The point is, you may be expecting to fall in love with your baby right after he or she is born, or after you welcome your little one home through adoption or other family circumstances, but sometimes, that just doesn’t happen. There are so many difficult challenges you encounter in bringing a new baby home and falling head-over-heels “in love” with your baby right away is not a requirement for being a good parent. You can still love your baby and care for your little one, even if you’re not feeling that over-the-moon, mushy-gushiness of love.

If you’re not quite feeling the love for your newborn just yet, or you’re pregnant and wondering if that maternal bond is ever going to kick in, don’t panic. Give yourself time to figure out motherhood on your own terms and don’t beat yourself up if you need a little more time to adjust to caring for your baby.

Be open and honest with your feelings and focus on caring for yourself, too. However, if you are having prolonged difficulty bonding with your baby or are experiencing other symptoms such as wanting to harm yourself or your baby, be sure to talk to your doctor about your feelings, as they may be a result of postpartum depression, which is treatable.

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