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May 4 2017

Difficulties with Bonding and Attachment

Bonding and attachment is desirable for parent and baby, and it begins earlier than you think (although these possible milestones may not be present or recognized in your own experience). However, this is usually how bonding and attachment begins:

  • Nature primes you for the new baby in your life by instilling a desire or need for a baby.
  • Your pregnancy is confirmed.
  • You meet your baby with an ultrasound.
  • You feel the baby moving.
  • You give birth to your baby.

Sometimes a pregnancy is unplanned or unwanted, and the news of a baby on the way requires serious consideration and adjustments. Maybe a parent has feelings and concerns during pregnancy that can cause insecurity and doubt.  There is a whole list of circumstances in life that may impact on emotions at this time.

If you have worries and concerns that bonding has not, or will not, occur, you should share this with your doctor. These worries and concerns are not unusual and you should seek reassurance and advice from expert sources like your doctor.  Your doctor can give you the best advice, especially if you confide in him your feelings,  previous traumas, challenging surroundings, previous miscarriages, difficulties in the pregnancy, anxieties, demands of a preterm or multiple birth, financial stress, personal history, drug/alcohol dependency, illness, and past or current mental health issues.

One possible helpful activity would be learning infant massage and regularly engaging with your baby during infant massage sessions.  Research suggests that caregivers feel more competent, have lower stress levels, and have a better understanding of their baby.  Babies benefit too, of course, from nurturing touch, massage techniques to calm and relax them, and “conversations”. Bonding and attachment is important for you and your baby, so make it a priority and remember, that applies to both mums and dads.

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