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Don't feel like I've bonded with my 3 week old - is this normal?

(19 Posts)
Cordypants27 Sun 02-Oct-16 17:03:38

I don't want to appear heartless or cold but I don't feel like I have at all bonded with my newborn. My LO is 3 weeks old and my first child & I had all these expectations that I would feel an overwhelming bond and a massive rush of pure love but if I'm honest I don't feel this way at all. Don't get me wrong, I know I love her & I don't want anything bad to happen to her/I want to comfort her when she is sad etc but I don't feel that any bond at all.
I wonder if it is because we didn't get skin to skin for the first days of her life as she was on neonatal, or perhaps because I struggled with looking after her to begin with because I was stuck in bed for the first week following problems after c section, perhaps it's the sleep deprivation (we seem to have a child that managed 5hrs day if that & very colicky) or perhaps I'm just not cut out to be a mum.

I don't want to have these feelings and I am consumed by guilt because of it.

Does anyone have any words of advice - motherhood is not at all what I was expecting

Heirhelp Sun 02-Oct-16 17:11:13

I think this is normal. I suspect few people instantly live their baby. Between 6 to 8 weeks they start to smile at you and makes it much better. Lots of people find baby massage helpful with bonding, maybe look for a course near by and then you will meet other new mums.

AidingAndAbetting Sun 02-Oct-16 17:11:52

I have 2 children and neither time did I feel an overwhelming rush of love straight away. I felt knackered and sore and hopelessly out of my depth TBH. I had natural births and skin to skin straight away FWIW.

Lots of women feel like I did. It's as normal as the fierce rush of love but far fewer people talk about it. You have no need to feel guilty OP.

I did love my babies but it sort of crept up on me over time (a couple of month) rather than coming on all at once. But they were fed and warm and cuddled and protected. They show no ill effects at 7 and 4 and now I love them to bits.

You sound perfectly normal OP. But do keep a close eye on how you feel and have a chat with your HV if you's still feel down in a couple of weeks. flowers

Heirhelp Sun 02-Oct-16 17:14:02

I also had a difficult start, c section with a major infection. Things are much better now but a c section is such a difficult start especially when you have spent 9 months imaging something different. I am going to do a birth reflection thing to discuss what happened at the birth.

SpeakNoWords Sun 02-Oct-16 17:26:47

I think it's totally normal and much more common than it seems. I didn't have that rush with either of mine. Both were very unwell when born (both by EMCS) and were whisked away to SCBU before I got to touch them. DS1 I didn't then see for over a day as I was unwell too. I felt responsible for them, and protective/possessive, but not a huge amount more than that. It grew slowly, with little steps like when they start to smile, or when they fall asleep and totally relax on you after a feed. That all built up into the kind of fierce love that I have now.

Yawnyawnallday Sun 02-Oct-16 17:30:49

Totally normal in my view. You are just surviving at this stage.

ftmsoon Sun 02-Oct-16 17:33:07

Completely normal. I think there is way too much pressure to 'bond' with babies the instant they're born. It will come, DD was several weeks old before I realised how much I loved her.

Cordypants27 Sun 02-Oct-16 17:34:28

Thanks so much for your experiences, like you say I don't think many people want to speak openly about maybe less positive feelings as it makes them feel guilty but it does make feeling it a little lonely, knowing that there are other people out there with the same feelings goes a long way in making how I'm feeling seem more 'normal'

I know I still have a lot of hormones raging around & feel quite sad a lot of the time with all the changes and feelings of inadequacy at parenting but all you ever get to read about is mild 'baby blues' or post natal depression & I think there may be much more in between.

I will give it time & see what happens & I can always speak with my HV or GP if I feel things aren't changing I just never envisaged (especially knowing how much I wanted a baby) feeling so (for want of a better word) indifferent.

Thanks for all your encouraging words ladies x

Yawnyawnallday Sun 02-Oct-16 17:35:49

And I should have said "Congratulations ". You will be OK and you should pay yourself on the back for every tiny victory in doing so. And when it seems to be tricky, trust yourself. If you are really concerned, find someone in real life to talk to. And ignore all the happy smiley mums you seem to see. They are probably having a good day and have plenty of tricky days in private.

motherinferior Sun 02-Oct-16 17:37:47

Keep an eye on it; but I too didn't really fall in love till DD1 was a smiley adorable six month old.

AllChangeNat Sun 02-Oct-16 18:42:50

Completely normal! You're in survival mode at the moment... you've been ill, had major surgery, your baby has been ill, you're sleep deprived, I guess you're also in a state of shock.

I write this whilst feeding my 9 week old, and for the first three/four weeks I seriously thought I'd made a terrible mistake. My baby felt so alien to me, the poor thing was wrinkly, spotty and looked like a little old man and I just didn't feel love for him.

Now, a few weeks on and I can feel a bond starting to grow. I can see he's beautiful, he smiles at me, laughs at me, I'm proud of him.

Things that helped were; getting as much rest as possible, talking to other new mums, talking to my hv, talking to my mum and oh, skin to skin, lazy time on the sofa together, and as fickle as it sounds... buying him some new clothes and toys.

Hang in there, your bond will come but as a pp mentions, keep an eye on it and speak to your hv if you have any concerns. They won't judge you, and will have seen it so many times before. If they see you'd like help, they'll offer it, they have all sorts of help up their sleeves but don't always offer unless asked.

welshweasel Sun 02-Oct-16 18:45:31

I was fairly indifferent towards DS for the first 3 months. I felt protective towards him but didn't necessarily love him. Once he started smiling and interacting everything changed. Now I feel love like I've never felt before.

Marmalade85 Sun 02-Oct-16 19:02:38

Normal experience for me. Had a c-section and just felt bewildered by the baby that appeared next to me.

Cantstopsmiling37 Sun 02-Oct-16 19:23:57

Completely normal. I didn't fall in love with any of my 3 until they were a few months old. Like you said I knew I would care for them and keep them safe but no overwhelming love and that's with skin to skin immediately with all 3 so not sure if that makes a difference.
I love them all sooooo much now (especially because the 4yr old and 2yr old are asleep and the 6month old is quietly feeding clinging onto me)

ImogenTubbs Tue 04-Oct-16 14:31:01

Took about 6 weeks for me and DD. I think it's quite normal. Do you feel ok otherwise OP? Do you have anyone in RL you can talk to?

Cordypants27 Wed 05-Oct-16 10:00:44

I feel alright otherwise ImogenTubbs, a little sad but nothing extreme by any means just result of massive change and not being in control I think. I have a really good HV so I can talk to her if I still feel like this in time or if I feel I'm shifting from sad to depressed.

Just reading all these reply posts has helped me feel better about things and about myself, just knowing that it isn't just me that has these feelings and that it does not mean I will feel this way forever

HobnailsandTaffeta Wed 05-Oct-16 10:06:22

I hypnobirthed naturally two of my three.
Skin to skin and on DC3 a full week alone with her as she needed ABs in hospital.
I exclusively breasted.

And I STILL didn't get a mad adoring rush of love grin

'Tis bollocks, babies are hard work and a bit boring. You do want to live and protect them but you don't "know" them so it takes a while to build your own little relationship.

All this fuss about needing to "bond" in the words of Prince Charles "whatever that means"

Handluggageonly Wed 05-Oct-16 10:08:08

Someone very wise told me that a true bond grows slowly between two people as they get to know each other, like any relationship. You are only just starting to get to know your child, and the more you know them the more your love will deepen and grow as time goes by. I like that idea and it has been very true for me.

Hughpughbarneymagrew Wed 05-Oct-16 10:26:13

I think the advice about a bond needing to grow is good.
I felt like this about DS when he was born. Like I loved him in a dutiful sort of way. I wanted to care for him and protect him, but I didn't feel a huge rush of love for him. I wondered if something was wrong with me.
I admitted how I felt to DH. He felt exactly the same. We both felt a bit better for having discussed it.
The next few months were HARD. DS has a couple of medical problems which meant he was in pain, or at least uncomfortable, at lot of the time. He didn't sleep, he cried a lot and was difficult to console. Being in and out of hospital and on waiting lists for things was stressful. There were days when we wondered what the fuck we'd done and hoped everything would work out for the best at some point...
Scroll forwards and now he's eleven months, the medical issues aren't fixed but are coming under control and DS is so much happier. He's sleeping and playing and I'm finally starting to really enjoy having him about. Now I do feel a great bond with him and I'm glad we had him.
It just took a bit of time to get to that point, and I think it would have come quicker if we hadn't had such a difficult start. Don't panic, it will come. smile

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