Bonding – / [bon-ding]: a relationship that usually begins at the time of birth between a parent and establishes the basis for an ongoing mutual attachment.
Bonding is what gets a parent to wake up in the middle of the night just to watch or listening for their newborn’s chest to move up and down. Bonding is the time when you hear a little noise and you panic because you think something is wrong. It is also what makes a parent instinctively want to care and nurture their child. Bonding with your newborn can be sometime as little as gazing at your newborn, touching her skin, caring for her, rocking her to sleep.
But what happens when you do not have that immediate bond? Sometimes mothers and fathers may not feel that natural bond right away and may think something is wrong with them. Well you are not alone? Research has shown that there are atleast 20% of new parents that do not feel that emotional bond to their babies. It may take you hours, days or months to feel a real emotional bond to your baby so don’t feel guilty or anxious about your bonding experiences.
As you care for your baby you may not feel you know who this little person is or what your feelings should be. Just take your time as that feeling may come when you least expect it or when your baby smiles at you. Or when you come close to your baby gets excited when she hears your voice. Your newborn will need to feel an emotional bond to their parent so here are a few tips to try. Spend as much time with your baby as you can by using a sling or singing your baby a song. Your baby will enjoy a gentle massage while you are putting baby lotion on their body. Try skin to skin contact with you baby when you are nursing or feeding your baby or enlist the help of family members to help you during this bonding time.
However if you do not feel you have an emotional bond with your baby make sure you talk to your doctor because you may have developed postpartum depression that prevents you from bonding with your newborn.