Post Natal Depression
I longed for my baby, but now I just can’t seem to bond with him
I’m struggling to cope and am scared I don’t love my baby. Many mothers feel like this so you are not alone. Society expects us to be ecstatic and overwhelmed by huge maternal feelings and that we immediately become a mother. However, for some this can take time to develop so in the interim please do not feel ashamed, scared or guilty and try to appreciate that it is not your fault.
Many mothers feel like this so you are not alone. Society expects us to be ecstatic and overwhelmed by huge maternal feelings and that we immediately become a mother.
However, for some this can take time to develop so in the interim please do not feel ashamed, scared or guilty and try to appreciate that it is not your fault. By acknowledging that you have difficulty in bonding with your baby is a big step towards solving the problem, so well done!
Initially talk to someone you trust and know will respect your feelings – this may be a midwife or health visitor, partner or friend. If people seem as though they are not sympathetic it will be because they do not understand, so try someone else who does.
You are not alone in feeling like this and it is more common than you think. Often sharing a problem can help to diminish it.
Build a support team of friends, family, neighbours – they will be pleased to be asked – then delegate the daily household chores to them so you are free to spend time on you and your baby.
Remember that you do not have to be superwoman and try not to expect too much. These strategies should help you feel more on top of things. However, do keep visitors to a minimum in the early days – you need to concentrate on being a Mum not a hostess! This will give you time to focus on your baby – spend time feeding him, playing with him.
Baby massage can help and there may be a local group for this in your area – ask your health visitor or a specialist in Baby Massage for some guidelines and dos and don’ts. Get to know your baby’s body and he will warm to your responses and vice versa. By giving yourself more time to spend together you should be able to attend to your baby’s needs and ensure they are comfortable, not too hot or cold, and amused – if they are settled and happy this will make you that way too.
Use your support team also to give you and your baby some time apart. You need to get plenty of sleep to help your body recover from pregnancy and birth and to cope with your new role. You also need ‘me time’ so there is no need to feel guilty about this.
With support, time and patience you and your baby will bond – remember you are both learning to love each other, congratulate yourself on all the positive steps you will be making and the ‘longing’ you had will be rewarded magnificently.