Babies undergo huge developmental changes within the first two years of life and rely heavily on establishing a loving bond or attachment relationship with a primary caregiver, usually a parent.
Bonding generally occurs through repeated human contact, such as:
- eye contact
- responding to crying.
These ongoing actions help a newborn baby’s brain release hormones that help their brain grow, enabling the development of memory, thought and language.
But what if you’re having difficulty bonding with your baby?
Most infants and parents are primed for bonding at birth, however there are many factors that can affect this. Fortunately, bonding is a process and not something that has to occur within minutes of birth. Nor is it limited to happening within a certain time following your baby’s arrival.
Factors that may impact bonding
- Birth trauma
- Separation at birth
- Premature birth
- Admission to NICU/SCN
- A history of loss
- Hormones are on a rollercoaster
- Postpartum depression or anxiety
- Lack of support system
How we can help
St John of God Langmore Centre’s Parent Infant Unit
Through tailored therapy programs and the ability for partners and babies (up to the age of 18 months who are not yet walking) to room in with patients, parents can benefit from access to clinical support while continuing to learn how to grow together as a family.
Bonding is a complex, personal experience that takes time. While there's no magic formula, our specialists are equipped to support parents in becoming more comfortable with their baby and reading their language (cues).
The good news is, a baby whose basic needs are being met won't suffer if the bond isn't strong at first. However, working with our qualified mental health practitioners and allied health professionals sooner in the process, parents will gain the confidence and bond needed to raise a happy, well-adjusted little baby.
For more information on our Parent and Infant Unit you can call the St John of God Langmore Centre located in Berwick on (03) 9773 7071