You may hear people say “The first time I looked at my baby, I never felt something so strong”. That may leave you thinking “What is wrong with me?” “Am I a bad mom?” if you do not feel the same way right away. The truth is, some mothers do not feel the bond right away. There are many factors that are at play.
Some factors that can make bonding difficult at first:
- Having a C-Section
- Premature baby that has to be brought to the NICU right away
- Postpartum depression or anxiety
Even if you do not have any of the above risk factors, but don’t feel an immediate bond, just know you are not alone! Just you worrying about it, and reading this information indicates how much you care. For some, the bonding process takes time. There are some ways you can help bond to your baby. Read more about bonding with baby and why it isn’t always immediate here.
- Try skin to skin contact with your baby (also called kangaroo care). Read more about the effects of skin to skin contact here.
- Learn about infant massage and try it with your baby. Read about infant massage here.
- Spend quality time with baby, holding her and playing with her
- Try baby wearing using a wrap to carry baby around with you during the day
Know that over time, generally, the bond will develop. For some it occurs when the baby starts to become more interactive.
If it has been a longer time and you are still worried about not bonding with baby, talk to your doctor. Postpartum depression, anxiety and OCD can affect the bonding process. These conditions are treatable with proper care. Read more about these conditions and about steps to take if you need help here.