Bringing your child home for the first time is a thrilling moment. But, like many intended parents before you, you probably have one big question on your mind: How will you bond with your baby when they’re born through surrogacy?
Everyone has something that they think is the hardest part about being a new parent. But for parents who weren’t able to carry their own child through pregnancy, fears about not being able to bond with baby right away can feel like the hardest part of bringing a baby born via surrogacy home.
But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible or that it will never happen.
Here, we’ll focus on these bonding worries, as well as other difficult aspects of parenting every new parent should be prepared for.
Why Am I Not Bonding with My Baby?
Every intended parent dreams of the moment they hold their child for the first time. It’s been a long nine months, and the wait is finally over. But, when you haven’t been the one carrying your child, you might feel a bit of a disconnect and even guilt if you don’t feel that sense of overwhelming love right away.
It can be hard when your hopes don’t live up your expectations. But the truth is that many new parents — even those who carry their baby through pregnancy — can have trouble bonding after birth. This can happen for many reasons, but none of it is your fault.
No matter how a child comes into a family, having a baby is a big adjustment. It will take some time to get used to your new normal. If you don’t feel that instant connection that you’ve heard so much about, rest assured that you’re not alone. It does not in any way mean that you’re a bad parent, or that you’ll never be able to bond with them properly. It just means you’re having a hard time at the moment.
Try to be patient with yourself as you and baby get to know each other. Surrogacy means bonding with your child may take some more time and effort. But it will happen over time.
In the meantime, follow the tips and the suggestions from your specialist and pediatrician. Keep up skin-to-skin contact, frequently communicate, and pay attention to your baby’s needs. While you’re getting used to your new role, you might use this time to look at some more helpful tips for bonding with your baby as an intended parent.
If you’re worried about bonding with your baby after birth, don’t forget to check out some tips for bonding with them while they’re in utero to make the transition easier.
Other Things to Know About Bringing a New Baby Home
Bonding with a new baby will be tough, but there are some other important things that you should prepare for. Below are some more hard moments that many first-time parents go through as they begin their parenting journey.
This is all brand new to you.
For almost every new parent, taking care of a newborn can be downright exhausting. For the first time, you have a human being that is totally dependent on you. You will be responsible for absolutely everything, and that can be pretty scary at first. You might feel like you’re doing everything wrong or like you don’t have a clue about how to be a parent — even with all the work you’ve been doing.
Remember to be gentle on yourself. Every parent makes mistakes when they’re just starting out. It doesn’t mean that you’re doing a bad job at all. It just means that you’ve got some learning to do.
You’re running on empty.
Sleep deprivation is no joke. The lack of enough or quality sleep can make you feel like you’re barely holding it together. But at the same time, you’ve got this tiny little life who is dependent on you for everything. There’s no time to be exhausted when your baby needs you.
If you can, take power naps while your baby is sleeping. Just 10–20 minutes is all your body needs to get the benefits of napping so that you’re up and ready to go. If you have a partner, take turns napping so that both of you can get some much-needed rest.
You’re going to be on high alert.
If you’re already an anxious person, becoming a parent will make those feelings spike. The best thing you can do is be prepared ahead of time. If you’re worried or if you need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a medical professional.
You could suffer from postpartum depression.
It might be surprising, but postpartum depression can happen to any new parent, even if you didn’t give birth to your own child.
A few important signs to watch out for are:
- Mood swings
- Inability to concentrate
- Difficulty sleeping or eating
If you experience any of these signs, or if you’re struggling to bond with your child, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor.
Remember, being a first-time parent is difficult for everyone. You’re not alone if you feel overwhelmed.
If you’re struggling to adjust to life as a new parent, don’t hesitate to reach out to your surrogacy specialist for advice.