The truth is, every woman experiences pregnancy and new motherhood differently. Some women really do fall in love with their newborns at first sight and others don’t. There is no wrong or right way to fall in love with your baby and the last thing any new mother needs to feel is guilt over how she bonds with her baby.

And there may be chemical differences in women’s brains that account for the varying levels of mother-baby bonding that go on as well. Newer research is examining the effects of oxytocin, the “love” hormone that also plays a role in labor, delivery, and breastfeeding, and discovering that women with depression or other underlying mental health challenges may have lowered levels of oxytocin that can interfere with their feelings of being attached to their baby.

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