Three things new mums can learn from cats


As a self-proclaimed “dog person” it pains me to say this, but there is a lot new mums can learn from cats. These are my top three mama cat wisdoms.

  1. Hide away to prep for birth. I don’t recommend actually hiding like those cats that end up with litters of kittens stuck in drains or ceilings, but in a way birthing cats have it right. They take themselves to a secluded, dimly lit place where they feel secure from predators. In doing so they can turn their focus internally and birth without fear. Human women in labour need to feel safe to switch off the critical thinking “human” frontal areas of their brains and access the “animal brain” at the rear and base of the brain so they can go with the sensations of birth rather than against them. In the final weeks and days before your baby comes, try and tone down the environmental stimulation and external pressures. Wherever you plan to birth, it may serve you well to be like the mama cat and spend your last days of pregnancy and early labour somewhere you feel really safe and supported (yet private) to tune in with your body and baby.

  2. Take the best seat in the house. That beautiful spot in the morning sun, or the snuggliest part of the bed, the comfy chair with the best view - cats know how to own the best spot possible. Find the furniture, view and warmth combination that works best for you, rearranging if you have to, and don’t give it up for anyone! Don’t feel obliged to move to another room to breastfeed either - if it makes a guest uncomfortable seeing you nourishing your baby they may like to keep their buzzkill vibes to themselves or buzz off.

  3. Have staff, not visitors. When I was a child we had a picture on our fridge with a caption that read “Dogs have family, cats have staff”. When you’ve got a baby you want channel your inner cat and allow your family and friends to be your staff. As hard as it may feel to ask for help, most people truly want to be of assistance. Get them to help with anything that will take pressure off your body or mind, it may be as simple as having them carry baby from the lounge room to the change table when it’s time for a new nappy, or telling them to “make themselves at home” in your kitchen by making their own cuppa or lunch (and some for you too). Another idea is to have a list of household tasks (for example unstacking or restacking the dishwasher, hanging or bringing in laundry) on your fridge, so if someone asks if they can help you out while they visit you can just say “I’m not sure, can you check the list and see if there’s anything that needs doing?”. 


Feel free to add more to the list!


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