Kalki Koechlin recently opened up on how she did not feel any maternal instinct for the first two months of her pregnancy.
The Sacred Games actress, whose first child with boyfriend Guy Hershberg is due in January, talked about how she felt initially after her “unexpected pregnancy”. “In the first two months, I didn’t feel any maternal instinct. It felt like an alien invasion, where this little thing was acting like a vampire, sucking out everything from my body,” she was quoted as saying.
Kalki revealed she got “excited” only when she heard the heartbeat of her child for the first time. “The first trimester was bad but I am through that phase and looking forward to the due date in January,” she expressed.
Do all moms have maternal instinct?
Turns out, a maternal instinct may not be a universal emotion among women after all. Studies have argued that a woman may not immediately feel maternal instinct when she is pregnant. Anthropologist and author of Mother Nature Sarah Blaffer Hrdy suggested in an interview that while all mammalian females have maternal responses, one cannot assume that every mother who gives birth immediately nurtures the offspring.
The deep-rooted notion that women are naturally maternal by nature is yet another facet of gender stereotyping where they are always the caregivers, argue experts. Women have traditionally been told that motherhood is an important milestone and it “completes” them. Maria Vicedo-Castello, professor and author of The Maternal Instinct, suggested in her book that there is “no scientific evidence to claim that there is a maternal instinct that automatically gives women the desire to have children, makes women more emotional than men, confers upon them a higher capacity for nurturance, and makes them better equipped to rear children than men.”
Again, for many women, maternal instinct happens after the baby is born, Dr Dawn Michael, PhD ACS CSC, was quoted as saying in an interview. Scientists have found that the source of maternal instinct is oxytocin that regulates maternal behaviour.
In the interview, Kalki also talked about how Guy has been extremely patient and supportive through her pregnancy journey. “There were days where I would snap at the drop of a hat but he was calm. He has been present for all the gynaecologist appointments and the classes where they teach you breathing techniques for labour,” she added.