a special place in a special time

Bonding is a term used to describe the initial building of a relationship between you and your new baby. Many people perceive it to be something that is instant and spontaneous. For some new parents it is, but for most, it will take time. You may feel that there is something wrong with you if it doesn't happen as soon as your baby is born. But having just survived the toughest physical and emotional challenge of your life, it is hardly surprising if you don't feel up to behaving how the books tell you to!

There are no rules, procedures, or policies. You will eventually bond with your baby, whom you have cared for, nurtured from within, and longed for. It may take hours rather than minutes, weeks rather than days, bur that doesn't mean that there is something wrong with you. Ask the staff caring for you to leave you and your partner alone with your new arrival as soon as possible. Remember you don't form "instant" relationships with people you love- it takes time for loving feelings to develop. Bonding describes the start of a long, lasting, and especially precious relationship.

What should I do if I don't feel that I'm bonding properly with my baby? As we've already said, bonding won't necessarily happen instantly. If there were problems in your pregnancy, or with your baby and/or you after you have delivered , you may be confined to bed , on lots of medication , and feel in no mood to celebrate, despite your longed-for new arrival. Many mothers, and fathers too, secretly worry that they won't love their baby as mu ch as they should, and fear that they might reject their baby. This only occurs, in our experience, extremely rarely. Take things as they come, relax , be comfortable, and a loving relationship will almost certainly develop as time goes by.

Is it possible to bond with my baby before he is born? Many mothers do develop a close and intense feeling of bonding before the baby is even born. This is based on feeling the baby grow, kick, and move, and also from seeing him on the ultrasound scan monitor. Women who see their baby on ultrasound, or even real time 3-D ultrasound (which allows an almost life-like view of the baby), often say that this brings the experience of pregnancy to reality.

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