Bonding with baby and other concerns — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

Bonding with baby and other concerns

I have heard that bonding comes naturally to most mothers and Moms to be, but what happens when it doesn't? I have been suffering from depression a bit during this pregnancy due to a lot of current stresses in life, and I'm hoping that doesn't cause me to feel detached. I want to be a great, loving mother! Any tips as to how I can feel more connected to baby boy both now and when he arrives?

Re: Bonding with baby and other concerns

  • During my pregnancy I was having a very hard time with depression. I didn't feel like I had a connection to my baby. One thing I started doing was writing letters to him on paper with fun backgrounds - obviously not necessary. But for example I wrote him a letter after the baby shower and talked about how excited everyone is and how loved he is by so many people. I felt weird actually talking or singing to him when he was still in my tummy. But this was a great way for me to start building a connection. I know he probably won't care about said letters, but they mean something to me.
  • In my experience, attachment parenting works positively for both mother and baby. Breastfeeding really does alter your hormones to promote mother-baby bonding, and when you hold your baby frequently, there is something about the warmth and smell that subconsciously makes you feel closer. I have a feeling that these things will come naturally to you once you have your baby, but even if you do feel emotionally detached, just keep practicing those behaviors that are proven to promote attachment until you do genuinely feel bonded. Because attachment parenting can be exhausting, I would recommend cutting down on as many other stressors in your life as possible at least until you do feel solidly bonded with baby. Put off returning to work if at all possible, don't pressure yourself to lose your pregnancy weight right away, take as much time as you want before you resume sexual activity, let your house be messy, etc. Take all the help that is offered for household chores so that you can focus on mothering. I can remember feeling a little bit of ppd creeping on when my daughter was young, but instead of looking for babysitters so I could escape that feeling, I just turned my focus more toward my daughter and fully immersed myself in the experience.
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  • Don't be afraid to speak with someone about this depression if you feel like you need to. Especially before the baby comes and your hormones are out of control. Raising kids is hard work and brings on a ton of crazy feelings so reach out for help if you need it. Good luck.
  • els831 said:
    One of the greatest lessons my husband has ever taught me is that love is a verb, not a feeling. Love is being there for someone, making them food, helping them with projects, doing activities with them, cleaning the house together. People don't grow old together on romance alone. The same is true for mothering. Love is changing diapers, cooing at baby for entertainment, rubbing their head or back while feeding, rocking to sleep, shaking rattles, reading books. Love isn't always what we see in movies or diaper commercials where the mother is just smitten by her baby 24/7. 99% of love is just showing up, day in and day out. You can do this, momma. You are strong and your post alone shows that you've got your heart in the right place.
    This is what I needed to hear today. 
  • Lolo427Lolo427 member
    edited January 2016
    Here's the thing: it could very well happen, and the most important thing to remember is that , *it's okay if that's the case*. I had a particularly rough pregnancy with a few complications followed but a birth experience that also had complications, when it came time to bonding with the baby it can still be a challenge and we're 10 and a half weeks in. Sometimes during the day I feel out of control pride and completely smitten with my daughter, other moments I feel like a roommate that just moved in together with my daughter, but all I can do is be present and take it moment by moment. Attachment parenting is promoting a bond not with just her dependency with me but with my need for her as well; it's important to know that not all things come naturally, there is a learning curve and that is absolutely fine but listen to your instincts. Best of luck!

    Edited: format issues
  • Beautifully put!!! I jumped into read the post and while I feel bonded with my baby, I will often think of what you wrote!!
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