How do you define love? Is it the pounding of the heart, sweating palms, passionate, or an instant connection? Being in love and falling in love for some, describes the action of attachment and a long term commitment… the “You Complete Me”.
Did you know that the hormones (primarily Oxytocin) that connected you to your husband/partner/ baby daddy are the same hormones that connect you to your baby? The hormone Oxytocin that is released during interactions with our partner helps us bond and connect with our baby. Voila Baby Love! Just as we move beyond lust/passion and enter into a meaningful relationship with our partners, we must do the same with our babies. An immediate connection may not occur the minute the doctor places your child in your arms. Despite how the media, other women and our culture have glorified this experience; it is often not reality. New moms are exhausted, anxious, often drugged, concerned about breastfeeding/milk supply and meeting the stranger they have carried for 9 months. Loving your babe (like breastfeeding!) may take time, not all things occur as naturally as they are portrayed. It’s alright and doesn’t have to be “Baby Love” at first sight.
If we could change the expectations of “Baby Love” we might be able to help prevent anxiety, fear and a mother feeling she is not good enough. We could then be realistic and honest about pregnancy and childbirth. If we were to acknowledge “Baby Love” is not the same for every woman then we would erase the shame many new mom’s feel if they do not immediately connect with their babes. Sharing our true experiences as mothers creates an honest foundation upon which new moms learn to bond with their babes.
True love goes beyond the superficial “love” that has become part of our culture. True love must be cultivated, nurtured. Be an advocate for moms. Don’t perpetuate the ideal that new mom’s immediately fall in love with their babes. Love at first sight is rare. Encourage a mom to love and let love grow. Change the expectation.
If you or someone you know has suffered depression or anxiety after the birth of your baby, call Life Counseling Solutions to learn more about the Orlando’s Mommy Wellness therapy group. Call 407-622-1770.
“Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other.”
― Carol Saline
About the Author: Marva Caldwell is a mom who is devoted to women’s wellness and recognizes the unique physical and emotional needs of women across their lifespan; from adolescents to menopause. Marva Specializes in Pregnancy & Postpartum Anxiety and Depression. Her 15 + years as a therapist, educator and communicator provide a strong foundation of care. The basis of her practice is caring support, as she provides an opportunity to explore individual experiences and empower women to move forward in their lives.