When I was in college studying Early Childhood Education at the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute in Detroit Michigan, I had the good fortune of having a teacher named Luella Lutz.
I credit Mrs. Lutz for sparking the passion in me that still burns bright, forty years later, and has lead me to this point in my life, and to Nesting Days.
While I was her student this grey haired lady (she was younger than I am now) went to Botswana, Africa to study the child rearing practices of the bush people, and came back to share her stories with us and her theories about ‘nurturing’.
One story that has stayed with me all my life, and is responsible in part for the creation of the Nesting Days Newborn Carrier, is the story she told about how the mothers held their babies out over a bush when they had to urinate or move their bowels. (There were no diapers in the village.)
Amazed at how easily they did this, she asked them how they knew when their baby needed to relieve themselves? Their answer was simply, “how do you NOT know?”
Her teaching technique was Socratic, and she left us on our own to come up with an explanation, without ever telling us ‘the answer’.
I ask you, the reader, how do you think the mothers knew? (Hint: the point of this story in not about early potty training!)
Recently, neuroscience has rediscovered the wisdom of these ‘primitive’ women, and has presented us the answer: skin-to-skin contact not only stimulates the newborn’s innate survival instincts and reflexes, enabling it to survive, but also the mother’s maternal instincts and her ability to bond and care for her young.
My teacher could have told them that 40 years ago and saved a lot of new mothers a lot of hear-ache. I know my teacher would be delighted to see these changes taking place as a new generation has access to the latest research and tries to reconcile it with the vestiges of the past hundred years, which pretty much said the opposite and saw the woman in Botswana as uneducated and backward (my teacher being the exception).
I’m am also confident that she would be very proud of the Nesting Days Newborn Carrier I’ve invented and would want me to have it reach as many new mothers and their babies as possible, across all economic and social segments and around the world, and that is my plan!
However, she also instilled in me the realization that the human nest is more than a place. Our nests are where the roots of love are sewn and the early experiences in the first three months of life can have a profound effect on a little life.
With her, and all of the mothers and babies I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since then, I’ve created a workshop that explores the union of recent scientific breakthroughs and ancient wisdom, and how to use that information to create the optimal environment for your newborn.
I’ve called it, The Art of Nesting, to honor the lessons of the past and to bring new ones to life.
This workshop is really for anyone who is in interested in learning about the newborn’s natural habitat and how it shapes the infant’s world, but is especially helpful for expecting moms and parents with newborns.
We will delve into the role skin-to skin plays in both the newborn’s and mother’s well being and glimpse the world through the ‘senses’ of the newborn. We will look at how quieting your analytical left-brain can free your intuitive right brain, rediscover the power of instinct and intuition and explore some old and some new techniques in breastfeeding and newborn care. And finally, there will be time for Q&A, and a practical guide to take home with you to help you make the most of your nesting days.
The location of the workshop is at the beautiful new business hub called NextSpace, at 365 Vermont Street, on Potrero Hill.
I hope to see you there!
Your Chief Mother Officer