If you’re having trouble bonding with your newborn baby, don’t worry. This is more common than you might think and is something you need to build on as you interact and get to know each other. Keep reading to find out more!
It’s normal and common to have trouble bonding with your newborn baby, so don’t worry too much if you can’t bond with your baby right after birth. It takes some time to develop that strong bond you hear from people.
As you can see, there’s no need to feel guilty about it, especially if you’re a new mom or the conditions of your pregnancy are not ideal. You’re probably tired after giving birth, which is similar to the feeling you get after a strenuous workout. Along with hormonal changes, your body gets tired from physical exertion and your mind is in a similar state due to stress.
There is also the uncertainty that comes with birth and the bewilderment of everything new that motherhood represents. So, don’t despair or feel like a bad mother if you don’t feel the maternal instinct you expected.
Be patient and trust that these feelings will come. In the meantime, read on for some tips on how to strengthen that bond!
Expectant mothers have certain expectations and ideas about the birth of their baby as the last trimester approaches. Your obstetrician will have discussed possible scenarios with you and you will likely already know whether you can have a vaginal birth or plan a cesarean section.
All this vision that is starting to emerge creates certain expectations. You probably portray yourself in a romantic scene of a mother in love. This is an idea that has spread through the media in our culture. Of course, you would never see yourself as an exhausted mother full of questions.
When you add these expectations to the well-meaning advice you’ll usually get from family and friends, whether you want it or not, you may find that you’ll be pretty overwhelmed. This will be more understandable, especially if you take into account that not all children are born in the most favorable conditions. It seems it’s not unreasonable to wonder why you’re having trouble bonding with your newborn baby.
Some say that connection begins as soon as you become aware of the new presence within you. However, you should know that, as in every human relationship, you can establish this bond even if it does not occur naturally.
No recipe or guide fully explains how to become a mother or how you bond with one another. Everything indicates that it will happen in a special way and at a certain time.
In fact, as soon as they realize that they are pregnant in some mothers, in others it starts to show itself from birth. Some slowly bond after the first hard and tiring weeks. However, most people do not experience this for a while. Either way, this won’t be a problem and you’ll eventually get along with each other.
Tips for improving your feelings for your baby if you’re having trouble bonding with them
As we said above, there is no guide for the mother and child to establish a bond from the moment they come into contact. However, there are some useful things you can resort to while it happens naturally.
1. Make physical contact
If you want to feel the skin-to-skin contact, hold the baby on your chest, under your clothes. Some call it the kangaroo method.
This is especially good for preterm babies because it allows them to regulate their temperature. Being so close to the baby, feeling his breath and smell are pleasurable sensations that provide attachment.
2. Look into your baby’s eyes
Take advantage of breastfeeding time to look into their eyes. They may not focus on you at first, but you can focus on your baby, and by doing this you will begin to notice your similarities.
This eye contact completes feeding time and shows them you’re there. Later, you may want to add a specific song for them to associate with the time you spent together.
3. Sleeping with your newborn baby
Lying down while breastfeeding creates an atmosphere of closeness that allows you to connect. Let them sleep with you more often if it will calm you down.
Caress them lovingly, massage them. These touches encourage their development and strengthen your relationship.
4. It’s good to rest if you’re having trouble bonding with your baby
The arrival of a newborn baby means a high demand for care, both day and night. Do not try to take care of your baby on your own, because you will be quite tired.
Don’t refuse a family member’s offer to help you, as long as it’s within reach. Resting will keep you in a better mood and tend to spend time with your baby.
5. Talk about your feelings
Having trouble bonding with your newborn baby makes you uncomfortable and makes you sleepy. It might be a good idea to talk to someone about this. Find someone you can talk to without judgment.
You may be surprised to find that talking to another mother will lead them to admit that they have experienced the same thing. The important thing here is to express your feelings and share your feelings with someone instead of keeping them inside.
6. Find your inner mother
As everyone has said, you may wonder why you don’t feel attached to your baby after you hug him and take him home. This romantic idea of perfectly matched motherhood from the moment you meet is just a social construct about early attachment. Not always.
Doesn’t knowing that make you feel better?
You are not the only mother to have had this experience. Therefore, do not blame yourself and prepare to become a mother and enjoy all the flaws and truths that society tends to hide. The French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir said in 1949 that “motherhood is natural because patriarchal culture has naturalized it”.
7. If you’re having trouble bonding with your newborn baby, give yourself time
Motherhood is a state and every woman embarks on her own journey. Take care of yourself and don’t compare yourself to anyone. Actually, if you’re not ready, wait.
The time will come when you will feel good about yourself and your baby. The bond doesn’t have to happen right away, and that doesn’t make you a bad mom.
Enjoy every day, be autonomous. No one but you two will be a part of this journey. If you’re concerned about the topic and want to learn more about it, review the literature on how to bond with your newborn.