Having a baby changes everything, including the relationships moms have with other people in their lives. Becoming a mom somehow makes us feel overflowing emotions towards the people around us, some who helped us through birth and others who we know will be a part of our lives as we grow into motherhood.
These connected feelings may come from some of the love hormones coursing through our veins, but it's also possible the impact of bringing a life into the world changes our perspective on everything. We suddenly have a tiny person to take care of, and suddenly it makes sense to have a tribe helping us raise this child and give him a wonderful start in life.
Mom shouldn't be surprised when she finds herself overwhelmed with love for the people around her right after birth. The extreme emotional attachment part of these emotions will calm down once mom's hormones situate a bit, but it's true that women never look at life the same after having children.
The good news about all of this extra love and connective feelings going around is that it can strengthen relationships and heal strained ones. Mom will likely feel a strong attachment to these specific people after birth because of how they guided her through labor or how they adore her child. There are also people she will adore because she knows they will be a part of her tribe as she tries to raise a child.
Number one on this list is obviously the baby. Oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, will be surging through mom's body, and she will feel an enormous connection to her child. Skin-to-skin time and nursing intensify this feeling even more, and a mom will often find herself overwhelmed with how much she can love a person.
For moms who have C-sections, the drugs used can sometimes make mom a bit groggy. That's not to say mom won't feel attached to her child; it just means the feelings may land a little late when mom's a bit more aware of what's going on. There are also times when mom delivers vaginally but doesn't feel an intense connection. It can be due to birth trauma or just because those emotions come in later. It's not a reason to panic. All women are different, and not feeling an instant connection doesn't make a woman a bad mom.
Babies will hold our hearts from here until forever, and there is nothing like that first rush of love to solidify the relationship.
11Our Spouses Or Partners
Moms often report feeling extremely connected to their partners after giving birth. If mom's partner helped her through labor, she may be even more enamored with his patience and care for her, and she'll be proud that they are bringing a baby into the world together.
During birth, mom often sees her partner in a different light. Since women are actually giving birth and fighting through waves of pain, mom's spouse or partner often has to take over and make sure everything else is going well. That may mean dealing with hospital staff or keeping mom calm.
Seeing someone respond that way is beautiful. Plus, it's always amazing to see dad the first time he holds the baby. The tenderness and awe most men have when handling their children melts hearts every time. It's no wonder women feel such a surge of love for these people.
10Their Own Moms
We don't truly appreciate parents for most of our lives, and many women report not fully understanding everything their mothers did for them until becoming parents. Right after birth we still have no understanding of all the sleepless nights and worries ahead of us, but we do know that this love we have for our child was felt for us, and that's powerful. Despite those rough teenage years, many moms realize that they have always been truly loved by their mothers.
Moms are usually at their daughters' births, so there is an instant multi-generational connection that is strong. New moms may ask for their mom's advice, and it is wonderful to have the privilege of seeing our moms become grandmothers. Births sometimes heal past hurts between mothers and daughters, helping relationships flourish in the future.
9Their Own Fathers
Nothing brings grown men to their knees like babies. Seeing our dads with our babies, usually crying while their big hands delicately hold the tiny bodies, is something that can't help but make an impact. We suddenly feel closer to our dads, finally understanding why they were so overprotective for our entire lives.
Dads who flourish as grandfathers are a pleasure for moms and babies to be around, and dads are sometimes more emotionally available after having grand kids. This can make deeper relationships easier to cultivate, making that original surge of affection after birth turn into something that's even more real.
If the father/daughter relationship was hard before, the birth of a child may help take the edge off and open some doors. Sometimes dads have a hard time getting it together for their daughters, but with some age under their belts, they often come around for grandchildren.
Many women have mom friends before they become parents because someone has to start having babies first. Those friends from college get married, and after the wedding showers and weddings, women find themselves at baby showers. It's a great transition, but until women become moms, it's hard to fully understand.
Suddenly these once free friends are tied down to a baby, and non-mom friends can have a hard time understanding why everything has changed so drastically. However, soon after mom gives birth she will be longing for those friends for companionship and advice. They will be the ones who know how to help mom after birth, whether it's by bringing over food so mom can rest or watching the baby so mom can take a peaceful shower. These women have been through it, and their presence in a new mom's life is essential.
7Midwife Or Doctor
Women report an attachment to their OBs and midwives. These professionals see mom through pregnancy and birth, and appointments to receive updates on the baby are often reported to be highlights. It's no wonder that after birth these connections often grow stronger.
It's hard to not appreciate someone who is on call and available for mom's birth, someone who helped guide her through it safely. While there will always be women who have doctors or midwives who don't handle birth kindly, the professionals who do honor mom's wishes are often adored and referred to other friends for eternity.
Doctors and midwives often feel this connection too. They want pictures of the baby and follow up with mom post-birth to make sure everything is okay. The doctor or midwife who delivers a woman's first child will often end up delivering any more that she has, strengthening the bond even more.
6Moms We Shamed In The Past
We were all the perfect parents before we had kids. While we hate to look back and admit it, most of us have shamed other moms, even it's just been passively aggressively. We wondered why our mom friends could no longer hang out. We thought all the talk about poo explosions and RSV was a bit much. It all seemed kind of paranoid and obsessive.
Everything looks a bit different through the lens of motherhood, and some of the people we may feel connected to are the ones who aren't around for us to apologize to. Suddenly we completely see their side of the situation that is being a parent, and we realize we were very wrong.
Luckily, most veteran moms understand having been newbies themselves before. After birth, opportunities to reconnect and be mentored by other moms are open, and that is great for mom and baby.
Doulas are birth assistants who help moms through labor and often stick around to help moms postpartum as well. Doulas are trained to help moms relax and can serve as advocates to help mom get the birth she wants. They can then take some of the pressure off of mom when the baby arrives by doing anything possible so mom can just focus on the baby.
One woman reported actually feeling closer to her doula than her husband after she gave birth because her doula knew what she needed during labor after her husband panicked. Doulas have the experience to recognize the style of encouragement each woman needs, and they can alter their approach based on what is or isn't working.
Having a doula is like having a spiritual soul sister and also about five extra pairs of hands. Doulas can make a birth experience magical for mom and everyone around her.
When we become moms, our sisters become aunts, and that deepens the bond between sisters even more. Suddenly we have this built in support system for the newest, tiniest members of our family, and we feel drawn to our sisters and all the support they offered throughout the years.
Since aunts get to be the cool kids who let our children eat junk food and stay up way too late at night, our kids feel a connection to them as well. It's also nice for moms to have a built in sisterhood once the baby is born, and nothing offers that more than actual sisters who are excited about the newest member of the family.
Just like strained or previously distant parental relationships can strengthen when a child is born, sibling relationships can do the same. It's fun to watch our sisters become aunts and to watch our kids cling to them throughout life.
In certain circumstances, all of this post-birth love even spills over to the mother-in-law. It's not true that all mother and daughter-in-law relationships are difficult, but some of them do struggle. However, when a baby comes along moms tend to want what's best for their kids over distance from their in-laws, so they will feel a special affection for their child's grandparents on both sides.
Mother-in-laws can offer help post-birth, and seeing them adore their sons as fathers is precious. Understanding a mother-in-law is a mother, just like we are now, helps bridge gaps if there were any from the past. Now both women are moms, and that adds a layer of commonality that can help move conversations and relationships forward.
There's always a chance that these post-birth good feelings will go away if a mother-in-law starts critiquing mom's parenting, but we can hope for the best while it lasts.
A woman's new bestie often ends up being the lactation specialist, the person who helps her release that milk from her chest and cheers her on as she feeds her baby. Since breastfeeding is one of the most difficult natural processes to get started, not to mention painful, lactation specialists are like angels dropping from heaven after we give birth.
Most lactation specialist are kind and gentle, helping mom position the baby the best way for feeding and offering tips and tricks for when she goes home. They often also give moms their numbers so if there are problems at home, moms can just call. They aren't judgmental about whether or not a woman chooses to breastfeed. They are simply there to offer support if mom chooses to.
It's wonderful to have a partner during that time when the milk is coming in but it's all just pain. A good lactation specialist can point mom towards the future and keep her working through those first hard days.
When women have good nurses during labor, they remember them. While doctors often come in and out during labor, nurses are the ones who stick around and come to help mom when she is in need. They have her birth plan in hand, and the ones who care try to follow it.
Nurses also help keep dads calm and keep visitors out of the room that mom doesn't want in during labor. They will be the ones taking care of her baby and letting her know that he or she is okay.
Nurses are the unsung heroes of pretty much every hospital, and women who have great experiences with nurses let them know. Moms will likely feel an emotional response to the support of nurses, and that will continue as they guide her through recovery and send her home. As is always true, women can also have bad experiences with nurses, but when things go well, they are memorable for the best reasons.
Livescience.com, Huffingtonpost.com, Psychologytoday.com, Postpartumprogress.com
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