Struggling to adapt to her new role, this mom reached out to Move! for advice.
"I have just had a baby girl but I feel like I don’t love her very much. Every time I look at her I get upset and I'm worried about this.
I don’t know if I'm not bonding with my daughter in the right way but I don't feel like everyone says I must feel because when I’m with my baby I get frustrated. She does not feel like the bundle of joy I read about in magazines and see on TV.
I want to love my child and be a good mother to her. What must I do or is there anything wrong with me? Please help."
Mom tribe advice
These moms responded:
MAGDA ANN LIEDEMAN-VAAS: Consult a psychologist and get professional help. I commend you for taking the first step and reaching out even here on Move! magazine. It shows you love your baby and you want to be the best parent you can be. All the best.
AVILE SHAKES KANGWENYA: Your body is still depressed and trying to adjust to changes that come with motherhood. It’s going to take time for things to get back to normal. In the meantime, you need professional help before it also affects the little one.
EUNICE MAKORO: You had unrealistic expectations. TV and magazines are profitable advertorials. Having a baby is real and can take a toll on anyone. Ask yourself why you got pregnant in the first place. Did you want to or did it just look good on TV?
ZOTHANDO NTENTULE: It is good that you noticed this situation before you did something you would regret. You must seek professional help because it seems like you are very depressed. Consult a doctor who will refer you to a psychologist.
Claudia Abelheim, educational psychologist at The Family Life Centre and head of youth services including Education for Living, says:
“It is very normal to have these feelings after having a baby. Not everyone feels that immediate rush of love for their baby, especially if you had a difficult birth, or if you have a fussy baby.
“Many things can contribute to this including hormones, lack of sleep and adjusting to your new life as a mother.
Some mothers also struggle with the newborn phase, as there is very little engagement with your baby [because they are so small and mostly sleep].Sometimes it can feel like you are giving your baby everything you have, and you are not getting much in return.
Give yourself time to get used to your new role as a mother, and to get to know your little one.
As time goes on, you will learn more about your baby and connect more and more. Try and meet up with other new moms, as having a newborn can be very lonely and it is helpful to have support from other people.
If you find yourself having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, it is important to get help. Going for counselling and to your doctor or nurse at your local clinic."