The Bunk About Bonding

Are You At Risk?
Remember, you may be at higher risk for postpartum depression if you or members of your family have experienced depression; if you have a difficult labor and delivery or a C-section; if you are adopted; if you have had an abortion or miscarriage in the past; or if you are a victim of rape or incest.

The important message here is that whether or not you suffer from postpartum depression – from "baby blues," the mild sadness and anxiety that comes a few days after birth, to a more serious form – your health and well-being cannot be denied. Attend to your needs as best you can and stop worrying about bonding. Dads, partners, grandparents, and friends can satisfy and comfort babies until storms calm for Mom and illness remits.

Nothing in the baby literature tells moms that sometimes, it's all right to put ourselves first or that often a baby's health depends on Mommy attending to her own health. A mom, who was both a homemaker and pilot's wife, once sat across a caf� table from me and whispered that it was okay to let a baby cry, for hours at a time, if it came to that. "When my husband was away, and I had no help for days on end with a toddler and a newborn, I learned that sometimes, I had to put myself first. I could not stay up all night every night, soothing an inconsolable baby. Sometimes I had to put my own health before hers so I would turn off the monitor and go to sleep. It was the scariest, most radical thing I'd ever done. And no one but my husband ever told me it was all right to do that. So now, I tell every new mother I know."

Amid bumbling and delays, babies can and do bond, despite the fact that moms are human and have needs, too. Corny as it sounds, Teresa says postpartum depression was "the best, and the worst, thing that ever happened to me. Of course it has made me more sympathetic in my work. But it also totally changed my outlook on parenthood, so that now I don't sweat the small stuff. I see my girlfriends killing themselves trying to maintain order in their homes, and I think, 'Just sit down in the mess and enjoy your baby.'"

<< Previous: Page 6

excerpted from:

From What No One Tells the Mom by Marg Stark. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book, visit Amazon or click on the book cover.

Pregnancy Day by Day

Tell us your due date to receive our daily newsletter and find out what is happening in this day of your pregnancy!

Already a member? Log-in here

Name of the Day

Quick Polls

Q: Have you completed a birth plan?






What's a birth plan?

1336 Total votes cast.


Create Your Baby Registry with Target
Do you have everything you need to care for your new bundle of joy? Create your Target baby registry today!

Zika Virus Q&A: 4 Facts for Pregnant Women & Families
Zika virus is pretty scary, especially if you're pregnant or trying to conceive. Learn what steps to take to protect yourself from Zika virus, including travel restrictions and mosquito bite prevention.

Where Should Newborns Sleep? Comparing Bassinets, Cradles & More
Where will your bundle of joy sleep when she comes home? Get shopping and safety tips for choosing a bassinet, play yard, or other crib alternative that will fit in your bedroom, per AAP guidelines.

Top 100 Baby Names of 2016
Want to see which baby girl names and boy names are hot in the U.S. right now? Check out these lists from the S.S.A., and click on the names to see their meanings!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

© 2000-2016  Sandbox Networks, Inc. All Rights Reserved.