How to Bond With Your Baby After a C-Section
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry reported that vaginal delivery may lead to better mother/child bonding than Cesarean section births. The study involved a small population of women and the researchers acknowledged the many valid reasons for C-section deliveries.
When a C-section is necessary to ensure a healthy birth, rest assured there are still plenty of ways to build the bond you and your child both desire.
7 Steps to Bond With Your Baby After a C-Section
1. Engage in skin-to-skin contact with your infant as soon as possible.
Remove everything but his diaper, and bring him to your bare chest so he can feel your warmth and take in your smell. Continue this practice not only in the hospital, but also for several months after bringing your baby home.
2. Bring your infant to your breast and attempt to feed him shortly after being brought together.
Ask for the hospital’s lactation consultant to guide you in best breastfeeding practices and answer any questions you may have. Understand that you might not have milk immediately and may need to supplement with formula for the first few days based on your medical team’s advice.
3. Arrange to have your baby stay with you in your hospital room rather than in the nursery.
Request help when necessary, but keep him with you as much as possible so the two of you can begin getting to know each other.
4. Give your little one an infant massage, gently running your hands over his body in a calm and relaxing manner.
WebMD reports that this can relieve stress in babies and help alleviate postpartum depression symptoms in mothers as well. Ask your nurse if you have any questions about appropriate pressure or techniques.
5. Sing to your infant as you hold him in your arms.
It is possible he will recognize your voice and be drawn to it immediately. Choose soothing tunes to keep you both relaxed as you wait out the first few days in the hospital.
6. Arrange to have time alone with your baby.
Tell visitors to come within certain windows during the day, and cite fatigue when you are ready for visits to be over. Be selfish in these first few days with your time, and don’t be afraid of making building that bond a priority over accommodating others.
7. Buy a baby sling upon leaving the hospital, learning how to use it safely and efficiently so that you can begin wearing your baby.
Opt for wearing him over carrying him in the car seat whenever possible, allowing him to feel your closeness and maintain that connection.
Some studies indicate C-sections may lead to an increased risk of postpartum depression, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. If you are struggling to bond with your infant and fear you may be experiencing postpartum depression, seek the help of a medical professional.
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