As mothers, we have been programmed to expect some amazing things in the immediate days, weeks and months that follow the birth of our baby. There has been so much glamorization about baby bonding after childbirth, that many women go into labor and delivery and expect to instantaneously be transformed the exact moment they see their new baby. They expect to be over flowing with a feeling of love and happiness so great, that no other experience on earth can compare. Certainly, you will feel many new things when you hear, see and touch your baby for the first time – but it may not be exactly what you expected. And you know what, that’s okay. And normal.
So, what happens, when after you have a baby, instead of feeling elated and giddy – you are disappointed, frightened, tired and filled with anxiety?
Ask any mother on the planet, and you will realize that the baby bonding experience DOES exist. However, it doesn’t always exist in the way it is depicted in the movies. And, your experience with your baby may be different than your best friend’s was, or change from one of your own births to your second birth.
The reality is that when you have a baby, you never quite know how you are going to feel. Many people have long and exhausting birth experiences that didn’t go as planned, which can leave the mother tired for days. Other women, begin to feel worried that they will not be a good enough mother. Even more mothers suddenly realize the immense responsibility that has just literally, landed on their chest when they look into the eyes of their newborn baby for the first time. Certainly, you feel love in all new ways – but this ‘new love’ can be laced with many confusing emotions as well.
Making matters worse is that in the early months of having a newborn, you may feel confused. You will have a plethora of people telling you what to do and how to do it. You will be dealing with hormonal surges that make puberty look easy. And, you will be tired. Caring for a baby is a full time, 24 hour per day, 7 days per week JOB! Your baby may cry a lot, and you may get so caught up in just caring for your baby that you don’t really take the time to stop and smell the roses so to speak. While your instincts may long to hold and rock your baby – the baby books will warn you against doing so in fear that you will spoil your baby. The list of things that can go astray after you have a baby are endless And even if your instincts are present, it takes time to realize that it is okay to listen to them.
Some moms, (myself included) even felt that my baby didn’t like me. It seemed that everyone else could calm my colicky baby EXCEPT for me, which was a huge blow to my maternal self esteem. I spent hours crying about it, thinking I was the worst mother ever.
But here’s the IMPORTANT THING! You and your baby WILL BOND. And you will bond in your own way. It may not be this huge, life changing A-HA moment like you expected, but it WILL happen. One day, you will just feel it in the deepest part of your heart and soul. If it doesn’t happen right away, there is absolutely, positively no reason to beat yourself up and revert to thoughts that you are a bad mother. You’re not. The relationship between you and your baby takes time. While some of the bonds between the two of you started during your pregnancy, there will always be many things to learn about your baby. Just like he or she will learn many things about you as time goes on. And the relationship is always and ever changing from the moment you give birth to the end of your days together.
The best advice if you are concerned about bonding with your baby is to just relax. Allow things to happen in their own time. Give yourself credit for going through a major lifestyle change and be patient. You were chosen to be the mother of your baby by powers larger than you – and you have to learn to trust that you have all the tools already inside you to be the best mom EVER!
Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @MOM-Spirational
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.