A mother is a female parent which gives birth to the baby after bearing and nurturing the baby in her womb for a period of nine months. If a woman over the stage of puberty raises an adopted or biological child, then she is considered a mother as well. If a woman raises an adopted child she may be called the child's "foster" mother. Adopted children are still part of that person's family and the woman does not need to be called a "foster" mother and can simply be called the child's mother.

The process of motherhood

A female can become mother upon having sexual intercourse with a male or through in vitro fertilization. As a result of these processes the female gets pregnant and embryo forms in her womb. The baby grows and matures physically inside the mother's womb for a period of nine months. At the end of this gestation period, the mother delivers the baby. The period of delivery is around nine months, though can be premature or delayed.


After the birth of a baby, breastfeeding is an important part of taking care of the baby. Mother's milk contains valuable nutrients and immune benefits. The breasts of a mother produce the milk which is consumed by the baby for nutrition. Breastfeeding refers to the activity of baby sucking the nipples of mother's breasts for drinking milk. However, suitable alternatives are available in the form of baby formula (powdered milk) or other mammals' milks (cow, goat, etc.).

Other names for "mother"

  • In American English, other common words for mother are "Mom," "Mommy," Momma," "Mama" and "Ma."
  • In British English, "Mum" and "Mummy" are usually used instead of "Mom" and "Mommy". Another variant, often found in the North of England, particularly Yorkshire and Lancashire, is "Mam".
  • In Irish English, "Mam", "Mammy are most common, often "Mother" or her first name is said, another variant in Dublin is "Ma" (with a hard A)
  • In Australian English, "Mum", "Mother", "Mummy" and "Mother dearest"
  • In Indonesian, "Ibu", "Emak", "Bunda"
  • In Filipino, "Nanay", "Ina"
  • In German "Mama", "Mami“, "Mutti“, "Mutter"
  • In Tamil அம்மா

Madre is Mother in Spanish. Mamma or Mor is Mother in Norwegian. Mater is Mother in Latin. Mutter is Mother in German. Mat is Mother in Russian. Mama is mother in Swahili

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