October 31, 2008

Licking the Baby

We have now completed four of five hypnobirthing classes! It's pretty interesting, and we have lots of homework, including listening to a guided meditation regularly, listening to affirmations regularly, Brady leading Natalie in guided meditations, breathing techniques (in hypnobirthing mothers are encourages not to push the baby out, but to breath the baby down; apparently, studies show the speed of birth is the same whether you actively push or just breath deeply), and several types of massage including one of a really private area I won't mention here.

And sometimes in class we watch videos. Last week we watched a video with numerous natural births on it, plus people talking about their experiences with hypnobirthing. And one guy (he looked like he was from L.A., with the ocean breaking in the background behind him) said after the baby was born he had an uncontrollable urge to LICK THE BABY ALL OVER.

What?!?

He said he felt pretty inhibited and weird about it (understandably), and so he just gave his newborn daughter two little licks, one on each cheek.

Brady and I have been joking about it ever since.

I mentioned this to someone I know over email (not naming names here), and she said she licked her babies too!

What?!?

"HA--- I licked both Billy* and Mary* after they had been home for a few weeks. They were just so amazing to me. So beautiful and wonderful smelling. I honestly couldn't resist the urge to taste them too. After I told Mark* (husband) about it, he had to have a lick too! Ya know, they were delicious."

(*All names have been changed to protect the identity of the baby licker.)

Maybe the baby licker will be brave enough to identify herself in the comments section?

Okay, setting the hilarity and oddness of all this aside, I don't mean to make fun of her or her husband. It's very cute. And I don't want to shame them by judging them. I just think it's very funny. But, it's revealing, too. Somewhat in line with an early post on this baby-making blog, when I talked about the wildness and inhibition of natural birth, and wanting to be my natural, mammal self when I give birth, baby licking reminds me again that we are mammals. In this whole process of making and gestating and delivering a baby, I feel more like my animal self than any other time. And wanting to lick your baby strikes me as a leftover mammalian instinct if I've ever heard one.

So, poll: did you lick your baby? would you? (Take the poll shown on the left side of the page).

6 comments:

Kate C said...

I lick my baby-daddy all the time. Does this count?

Christie said...

Sounds very primal but most mammals lick their babies to clean them and hide their scent from predators. I'll stick to a nice bath and kissing him all over! And as Kate pointed out, most humans reserve licking as a mating technique.

I will admit to nibbling on both my babies' toes 'cause there is nothing cuter or sweeter than baby toes!

Jen Ewell said...

no. never licked her, never while. but i have caught yann doing it. don't tell.

Sudbrook Park said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stacy Baby Licker said...

I'm woman enough to admit it.... My name is Stacy and I am a baby licker! It sounds so lame, but honestly here was this new being that I created, that was such an intimate part of me and I wanted to know every inch of her. I wanted to memorize every detail of her soft little fingers and every downy hair.... and apparently I needed just one little lick. I have seen many a mom put a child's finger sticky with ketchup in her mouth, or lick a napkin and then clean up a messy face. My lick, however, had nothing to do with cleanliness. It was pure knowledge. I needed to know everything about my baby that I could. Blugh-I get all corny and mushy when it comes to my babies.

Natalie Henry Bennon said...

I love the way you describe your baby licking, Stacy. It's very sweet.