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”. So how does this tie into the new little Royal Baby and Kate Duchess of Cambridge? Is it Baby Love at first sight?
Love and Hormones
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.
Expectations of Baby Love
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.
Changing the expectation will allow new mothers like the Duchess Kate to enjoy the experience and let her love for her new little boy cultivate and grow into true Baby Love. Changing the expectation is the best gift we can give a new mom.
If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety after the birth of a baby, call Orlando Women’s Counseling with Life Counseling Solutions 407-622-1770.