Mothers who don’t bond with newborns say the assumption there is ‘instant love’ could be a myth

New mom who admitted there was ‘no lightning bolt of love’ when her son was born wins praise from fellow moms who felt ‘nothing but numbness’ — saying ‘romantic’ notion of instant bonding is ‘dangerous’ to mental health

  • Novelist Libby Page told Twitter that maternal love for her four-week-old son had been ‘less like a bolt of lightning and more like the gentle arrival of the morning’
  • Post struck a chord with hundreds of mothers who said they too struggled to bond with their babies immediately after delivery
  • Many said there was too much pressure on new mothers to feel an immediate bond with their babies — saying such pressure could harm mental health
  • Others shared their own stories — with one saying, ‘You wouldn’t instantly fall in love with someone you’d just met in a different circumstance’

A new mom who spoke out about not falling in love when her son was born last month has been praised by other moms for her honesty.

Author Libby Page gave birth to her son four weeks ago and posted this week that the love for her new baby has “slowly arrived.”

She told her Twitter followers that she assumed there would be a maternal bond right away and “felt sad” when it wasn’t there.

Novelist Page shared the candid insight into her early weeks of motherhood, saying, “Four weeks old and I think I love him. It didn’t happen right away the way I thought it would, which made me sad at first.’

Novelist Libby Page told Twitter that maternal love for her four-week-old son had been ‘less like a bolt of lightning and more like the gentle arrival of the morning’

She added: “Instead it has arrived slowly, less like a bolt of lightning and more like the gentle arrival of the morning. And I hope it will only get brighter over time.’

Page also said the preconceptions about motherhood hadn’t materialized as planned, writing, “It was hard to adjust to the reality of motherhood versus all my preconceptions.

“One assumption I had was instant love. But I actually think that this gentle form of love, now that we both get to know each other, will hopefully get even better.”

The post saw hundreds of comments, while others said pressure on new moms to form an immediate mother bond with babies was “dangerous” to their mental health.

Many shared their own experiences of a love that “grows” over time.

@ECCMFL wrote: ‘I felt exactly the same after the birth of both my children. Overwhelming sense of responsibility, yes. Overwhelming love, not so much. Romanticizing women’s experiences with childbirth and raising little ones is dangerous and must stop.’

Page's post struck a chord with hundreds of mothers who said they too struggled to bond with their babies immediately after delivery

Page’s post struck a chord with hundreds of mothers who said they too struggled to bond with their babies immediately after delivery

@KathHolmes added: ‘Motherhood came as a shock to me, exhausting and unforgiving, not what I expected or dreamed of. More than 16 years later, the baby who made me a mother is a ray of sunshine, funny, trustworthy and both a friend and daughter. She brings me joy every day.’

@NurseDickson wrote: ‘You wouldn’t instantly fall in love with someone you just met in a different circumstance, so it’s strange to me that people believe it’s normal with a baby. Romantic motherhood is incredibly dangerous for the mental health of new mothers!’

@LizSaunders4 added: ‘YES!! Absolutely this. I mean, why would you instantly fall in love with someone who just gave you significant acute pain? I’ve had 3 and they’ve all been breeders.’

Previous posts from Page, whose latest book The Island Home was published in June, has seen her talk openly about the realities of her new life.

On July 10, she wrote: ‘Thank you to everyone who shared their honest stories about difficult births.

“To be honest, I have the world’s cutest baby, but I’m still waiting for that wave of love I was told was coming. So many women tell me it takes time. And yet I think this is not talked about enough.’

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