New research explains why most of us tend to cradle and cart around our offspring on our left sides.
Okay, I'm officially weird. It turns out that according to science, 70 to 80 percent of women cradle babies on their left sides and there's also an actual physiological reason for it. Except, I always carried my babies on my right...
Putting my own nonconformity to the (right) side for a moment, let's delve into the science. A study in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution looked at so-called left-side bias or left-cradling bias and found that fascinatingly, many species of animals practice it, from walruses, orca whales, and kangaroos to human beings.
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Why? Well, the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and the right side of the brain also controls emotions. So by holding a baby on your left side, you are able to very efficiently tap into important functions for a mother, like figuring out why your baby is crying and bonding with her. Pretty interesting stuff, huh?
Researchers admit the evolutionary origin of why mothers across species hold babies on their left sides remains unknown. But their conclusions make a lot of sense, although some are questioning how big of a role being right- or left-handed makes in the equation.
I am right-handed. I figured I was stronger on my right side, and that is why I've tended to hold and cradle my children on the right. Or I'm just a weirdo!
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Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.