In the event of a Cesarean section birth to deliver a baby, a new mother often has additional challenges and issues to face during the postpartum period. The physical recovery from a C-section usually takes longer and involves additional factors due to the surgical procedure. A new mother may also experience emotional issues stemming from the Cesarean, especially if it was unexpected. Even with these challenges, you can still establish a strong bond with your baby following a C-section.
Initiate skin-to-skin contact with your newborn as soon as possible after the birth, advises the Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island. Request that the baby be placed skin-to-skin onto your chest as soon as possible, as this contact is effective for creating a successful bond between mother and baby. Place a blanket over the baby to help warm the baby as you hold her.
Take time to get to know your new baby after giving birth. Look at her from head to toe, touch her silky skin, talk softly to her, feed and care for her and hold her while she sleeps. This gentle getting-acquainted period is how bonding begins, advises WebMD.
Spend as much time as possible with the baby in your room, advises Women & Infants Hospital. Ask your partner, another family member or a friend to room in with you also to provide assistance as you stabilize and recover from the surgery.
Minimize distractions after the birth to enable you to concentrate on recovering from surgery and getting to know your baby. Because a Cesarean delivery can be physically difficult, you may find that you lack energy and strength initially after the birth. Eliminating all but the most essential responsibilities will help ensure that you recover and focus on bonding.
Realize that the C-section may affect your ability to bond easily, warns the MedlinePlus website. You may feel disappointed or sad after the surgical delivery, especially if you were planning a non-surgical birth. These feelings are typical -- release any guilt associated with the feelings.
Speak with your caregiver if you continue to experience negative feelings associated with the birth that affect your ability to bond with your baby. You may be experiencing postpartum depression.