Hi I hope you can help me. I gave birth to my first baby four weeks ago and it’s not at all what I expected. You hear all these new mums saying how they created an amazing bond with their baby in the first few minutes but I’ve yet to feel this way. When I look at my son I just see a baby and don’t feel the rush of love towards him that I was expecting. My husband is great with him, which is lovely but doesn’t help the way I feel. He can just lift the baby and soothe him straight away while I find it difficult and frustrating. It’s getting to the stage where I’m starting to resent my son and I’m finding it really difficult to cope. What’s wrong with me and how can I create the mother/baby bond you hear so much about?
SMITH SOLVES IT:
Hello and thanks for getting in touch. Firstly I’d like to assure you that what you’re feeling is very common. Many new mums don’t bond with their baby as soon as they’d like.
First Time Mum
Becoming a mother for the first time can be an emotional rollercoaster, there’s no time to get over the physical and mental impact of giving birth before you’re thrown in at the deep end with a newborn to care for. On top of that your hormones are all over the place and you have to adjust to a massive change in your life. That can be difficult no matter how much you planned for and looked forward to starting a family.
It sounds like you’re giving yourself a very hard time about it. Have you spoken to anyone about how you feel? Your husband, mum or health visitor may be able to reassure you that actually you’re doing a fantastic job as well as helping out a bit more with the practical stuff like shopping and housework. They can also be great allies in shooing away visitors. At the moment you may benefit from having your home to yourselves and not worrying about people traipsing in and out all the time.
Post Natal Depression (PND)
You say you are beginning to resent your son and are struggling to cope. For this reason I’d suggest having a chat with your health visitor. It may be that you’re suffering from post-natal depression (PND) and could benefit from some extra support. PND affects up to 15% of new mums and is perfectly treatable – as long as the health professionals looking after you and your baby know how you are feeling.
Talk About How You Feel
Be open and honest with your health visitor and those close to you about your feelings and your worries. The extra help and support they can provide can be invaluable. And try not to worry – you will eventually feel a bond between you and your son and when it comes nothing and nobody will ever be able to break it. x