Parent Intuition Is Real
Health

Parent Intuition Is Real And Leads To Diagnosing Rare Diseases

The old wives tale that claims parents, especially mothers, have a built-in intuition geared toward protecting their loved ones has long been suspected to be responsible for many life-saving stories, and now medical science is starting to confirm those suspicions.

Before research attempted to confirm this almost telepathic trait, it was not entirely clear what most parents thought was at work. The concept is indeed genuine, yet without a logical scientific explanation, the only remaining reason why, aside from pure coincidence, would be some form of extrasensory event; and of course, this isn’t very satisfactory for those who don’t believe in supernatural phenomena.

Nevertheless, parents who’ve personally experienced this extraordinary connection between themselves and their children find it hard to dismiss the real very presence of protective intuition.

Parent Intuition

Parents Intuition At Work

A cursory search online shows endless reports of similar stories. Just a few examples:

When Kimberly Gervais’s 13-year-old son asked to ride his bike to the beach with his friends, her initial instinct was to say no. After constant nagging from the son, and hearing that many other children would be joining the ride, she reluctantly agreed, but said he must wear is helmet. Half an hour later she received a call from the hospital, her son had been involved in a serious car accident. The impact was intense, fortunately he survived with only a broken hip but had he not been wearing his helmet, doctors say the outcome would have likely been fatal.

In another case Clare T., a mom of two from Boulder, Colorado, had a son attending kindergarten, then first grade, where she noticed something a foot. Although he managed to keep up with classmates, and each time she raised the conversation with teachers they said everything was fine, Clare knew this wasn’t right. Eventually she decided to have him privately tested, and as she suspected he was dyslexic and needed both speech therapy, and occupational therapy to improve and calibrate his fine motor skills.

A third instance; this parent’s intuition spotted a conditions that 20 doctors missed. Whitnie Strauss had taken her son to 20 doctors in an attempt to find out what was wrong with him. Unfortunately none could pin point the cause, but it was clear that something was very obviously wrong. The final straw came when she noticed him stumble drunkenly, and dangerously, around the backyard. This is when Strauss, fed up of being palmed off politely by general practitioners with no urgency of the situation, kicked things up a gear and took him to ER. At least there someone might try solve the problem, she explained:

“This is drastic. You can say I’m ‘that mom’ if you want. [But] This is all I know to do.”

Luckily a team of more than a dozen doctors spent two days trying to diagnose the source, and after several rounds of tests, an abnormality was found, and it turned out to be a extremely rare diseases known as Creatine transporter deficiency

In a forth case, Canyon River Orion Hansen was born with a cleft palette, which can affect breathing and swallowing. But his mother, Breana Woodruff, suspected there was more to it.

“There were several points where Canyon stopped breathing. He was turning blue to the point where we could tell he was not doing what he was supposed to be doing,” Woodruff said.

But until Woodruff was able to schedule an appointment with a pediatric otolaryngologist at Primary Children’s Hospital, there was little urgency; bear in mind the appointment was six weeks away. Fortunately, immediately upon meeting Jonathan Skirko, MD, MHPA, MPH, he instantly recognized the son’s symptoms and diagnosed him with a rare condition called Pierre Robin Sequence (PRS).

Woodruff is now involved in several PRS groups located in Utah, where she shares her son’s success story. She would also like to make Canyon’s genome available to medical science so other researchers may learn from his situation by performing analysis on the genetic level.

Is Parents Intuition Real?

As you can see, we’re not talking about obvious problems that arise from a series of events that can be logically hypothesized based on current happenings, no no, instead these instances are much more impressive, in fact almost psychic, and often so coincidental that the scientific explanation is put down to exactly that; coincidence.

With many more similar stories out there, all telling of seemingly extraordinary telepathic abilities, is parent’s intuitions actually real? It would seem yes, but not quite for psychic reasons we might imagine, but instead due to the unique relationship between two of the body’s vital organs; the brain to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

This relationship is known as the gut-brain axis (GBA), and is complex, bidirectional process; meaning communication between the digestive system and central nervous system is two-way.

The enteric nervous system, vagus nerve and gut microbiome all play key roles in this connection, which could in part explain why there seems to be more going on that first appears. For example, the vagus nerve is mainly responsible for involuntary function such as digestion, heart rate, and respiratory rate, however, it’s also been shown to have some relation to depression, anxiety, and mental health disorders such as ADHD. Therefore, theorizing that the connection as a whole may be responsible for other, harder to explain factors, isn’t out of the question.

Parent Intuition Is Real

What the Experts Say

Antonio Damasio, M.D., Ph.D., a neuroscientist and professor at the University of Southern California, believes this to be true. He says that emotions play a key role in decision-making, and notes this gut instinct as being a somatic markers; this is the idea that past emotional experiences linger to create future gut feelings.

Not all experts agree however, instead of thinking parents have a specific intuition linked to their offspring, they can be more in tune to particular cues. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, Ph.D., anthropologist, and author of Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species, explained:

“Mothers are likely to have different priorities or biases that cause them to notice or focus on different things,”

One factor that could cloud a parent’s intuition is in the difference between intuition and instinct. Judith Orloff, M.D., psychiatrist and author Guide to Intuitive Healing, notes that:

“Intuition is the innate knowledge gifted to us by nature and can only be accessed in a place of calm awareness. Instincts can be wrong, but intuition is always right…

“Intuition comes through as neutral, non-emotionally charged, and almost impersonal—just information. Fear, on the other hand, has a high emotional charge and may be related to anxiety issues the mother hasn’t worked out.”

In Conclusion

Science has only partially been able to explain some of the truly unique characteristics of the enteric nervous system, vagus nerve, gut microbiome, and overarching gut-brain axis (GBA). While this means we have yet to find evidence that proves any theories entirely correct, it certainly does appear that this chemical communication has associated functions and characteristics that we may be close to uncovering.

So, in short, yes, parents’ intuition is real, whether it’s all down to anxiety and the close relationship between mother/father and child that allows parents to easily notice certain cues or whether the GBA does indeed play a special role in this intuition, may determine how special this ability truly is, but either way, it’s safe to say that parents do have a heightening ability that helps them look out for their children.