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Not All Mothers Bond With Their Babies Right Away. And That's OK.

One mother explains how she didn't bond with her daughter immedietly.

When women are pregnant they believe that when they have the baby there will be an instant connection. They have listened to mothers talk about their sweet child and how they love their child so much that it hurts and so they expect that to happen right away. However, many mothers have their babies and don't instantly feel a connection. That is okay. It is okay to not immediately bond with your baby. That does not make you a bad mom.

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One mother shares her experience when she gave birth to her baby and she didn't bond immediately. She said that when she was pregnant she read all of the information about how bonding with your baby is linked to everything from a more robust immune system to deeper infant sleep to better cognitive and emotional development. She found that when she was pregnant and she would talk to her belly her baby would move. The mother would think that she and her daughter already had an instant connection. She said that she was so excited to meet her daughter and she started counting down the days.

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She spent a long time ecstatic to finally meet her daughter. However, her delivery didn't go the way that she had planned. The doctor's figured out that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and they had to do an emergency c-section. She wasn't planning for the c-section and she hadn't prepared for all of the tugging, pulling and the massive amounts of blood all over her bed. She heard her daughter cry and she smiled, but when the nurse asked if she wanted to hold her daughter she thought, "not really." She told the nurse that she wasn't ready and the nurse handed the baby to her husband.

Through the first couple of weeks, she felt she had a fuzzy connection with her daughter. She didn't feel like she had a strong connection like she had seen other mothers have with their children. When she talked to her doctor she discussed her symptoms and the doctor told her it didn't sound like post-partum depression. The mother researched and found out that it was actually normal and "O.K" not to feel the instant connection. Dr. Susan Lareau, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Magee-Womens Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “Some people feel an amazing, instant connection, and some think, ‘Huh, there’s a baby,’” she said. “And that’s O.K., too. We see this a lot in the hospital. Many women just need the first few hours, or days, to recover, be it a C-section or a difficult vaginal delivery. They’re too tired to think of anything other than ‘I want to go to sleep.’”

Women feel like they are supposed to have this instant connection and then they have guilt and shame when they don't feel that bond immediately. Women should know that there is nothing wrong with them if they have to wait a little bit to bond with their baby. Moms should still bring up their feelings with their doctors to make sure that they are not suffering from post-partum depression. And you should always get help if you feel like you are going to hurt yourself or your baby.

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