I don't think I've bonded with my baby :-((10 Posts)
She is 4 weeks old, born via EMCS. I am breastfeeding which I thought (hoped) would help, but I just don't feel very much for her. I am caring for her and looking after her every need, but my heart isn't in it if that makes sense. She is a very fussy baby and feeds a lot during the night so I'm not getting much sleep. She cries pretty much all the time that she is awake and not feeding. I definitely feel the onset of PND and just don't want to be doing this. I feel so sad and guilty, I do love her, I just dont feel that all encompassing bond that I felt with my first, and everything I do for my newborn feels like a chore. Has anybody experienced this?
Plenty of people will have experienced it and will hopefully be along to share experiences with you. You need to be vocal about your feelings, speak with your HV or GP, they should be supportive.
It took me much longer to feel that overwhelming love for my DS than it did for his big sister. It snuck up on me in the end. The difference was that I knew it wasn't PND (had PND first time round) so I knew it was just the case that it would take a little longer.
However, the way you're feeling right now can be absolutely down to PND. You feel like you're going through the motions for no reward. It's exhausting and your whole life has reduced down to the practicalities of caring for a difficult baby with none of the adoration.
Can you talk to your health visitor or GP? You absolutely will not be judged for this. You're tired and raw and vulnerable.
Yes, I experienced this. You really aren't alone.
I felt this massive obligation to care for the baby, but I didn't want to. If someone would have offered to take the baby from me, I probably would have agreed. I just felt nothing for her.
I'd had a traumatic birth and was incredibly traumatised and depressed. I was also half mad with sleep deprivation.
Do talk to your HV and GP. Antidepressants really helped me. I also accepted tons of help from my mum who spent a lot of time with me, so I felt less bloody lonely stuck at home while DH was at work.
Please do be honest with people. You're not a bad person; you're suffering. Accept all help offered. And it does get better.
I'm another one who has experienced this. I think there are many of us on MN who have. I have lurked for a long time but only just felt brave enough to post. I also had a traumatic birth and felt terribly lonely as a single parent with two babies. One of them was incredibly difficult, screamed almost the whole day, I couldn't sleep, couldn't go out because of all the comments, couldn't even hear myself think over the crying.
I didn't go down the antidepressant route in the end but talking it through and going back to work part time helped a lot. I felt dreadful guilt about not enjoying caring for him and I still feel sadness that the first year was that way.
Strangely enough, people told me how amazingly I seemed to be coping and how upbeat I looked. It's taboo in real life to admit if you don't enjoy looking after small, high needs babies, so I kept it mainly to myself. I truly feel for you and I know it's a platitude, but it really does get better as they get older, at least practically, it's not so relentless.
I've said it on other threads. With my second baby, a dd, I just faked it until, from somewhere around her third birthday, I really really did love her and would die for her. I felt really guilty because I bonded with Ds (my first) immediately.
Although I do have to say, not bonding made me play with her more, spend time doing things with her, and finding out who she was as a little person. Ds is so much of a mini me I tend to know what he's going to say/want/do before he does. With dd I've had to put a hell of a lot of effort into getting to know her. She's very highly strung, confident, noisy, talkative, popular and loves artistic pursuits. Ds is quiet, shy, athletic and easy going.
Sounds fairly normal. A lot of people talk about an instant rush of love (and this is what's shared on social media, etc.) but at 4 weeks they are still bloody hard work and you still don't get much back. I never felt like bf helped with bonding, but have bonded massively with my DD since she hit 5/6 months and became a lot more interactive. She's now 14 months and I love her to bits. At 4 weeks though, I slightly resented her for making life so hard and just did everything I could for us all to survive. Hope things improve for you
It really is normal, the rush of love doesn't always happen immediately and sometimes it takes years.
Because you're conscious of it then it means you are probably taking extra care of your baby.
Be kind to yourself.
I had the rush of love with dd1 and adored her from day 1.
So I was shocked when it didn't happen with dd2, especially as I had the 'perfect birth' with her whereas dd1 it was more traumatic.
I loved her and I looked after her but I felt like she was someone else's baby. That I'd never see any harm come to her but that she wasn't really mine. She was and still is quite a 'high needs' baby and had silent reflux so screamed constantly and nothing could please her. One thing I found that really helped with the screaming and the bonding was wearing her in a sling.
I hid it for ages and pretended everything was ok. She's 8 months old and I've just been diagnosed with PND. I'm trying the counselling route before the anti depressants and have my first appointment next week.
Please talk to someone about it all and don't bottle it like I did. Hope you're ok! It will get better.
I adore my dd2 now and she's a total mummy's girl with a wicked little personality. She's still hard work but I feel really bonded with her now and feel like her mum. X
I struggled with one of mine but we are so deeply bonded now.
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