photo: Pixabay

As a mom, hearing your baby cry sets off an instant reaction. You wonder what your baby needs and what you can do to quell the cries. A new study shows that moms across the world seem to respond to those cries in a similar way, which suggests that women may be hard-wired to react to those sounds.

Researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development studied the responses of 684 moms from 11 different countries. There were five common reactions in the first five seconds recorded, which included picking the babies up, holding them, and talking to them. Since the responses were the same among mothers no matter what culture or region they were from, the researchers concluded that the behaviors must be an inherent skill and not something that was learned.

To test the theory, the researchers performed MRI scans on the brain of a select group of women. The scans showed that when moms heard their babies cry it activated parts of the brain connected with speech and movement. Interestingly, scans performed on women who were not moms showed no reaction, indicating that the response is due to a change that occurs in women after childbirth.

What tricks have you discovered to help soothe your baby when nothing else works? Tell us in the comments below.