DH Worried He Won't Love Baby

(13 Posts)
DerbyDuck22 Thu 14-Oct-21 11:06:26

DH and I are expecting our first child early next year. He recently felt the baby kick for the first time and it prompted a conversation about how he was feeling.

He admitted a while ago that one of his biggest fears is holding the baby in his arms on the day they are born and feeling nothing. He's already been on anti-depressants for years and hasn't had a major depressive episode in a while but I think the pregnancy is weighing heavily on him.
He admitted this week that he doesn't feel excited, he doesn't feel a connection with the baby and worries that won't change. He saw his mother go through post-natal depression with his younger siblings and is almost expecting the same to happen to him.

All of this combined with the fact that he's also not a very natural uncle with our nieces and nephews has convinced him he's not going to be a good father. I'm now worried that he is practically telling himself that the bond will definitely not be there and he won't love his child.

He said he looked online for materials that support soon-to-be-dads that feel how he does and said there was next to nothing. Having looked myself, he's right, it's mostly aimed towards women.
I know it would be best if he spoke to a professional but as he works shifts and getting an appointment for anything right now is next to impossible, I wondered if anyone on here knows of any books or online materials that would be useful for him?

OP’s posts: |
SylvanasWindrunner Thu 14-Oct-21 11:08:45

He quite possibly will hold the baby in his arms and feel nothing. It's totally normal. Love grows, it takes time. My DH was practically very good but I wouldn't say he was emotionally bonded for quite a while. Now he adores her.

LemonJuiceFromConcentrate Thu 14-Oct-21 11:10:37

I don’t know of anything up to date but just wanted to say I think it’s pretty normal not to feel “a connection” before the baby is born. Particularly for your first. Lots of people don’t, it’s just such an abstract idea that you’ll have a baby soon.

That in itself, I would say, is no big deal, although of course if he has other issues with his mental health I don’t mean to minimise those.

TinaYouFatLard Thu 14-Oct-21 11:19:27

He shouldn’t be expecting a “firework” moment when the baby first arrives. That’s the stuff of movies. I know several men who say that the love grows steadily over time.

Your DH does not have your experience of carrying the baby or your hormones. Your experiences will probably be very different.

duffed Thu 14-Oct-21 11:24:55

pandasfoundation.org.uk/

This organisation offer a lot of support - they have a facebook group for dads too. Might be worth giving them a call?

thatsnotmyzoo Thu 14-Oct-21 11:31:53

In the nicest and kindest possible way his expectations are unrealistic. It’s totally normal to hold them and feel nothing, I did and I’d just given birth. Especially if you end up having a bit of a traumatic time. I have previously felt heavily bonded throughout the pregnancy. The bond grows as you care for them, you fake it until you make it.

I can’t recommend resources but maybe something like a baby care book might help at least build confidence with the practical aspects? This will ultimately help him bond. My DH had one which was a commando dad type book and was helpful to educate him on what to actually do with the baby.

DerbyDuck22 Thu 14-Oct-21 11:32:24

duffed

pandasfoundation.org.uk/

This organisation offer a lot of support - they have a facebook group for dads too. Might be worth giving them a call?

Thank you, we'll have a look at this.

I understand that the bond will likely not come immediately - if I'm honest, I'm not bursting with excitement as a lot of people in my life expect me to be. But I've never been a very emotional person, and I have an easier time reassuring myself that the bond will come later.

Unfortunately, that's not very reassuring for him right now so some professional advice online would help I think.

OP’s posts: |

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Fallagain Thu 14-Oct-21 11:42:27

It’s very common for women who have been pregnant for 9 months and give birth and despite all the love hormones floating around their system to not love their baby when they are born. It took me several months to fall in love with DD1.

He didn’t fall in love the moment he meet you (I’m assuming) and he probably won’t with his baby.

Bancha Thu 14-Oct-21 11:51:29

I agree with what’s been said and wanted to comment to add that it can be really hard for dads at the start if baby settles much better for their mum than for them. This is quite common; more so if the baby is breastfed. My DH struggled with this at the start. I think it could be helpful for your DH to have more realistic expectations of how his relationship with your baby will develop over time.

Could you or he ask your midwife or HV about support that might be available?

SpangoDweller Thu 14-Oct-21 12:46:59

Fallagain

It’s very common for women who have been pregnant for 9 months and give birth and despite all the love hormones floating around their system to not love their baby when they are born. It took me several months to fall in love with DD1.

He didn’t fall in love the moment he meet you (I’m assuming) and he probably won’t with his baby.

This is very true. Love at first sight isn’t realistic, and it’s very difficult to bond with an abstract concept. When my DC were born I was mostly fascinated by them and aware of an overwhelming responsibility to protect them - love came later. It is likely your DH will have similar feelings.

Shehasadiamondinthesky Thu 14-Oct-21 12:50:37

The bond doesn't come straight away with a lot of mums. I felt nothing when I saw DS, it took me some weeks to feel that love. I wasn't worried, I knew it would come - sometimes it's hard to immediately love a little stranger. I wouldn't torment myself about it.

Embracelife Thu 14-Oct-21 12:51:54

You both need to be prepared for
Feelings of exhaustion, tiredness. 'WhatHaveWeSignedUpFor'
Etc
For several weeks
Long before
Love
A newborn is squally crying needy eats sleeps poos. Reality. But they grow and change and will soon interact
It s good you looking g for support aready

he may be catastrophising
Ahead of the event
From anxiety

If he doesn't feel great love at first it is ok
So long as he commits to holding soothing changing nappies
In expectations of good times ahead

WildBluebell Thu 14-Oct-21 13:41:37

The bond grows as you care for them.

This. The more time he will spend caring for the baby, the more attached he will become.
It's totally normal to not feel love immediately.

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