Study Shows Bonding With Your Newborn Isn’t That ‘Easy’

A study of more than 1,000 mothers shows that bonding with your baby isn’t “the most natural thing.” So when will we stop lying to expectant mothers?

Knowledge is power. This phrase, attributed to the philosopher and scientist Francis Bacon in the XVIAnd century, is more relevant than ever and, in the context of motherhood and parenting, it is also crucial.

In 2023, in France in particular, word begins to spread about parenting difficulties, postpartum depression, the almost permanent ambivalence of motherhood and everything that can bring out what Clémentine defines as “matrescence” in future mothers. Sarlat, author of the podcast of the same name.

For centuries, women – and mothers-to-be – have been subjected to tons and tons of injunctions that we strive, especially at Madmoizelle, to demolish one after another.

Breastfeed your baby or not, give birth with or without an epidural, provide a positive and caring education, sleep together but not for too long, don’t let yourself go after giving birth, quickly return to sport to lose excess weight, be able to manage a house after getting 2 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours, returning to work 10 weeks after giving birth, all while resuming a fulfilling sex life and a smile dripping with happiness permanently displayed on your face.

Well yes, we shouldn’t be angry either, after all we wanted this child, right?

Yes, but here’s the problem: all these injunctions are meant to make women who give birth perfect mothers. But beware of spoilers: it doesn’t exist.

It does not exist and it is dangerous to make people believe that all mothers can achieve anything. Dangerous to the point that suicide is the second cause of maternal mortality in France, let’s remember.

A disturbing new study on the mother-child bond

In an article by Caretaker, we learn that a new study has been published by the Parent-Infant Foundation. The latter shows that, out of 1,000 women interviewed, one in 10 has difficulty bonding with their baby at birth, and 73% of them they say “ not having received any information or advice about bonding with your baby in the first few weeks after birth “.

Why are these numbers problematic? Because they clearly show that the image that is transmitted of parenthood and motherhood is incorrect and watered down, and that many women continue to shudder when they realize that no, becoming a mother is not so simple, it is not so natural, and above all: it can really shake up our mental health.

If society stopped making people believe that motherhood is innate and that becoming a mother is a sinecure, if women were better informed about what they are about to experience, they would not feel guilty in having ambivalent feelings, or even sometimes frankly scary and being afraid to talk about it with loved ones or healthcare professionals to ask for help and advice, all without judgment.

You may very well not fall in love with your newborn baby. It’s not serious, it’s not abnormal, and it happens much more frequently than you might think.

Yes, motherhood can be good, yes, many women thrive in this role, yes, some experience idyllic pregnancies and births. Yes, some love their baby at first sight and no, postpartum depression doesn’t affect all women, but too many deal with it in silence so that we can stop making people believe that everything is rosy.

Informing expectant mothers is vital

Knowledge is power, as we said in the introduction. Why does society still not adequately inform women about what awaits them when they become mothers? Why want to give only one side of the story, when every woman, every pregnancy and every baby born is different?

Informing expectant mothers is vital, but this also requires increasing the number of midwives in maternity wards, while increasing public hospital resources. Anna Roy was already talking about it, more than 3 years ago, when she launched her shock campaign #jesuismaltraitantewith the online publication of a petition for the attention of Emmanuel Macron, asking for more resources to help mothers:

“By signing it, you participate in asking Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mr. Olivier Véran, Minister of Health, to change the standard, to give midwives and their colleagues the means to restore humanity in the delivery room, in delivery room, in the city, everywhere.

When will there be real training, real support for pregnant women or those who have just given birth, to help them understand what is happening to them and provide them with the help they need? In this study by the Parent-Infant Foundation we only talk about the mother-child bond, which is obviously difficult to establish. But how many tragedies could be avoided, how many postpartum depressions could be identified, how many women could be better listened to and supported if only society and policies gave concrete means to those who have just given birth and to those who care for them?

Informing women during pregnancy and after, relieving them from feelings of guilt and giving them the tools to understand what is happening to them, to allow them to live this “matrescence” and all that it implies peacefully, is to give them the opportunity to ask an end to injunctions that can literally devour their lives and that of their child.

More articles on
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  • Help! My friend doesn’t like her body after pregnancy, how can I regain her self-esteem?

  • According to one study, nearly a quarter of mothers suffering from postpartum depression have suicidal thoughts

  • The involvement of fathers is essential for the physical and mental health of children, and science says so

  • Serena Williams gives birth to her second child, reveals in adorable TikTok video

  • “I wondered why they screamed in the movies, it’s not that painful”: Nathalie talks about her birth

Listen to Apéro des Daronnes, Madmoizelle’s show that aims to break down taboos on parenting.

Source: Madmoizelle

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