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I've always believed cats and dogs can sense things like earthquakes, diseases and even pregnancy and labor, but what about kids?
Some pregnant moms in the our site Community seem to think kids possess a sixth sense about labor. In a thread titled, "Kids/Toddlers Sense Impending Labor," one member due in less than a month recently wrote:
"DS [dear son] has been unusually clingy with me the last couple of days. My stepdad just got into town but he normally warms up to [him] pretty quickly and now on the third day into it, DS is still pretty clingy with me, which is frustrating because I had him come early so I could get some things done around here--but I'm wondering if DS can sense [labor], maybe like animals can sense it? Have any of y'all experienced this with prior pregnancies?"
Intriguing. I would believe babies and toddlers could sense impending labor, perhaps because of their inherent intuitiveness, strong bonds with mom and purity of the heart. But my opinion is not based on experience. I've tried to think back to the weeks before giving birth to my second child, Ryan, and I have no memories of my firstborn Zoe acting usually clingy or other behavioral changes. Then again, I had a scheduled c-section a week before my official due date. So technically, my body wasn't going into labor.
My opinion also is not based on science. I researched medical journals and associations but I basically came up short. If you're an ob-gyn or childbirth educator and know otherwise, please share related links in comments.
But I found dozens of moms on parenting sites like Momtastic Baby and Bump, What To Expect and The Stroller Diaries sharing experiences that suggest kids can sense their mom's impending labor. our site moms have wondered about this for years in more than a half-dozen threads in the our site Community.
As this expecting our site mom wrote in the most recent discussion:
Daughter "is super emotional lately. Clingy one minute, distant and resentful the next. Not sure if it's because I'm a hormonal roller coaster, or something else..."
The hormonal roller coaster raises a good question. Perhaps the child is responding to mom's behavior. I know my oldest, my daughter, can sense the slightest change in my mood, even when I'm trying to hide an emotion like sadness or fear. She just knows.
Another pregnant mom added: "[M]y 3-year-old won't leave my side and usually she's not a mama's girl."
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.