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Robin Edelstein
Robin Edelstein

Mother’s Instinct is Real

Good Housekeeping 9/1/19

Good Housekeeping “Then and Now”: We admit it — sprinkled into our Good Housekeeping wellness wisdom over the years have been a few clunkers (sorry, spot training doesn’t work). Can you guess which tips are as good as the day they were published — and which should go the way of the cotton ball diet? (We never recommended that, by the way.)

1900s: ‘Mother’s instinct’ is real
A mother ‘wakes when the baby is uncovered, is aware of his need of food before he has expressed it and senses when he is in danger.’ (February 1907)

The verdict: LEGIT

New mothers’ senses are definitely heightened, likely thanks to greater amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, says Robin Edelstein, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. Cortisol levels increase quite a bit during pregnancy and stay somewhat elevated postpartum, which may help women be attentive to their infants, says Edelstein. There you have it, mums: proof of your superpowers!