Many moms who have already had a baby will say things like, “I don’t notice all the changes like I did the first time.”, “I don’t spend as much time preparing for birth as I did before.”, or “Sometimes I just forget I’m even pregnant”.
Some moms worry that they are not bonding with a subsequent baby the same way they did with the first. They are busier now taking care of their older child/children. The demands of caring for their families, jobs, homes and other commitments can make the current pregnancy not at the forefront of their mind. This is all very normal!
Feelings of guilt surrounding “forgetting” about the current baby are common and normal but unnecessary! Each pregnancy is going to be different. The life circumstances you find yourself in will be different each time and that affects how you with each pregnancy. If you find yourself feeling guilty with a second, third or eighth baby remember all the knowledge you acquired about pregnancy and birth from the first you still know! The preparation you did with the baby that made you a mom applies to every baby you will ever have. Your body has already been through this, things are not new any more and that’s okay.
Your love for your baby is still there, it may be quietly growing with that quick touch of the belly while doing the dishes, or that box of newborn diapers you just bought. The love maybe growing subconsciously when you see another mom holding her newborn and you remember that those days are coming again soon.
Many women with busy lives and lots of responsibilities can take a few minutes each day for a “fetal love break”. This could be when you first get up in the morning, maybe when the others go down for a nap, driving to work, before you go to bed or anytime that you have just a couple of minutes where your brain can focus and relax. During these few minutes just talk to your baby. Feel your belly. Tell your baby that you love them. That as you parent your other children you are helping prepare them to be good big brothers and sisters to this baby. Tell them that as you work extra long today you are doing it so that you can stay home with them once they are born. It can be as simple as literally 30 seconds to just connect with your baby. You’re partner can do this too!
Dear mama, you are doing amazing. You have a big heart with enough love to go around. Take a breath and give yourself a break. You deserve it. You have got this!
Did you experience this with a pregnancy? What did you do about it?