Monday, May 9, 2011

Quarterly Topic: Attachment & Bonding

Bonding With Your Baby after Child Birth

Did you know the period after delivery is essential for bonding? If you have a delivery without complications, you can spend the first hour or so after birth interacting with your baby. This period is called the sensitive period, because babies are alert and responsive during this time.

This first experience holding, stroking, and looking at your baby is all part of the bonding process. Bonding helps lay the foundation for your relationship. Many of the core emotions you feel for your baby begin to develop during this brief period. As you have eye contact and perhaps even some mirroring of movements or expressions, you may feel a flow of protectiveness, awe, and love. This is part of the attachment process. 

It’s also normal if you do not immediately have strong feelings for your baby. Labor is a demanding experience and your first reaction to birth may be a sense of relief that it’s over. If you’re exhausted and emotionally drained, you may simply want to rest. That’s perfectly normal! When the strains of labor fade then request your baby. If your baby is taken to the nursery right away for medical attention, or if you are sedated during delivery, don’t despair. Bonding has no time limit. Your relationship will not be harmed because you didn’t hold her infant immediately. You can love your baby just as much and your baby can feel just as connected to you too. 

Share your bonding experiences, ask a question, or leave a comment!

The previous information is from the book, “Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5” by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

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