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What happened to the rosy idea that I would be holding a cooing baby with a heart full of love? My baby is really quite ugly and cries all the time and I am feeling confused and disappointed in myself. Am I a bad person?

There are the lucky few for whom its love at first sight. For the rest of us mere mortals we have to get to know our babies and love grows in its own time. You may have had a tough experience during labour and birth, and be tired and sore. This can make it hard to have loving feelings towards your baby, especially if your baby is also struggling to settle down. Take it easy. Rest as much as possible. Be gentle with yourself and your baby, and your feelings will start to blossom in their own time.

The idea exists that bonding can only occur if mother and baby experience physical closeness immediately after the birth. This idea is a backlash against the old fashioned idea of the baby being kept away from the mother during the early days, in order to give her time to recover. In fact having your baby with you immediately after giving birth is no guarantee of anything – you may be exhausted and in pain after the delivery, and prefer the baby to be cared for elsewhere until you feel able to care for baby. There are a huge range of factors which will determine your feelings towards your baby in the beginning. The fact is that your feelings for your baby will grow with time.

If after a few weeks your baby still feels like a stranger to you, you should consider speaking to your doctor.

 

 
   
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