Instinctual Parenting

by Jasmine Carlson on October 1, 2009

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Not to pick on birth boards at all— because I have enjoyed being a part of several— there is a wealth of could-be topics just begging to be written and discussed. Sadly there does not seem to be enough adult etiquette contained in a typical birth board to be able to address touchy issues– to be able to discuss, disagree and learn without injured feelings or just plain anger. I am getting off topic here though…

My most recent adventures in birth-board-land revealed many of the same questions that have been posted over a variety of topics but generally with the same theme, they all go something like this, “is it ok for my LO to have… now?” Now, I am not at all dissing mothers who are asking legit questions about whether or not their little one should be eating/drinking this or that.  Us first time moms especially have a plethora of questions about what “should” and “should not” be done. Sometimes I think that I must be a bit odd and a few times I have just been plain nervous that maybe I have missed the mommy boat somewhere and am swimming in some other kind of ocean all together. Why, you may ask, would I ask that? Because I have not asked those questions. I didn’t ask when or if I could feed my child eggs, peanut butter, OJ, milk, yogurt, etc. It honestly did not even cross my mind!

So I come to my topic and how this connects with AP, though this may more be a topic of discussion other than anything else. If you practice AP does your parenting become more instinctual?

Now, I, by no means believe that humans are animals but I do know that we have very many things in common with mammals. We raised sheep when I was young so I find myself comparing a lot of birthing and parenting with what I have seen acted out in the ewes and their lambs. I saw that when a mother was left alone to birth and then connect with her lamb, when the lamb was allowed to nurse and be close to his mother that lamb thrived and even if the ewe had been skittish and nervous before confidence appeared in her when it came to her lamb, she did not ever hesitate to defend, feed and nurture her baby. So following through with this thought in our own human birth and parenting, when we allow the natural to happen (because, unlike animals, we have a choice on how we will do things), when we educate ourselves on what is natural and we let that happen knowing that it is natural and right, when we let our hormones do their job, does parenting become instinctual? Do we know when our baby can handle peanut butter? Do we know if they can?

I know that this is also a simplification of the human mind and marginalizes the educated choices that we have to make as parents. But once we make an educated choice to let the natural happen then does AP become natural and tap in to our instinctual?

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Jasmine Carlson (50 Posts)

Jasmine is a community living mama with a passion for fierce writing and fitness. She her way on Team USA by fitness coaching. Shaping Her. ( Join the conversation at (

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