No maternal instinct: Am I a bad mom?
  
Delayed maternal instinct: what to do when maternal instinct is absent?
In this article

Delayed maternal instinct: what to do when maternal instinct is absent?


Feeling distant
Even if you've always wanted a child, you might not feel a great deal of immediate affection for your newborn baby. Perhaps the pregnancy was difficult, or the birth was tough. Maybe you're scared about this huge change in your life. There are plenty of reasons to feel a little distant, and they're all perfectly valid.

"It's hard to own up to not feeling a strong bond or maternal instinct with your baby when everyone around you will expect you to love it instantly," sympathizes Reith. 
 
But, she says, the best way to kick-start that maternal feeling is to look out for number one: "Look after yourself first: eat decent food, sleep whenever you can and get out for fresh air. All this helps you feel better in yourself, and more able to find space to grow a loving bond with your baby."

Guilty Feelings
A mom inevitably feels guilty and worries that she's not up to the task if she doesn't immediately "click" with her baby. But our child psychiatrist reminds us that you're not alone at this time. 

Other family members and medical staff are all there to provide support, and if you have a partner, he can take some of the pressure off your shoulders by helping out more.

"We're too often focused on the mother-child relationship, but the father is just as important," says Molénat.


Parenting Editor
2012/09/16
Rank this page: 

Don't miss...
SAG Awards 2014: Stars on the red carpetCelebrity silver foxes: hot men with grey hair
Oscars 2014 Vanity Fair Bash: Our Fav LooksIndulgent chocolate cocktails
Latest… 2016/12/08
Guides
Videos
Travelling while pregnant
Everything you need to know about your waters breaking
A difficult mother daughter relationship?
Water birth: Is it right for you?
See all Parenting guides
Video: Dr Chris Steele on preparing for pregnancy
See all Parenting videos