We often assume that giving birth triggers immediate feelings of joy and unconditional love that last a lifetime. But after a long and painful delivery, not every parent feels immediately attracted to the wrinkled and crying newborn who desperately wants to get back into the womb. If this sounds shocking, it may be because a social stigma around “slow bonding” makes people reluctant to share such experiences.
While many parents really do experience the birth of their baby as a major and happy life event, some have an immediate reaction of wishing it had never have happened. And a large proportion of parents will fall somewhere in between, perhaps having simultaneous feelings of wonder and anxiety or even frustration. But what is normal and what constitutes a problem? And what can you do to increase your chances of successful bonding?