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Bonding with your baby- by guest writer Kaliapih

To diversify my readers experiences, and to bring in a touch from others, I have opened up some space here on the blog for guest writers and other birthing/motherhood professionals and communities. To share their hearts, their passions, and their wisdoms. -Wildwood Birthkeeper

Kaliapih, mom of 6 wildings, is a women's holistic fertility and wellness coach. Here she shares with us words on a tender and important topic in motherhood<3

where she shares her heart, her herbal remedies, beekeeping moments, and other amazing things from her beautiful life.

Bonding with your baby

by Kaliapih Sometimes the bond with your baby isn't an instant connection. Honestly, sometimes building that bond can take months. You can experience feelings of guilt, shame, or disgust. Feeling lost in the fact that you are taking care of this little human that came from your own body. After growing them for 9 months, you expect something. And yet there's nothing there emotionally. You're caring for them, you don't want them in pain, and you are scared of them dying in their sleep, but that overwhelming love feeling that all of your peers seem to boast about- just isn’t happening. Give it time momma. It can be normal to not experience that bond with your baby right away. Sometimes it can take up to 3 months for it to happen. You are not a bad mom. You do love them even if you don’t know it yet. It is normal to have a period of adjustment for all members of the family, including you. If after 4-6 months you still feel nothing, or ever start to feel resentful of the baby please seek help. You may have postpartum depression, and a qualified person can assist you through it. I know can be scary, I have been there too, and I have come out the other side of it. So know that there is hope, and there is help. There are many reasons you may have a hard time bonding. You may have had a hard pregnancy or birth. You might have had a cesarean birth, or another situation that brought up new or old feelings and traumas. Your baby might have a condition that makes life harder than you expected. Your hormones take time to normalize, you may be lacking sleep. Maybe you are having a hard time in your breastfeeding journey.

All of these things can have deep impacts on the relationship between you and your baby, and any other relationships in your life.

Signs of not bonding can include: Feeling sad or panicky Not wanting to hold or acknowledge the baby No emotional response to his or her smile or cry Not wanting to feed the baby, preferring to task that out to someone else What can I do? Talk to your baby often, narrate your day

Read books to them

Offer baby skin to skin from the start, you can even bathe with baby Breastfeed or bottle feed, make eye contact while doing so Create a baby bonding time via a massage with some quality baby lotion Lay on the floor and play with baby Hold baby and breathe in their scent Sing to them These things can be hard. Sometimes you might need to force yourself to do these things. You may not have that bond yet, but it will come. These routines and ideas can help. While supporting your baby, make sure that you are being supported too. A support system can prevent burnout, and take stress off of you which will allow the time and mental space for this bond to grow. Motherhood burnout is real.

Some things you can do for you: Get some rest Take a bath with candles and a beer/wine Listen to some music Dress up and get out of the house alone Read a book Take a class in something you’re interested in Call up a friend Color Go work out or go for a walk

Connect with nature

Ask for help Pick things you like to do. Explore the new self you are becoming. If you feel yourself struggling to enjoy your normal activities, you may be experiencing postpartum depression and you should seek a medical professional. There are so many options, you do not have to suffer, or go through this alone. A medical professional can talk you through these options.

You can ask questions about medications or therapy options, they can help you find ways to recognize your triggers and address any emotional or hormonal responses. They can help you find new ways to strengthen or start to build that bond you are looking for. If the medical professional you see is not a good fit, don't be afraid to go to someone else. Every path toward healing is unique. You are not a bad mom for feeling this lack of bond with your baby. There isn’t anything wrong with you, this is temporary. You can beat this and you have a lifetime of loving your child to look forward to. I am not a medical professional and I do not offer any medical advice. I am just a coach who has had a lot of life experience and plenty of time to research things during my own late nights. Please seek a medical professional if you ever have thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby.

Some additional resources by Wildwood Birthkeeper:

PMADS (Postpartum mental anxiety and depressive disorders like postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, psychosis, etc) can be scary to deal with and finding the right help can feel daunting. Reach out to a loved one you can trust to help you make a plan and stick to it.

If you would like to talk more about your options you can reach out to me at anytime. I am trained with postpartum support international, and can help connect you to mental health and advocacy resources. I can also provide postpartum support, overnight support, or help plan a healing photography experience for you and your baby where you can process your birth, your bond, or anything else with me in a safe space. You are not alone, you are not to blame, and with help you will be well again.

Postpartum International has support groups for many different situations and family types, and a helpline. This line is for connecting you to resources and finding you the help you need. It is not a crisis line.

call or text "Help" to 1-800-944-4773 -#1 En Español or #2 English

Text en Español: 971-203-7773

If you are in need of immediate help or conversation, or if your loved one is in mental health need, please us the nation wide mental health illness line:

call or text 988

It is an honor to connect with each life bringer, person, and birth worker I meet. We are all parts of a great body of collective water. Rivers that intersect and ebb and flow. For the moments my rivers touch others, I am ever grateful. If you would like to connect, write, or contribute to this blog space please contact me. -Wildwood Birthkeeper CordeliaGrey Oriana Allen

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