Study Finds Why Mothers Hold Their Baby on the Left Side

Baby Mother Left Side
Image Credit: (jehsomwang /Shutterstock.com)

Have you ever noticed that mothers cradle their newborn child on their left side? It may seem like common sense and many people argue that it is because most women are right handed. In turn, mothers hold their baby on the left side since their right hand is free.

But, a new study, published in the journal of Nature Ecology & Evolution, suggests where women hold their baby may be due to a “positional bias”, which is also seen in other mammalian species. In fact, scientists say the way mothers hold their children is actually controlled by the brain due to an “ancient evolutionary origin”.

Researchers from Saint Petersburg State University in Russia discovered that positioning a baby on the left actually activates the right side of the brain, also known as the right hemisphere, which is known for processing social interactions and bonding.

Saint Petersburg State University researchers examined horses, sheeps, orcas and kangaroos and found a “positional bias” that is linked to several mammalian species. In fact, scientists discovered newborn animals tend to stay near the left side of their mother.

Recent research has found multiple connections between the mother and how kids are developed. A study published last month found children from obese parents were more likely to have developmental issues including motor and social problems.

In addition, recent research examining viruses found viruses were actually deadlier for men than for women. Scientists published a study in the journal of “Nature Communications” arguing that viruses may have evolved to be less deadly to women than men in order for a virus to be passed onto future generations.

Does being right handed or left handed actually matter? Well, that’s hard to tell. A 1991 study found that left handed people were more likely to die 9 years sooner than right handed people in California. However, a 1994 study found left handed people lived 9 years longer than right handed people in the United Kingdom.