Getting ready to deliver your baby can be exciting, nerve wracking, and concerning all at the same time. If you are having a C-section, you might be worried about how you can manage to spend time with your new baby while recovering from your surgery. (Especially when everyone talks about how bonding a vaginal delivery can be for you and your baby.) If you're wondering, "how do I bond with my baby after having a C-section?" you don't have to worry — bonding will happen.
One of the most important ways to bond with your baby after a C-section is through skin-to-skin contact. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggested that skin-to-skin contact after a C-section can improve maternal satisfaction, reduce newborn stress, improve the baby's temperature regulation, and help make breastfeeding more successful. You can talk to your healthcare provider and request the initiation of skin-to-skin contact right after the baby is born, and you can even request a gentle C-section, in which the birthing process is made to be as intimate and comfortable as a vaginal delivery.
Dr. Eva Martin of Elm Tree Medical tells Romper that a gentle C-section can include bringing the baby to the mother for skin-to-skin contact and for breastfeeding while the surgery is still being completed, but it's up to you what your delivery looks like.
After the C-section, when you are in your hospital room, try to spend some quiet quality time with your baby, and try to get acquainted with them through touch and communication. The University of California Davis Medical Center (UCDMC) suggested that when new mothers hold their babies, rock them gently, talk to them, and make eye contact, they can begin to feel love and attachment for their baby. This also gives baby the chance to enter into a loving bond with their mother.
After the surgery, try to get as much help as you can. Recovering from a C-section can be emotionally and physically exhausting, and painful. Enlist the help of your partner, family, and friends to take care of any essential responsibilities, so that you can focus on bonding with your baby.
If you feel like you are having difficulty bonding or feeling sad after your C-section, make sure to talk to your doctor and discuss your thoughts and feelings so that you can get the support you need. In the end, being a loving and caring parent will be the most important thing to help establish that bond between you and your baby, regardless of what kind of delivery you had.