Sight is one of the five senses that are exchanged early between the newborn and their mothers. This is one of the factors that play a huge role in the development of the mother and child’s relationship. Compared to other senses, vision is believed to show some sort of sensitivity to direction and distance. There is saying that the eyes can speak more than the mouth, and here are some reasons why eye contact between mums and their infants during breastfeeding is important.
Builds a special sense of connection
When a newborn is held by their mothers, the mother’s first instinct is to scoop him or her up to her left breast. This allows the mum to look face to face and into the eyes of her child. When the mum is able to look into their baby’s eyes, it creates a special sense of connection as well as deep emotion.
Completes the mother and child bond
Mothers first communicate with their newborns without talking, but rather look into each other’s eyes. When this happens, it completes the mother and infant interaction process. Something stronger is naturally needed to form that special bond between the mother and her infant, and surprisingly organic or physical interaction not enough. Eye contact is like a missing piece to a puzzle and it is more powerful than anything else when it comes to building a bond like this.
What’s more, research has shown that ninety percent of babies do not look at their mother’s face, but they are actually looking into their mother’s eyes. As mentioned, when the mother and child gaze into each other’s after a period of time, it will result in the formation of a bond unlike other.
Allows the baby to recognize his/her mother
Infants are information seekers the moment they are born, especially when they are able to open their eyes. Although they are very curious about their new surroundings, they do not pay attention to everything that’s present around them. Instead, they are searching for a special body organ and it is the eyes. Tests have shown that babies show no interest in pictures that have faces without eyes, but show strong interest when it is the other way around.
This happens because the infants like things that move around, are shiny and have more patterns than just a blank surface. Our eyes share such characteristics plus they are moist and can reflect light. This naturally attracts the baby’s interest and attention.
Facilitates the breastfeeding process
When the baby begins its feeding session, he or she will naturally look into their mother’s eyes. When this happens, they do not need to think about how to get the milk they need. If the baby’s body is in the right position and eye contact is established, everything just falls into place.
Communicates with the mother
As the infant develops and has the ability to control their eyes better, the mother can receive valuable information such as how the baby is feeling at the moment and if he or she wants to rest instead of continue with the breastfeeding session.
Motherhood is indeed a very special experience for new mums. If you are a mother-to-be, remember that eye contact during breastfeeding is important. Although maintaining eye contact is very natural during breastfeeding, it just takes that extra bit of commitment to remember to do this!