physiological process interfacing the hearts, brains, hormones, nerves, and every part of the mother’s and the child’s bodies.

This powerful life-forming/life-changing intimacy begins in the womb and is shared throughout our lifetimes.

“The New Science of Mother-Baby Bonding”  (http://www.parenting.com/article/the-new-science-of-mother-baby-bonding) is a fascinating article that reviews findings about the ideal component for bonding including the attachment process, physical touch and affection, cuddling, smells, smiles, nurturance, sensory nourishment, genetics,  and essential support for the mother.

Not only is this research valuable for parents, but it is also applicable to all of us as we continue to “parent” ourselves throughout our lives.  If experiences such as affection, cuddling, or sensory nourishment were limited or disrupted (by abuse, stress, or loss), then it is more challenging for adults to know how to care for themselves and provide adequate self-parenting to themselves.

“A study last year of more than 9,000 adults who experienced physical, emotional, or sexual abuse as children found that a whopping one third of them were hospitalized for autoimmune diseases as adults, compared to only 8 percent in the general population. Childhood trauma imparted them with a 70 to 100 percent increased risk of developing certain conditions such as Graves’ disease, Crohn’s disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.”

This means that if you have experienced trauma, loss, or abuse as a child, you are more likely to face physical, as well as relational, challenges as an adult.   This means it is essential that you parent yourself beyond those experiences, giving to yourself today what you need.  If you do not know how to do that, then you have a responsibility to yourself to learn how to effectively parent yourself.

One additional thought – if there are mothers around you that needs some support, encouragement, or gratitude, don’t hesitate to reach out.  If there are those around you who have recently lost their mother’s, reach out to let them, and let them know you’re thinking of them.