Tanya Enberg: Unexpected Mother


Baby, You Smell … Maybe Better Than Steak


Already I miss it; the small squish of a newborn with the shocking built-in ability to scream his tiny head off, turning it into a red wrinkly mess.

Not the screaming. I don’t miss that.

It’s the malleable newness of our baby curled up like a soft baby piglet, before bones begin to set and muscles strengthen.

I think about those early days often, usually while holding our son in the darkness of his room before he goes to sleep.

In those sleepy, bedtime moments he’s calm — now a rarity in his insanely active life — and his body melds into mine.

Oh, and the smell.

How I miss the smell: that newborn freshness, so delicious and deliriously intoxicating.

Our baby is still yummy of course (the oodles of photos in which I appear to be nibbling on him is certainly evidence of that), however a recent study out of Germany has found that when moms inhale a newborn’s scent, they may get the same satisfaction that a hungry person experiences from having their appetite satiated.

Yes, similar to the effects of enjoying a great steak, the study found that the reward centre of a mom’s brain is ignited when a mom gets a whiff of a newborn baby.

"What we have shown for the first time is that the odor of newborns … activates the neurological reward circuit in mothers. These circuits may especially be activated when you eat while being very hungry, but also in a craving addict receiving his drug," said Johannes Frasnelli, a psychology researcher at the University of Montreal, said in a statement.

"It is in fact the sating of desire."

So ladies, if you’ve ever wondered why you have the sudden urge to gobble up your little bundle of joy — those irresistibly squishy legs and arms — well it may just be because they smell so darn good.