By Shilpa Vernekar, M.D.
If you are reading this article, you are more than likely expecting a baby or have recently delivered; first and foremost, congratulations! Parenthood is an exciting journey that is unparalleled by any other you will ever take. This baby will certainly change your life in many ways, beginning with the first time that you lay eyes on one another!
If this is your first baby, please take a deep breath and know these two important things:
- You are doing (or will do) just fine as a parent! It is all very natural.
- You are not alone!
First-time moms are especially prone to worry about various things related to those first few days and weeks of infancy; but, please know your child’s pediatrician is here to help you along the way, from the moment you first hold your new baby in your arms. This is why it is especially important to pick your child’s pediatrician before you actually have the child (if you are adopting,) or during your pregnancy. The third trimester is usually the recommended time to pick the physician who will be your resource and advocate for everything from breastfeeding to soothing a baby with colic.
Once you have your baby, you will likely develop a strong, unique and inseparable bond with your new son or daughter.
What is bonding?
Bonding is a connection or attachment that you will feel towards your newborn. It is the same force that will bring tears to your eyes when you see your baby cry. You may want to take away all of his/her grief and replace it with laughter.
When does it happen?
TV shows and magazine advertisements often portray bonding as instantaneous, and that it occurs as soon as your bundle of joy lands in your arms. While that may be the case for many, some parents may take few days to weeks to feel the bonding. So, do not worry if you are back from the hospital and do not feel the connection just yet.
How can I make bonding happen?
Spending time with you newborn is one of the easiest ways to initiate bonding. Look into her eyes as you feed her, run your fingers through her hair, gently massage her body with oil, sing to her, rock her, pat her, lay her on you to maximize skin-to-skin contact, and you will start to feel the connection. It will also help if you start bonding with the baby while pregnant. Thinking about how the baby is growing can be beneficial. Some people choose to photograph their pregnancy each week to keep track of how the baby is expanding in their belly. Or, like in olden days, knitting sweaters/socks for the baby will also help to train your mind to welcome your bundle of joy and form the bond.
When should I worry about bonding?
Bonding with your newborn baby cannot be quantified, so even if one thinks that there is a weak bond or it hasn’t happened yet, maybe it has. You may just not be aware of it. As lo
If you have the feeling of being depressed or unhappy on most days, feel hatred or anger towards the newborn, or you are unable to care for the baby, then it is time to visit the doctor.ng as you are meeting all of the baby’s needs, please be reassured that you will soon start to feel the magic feeling.
However, most of the time, bonding is very natural, so please do not worry too much about the process. And remember, most importantly, you are not alone!
Please call upon your child’s pediatrician as a resource for your family from the day your child is born through age 18. At Preferred Medical Group, for example, we will be there with you as your baby turns into a toddler, a pre-teen, and a young adult. And, we provide continuity of care, so that you and your child can request to see the same doctor each and every time. If you have not found a pediatrician for your baby just yet, please visit our website to see if we might be a good fit for you and your baby: www.preferredmedgroup.com.