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Mom Who Felt 'Kind Of Numb' During Pregnancy Feels Like Her Daughter Is 'Someone Else's Baby'

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mom with crying newborn baby

The mother of a 4-month-old baby wrote into Reddit's r/beyondthebump, a forum for new parents “focusing on the transition into living with your new little one and any issues that may come up.”

Her post addressed the mental health struggles that many moms go through when they have a newborn baby.

She offered context for her situation, stating, “I desperately wanted this baby for years, but once I got pregnant I felt kind of numb.”

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The mom doesn’t feel bonded to her 4-month-old daughter, and feels like she’s ‘someone else’s baby.’

“I had an uncomplicated pregnancy but I didn’t enjoy being pregnant,” she explained. “I had a bit of a traumatic birth and she was diagnosed with a disability at 5 weeks old.”

The Australasian Birth Trauma Association defines birth trauma as “a wound, serious injury or damage that can be  physical or psychological or combination of both.” 

According to a 2003 study published in a journal titled “Birth Issues In Perinatal Care,” up to 45% of birthing people state they’ve experienced traumatic childbirth. Up to 4-6% of birthing people develop PTSD from birth-related trauma. 

Postpartum Support International reports the number of moms who experience PTSD is even higher, at 9%. Their website notes that “Postpartum PTSD is temporary and treatable with professional help.” 

“If you feel you may be suffering from this illness, know that it is not your fault and you are not to blame,” the website claims.

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The mom writing into Reddit stated that while she cares for her baby, she’s never ‘had that rush of love that everyone talks about.’

“I feel like she’s someone else’s baby,” the mom writes. “I’ve had thoughts of regret and thinking she’d be better off with a different mum.”

She explained that she doesn’t have much support with her baby, as her partner works all day and her family lives far away. While she thought she’d be a stay-at-home mom, she’s made the decision to go back to work at 6 months postpartum, instead.

“She’s not a bad baby, she doesn’t cry much,” the mom wrote. “I don’t know why I don’t have a bond with her.”

The comments that the mom received from the Reddit community were overwhelmingly empathetic and understanding. Many moms echoed this particular mom’s feelings, saying that it was hard for them to bond with their newborns, as well.

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“It's so incredibly difficult,” wrote one mom. “You're doing an amazing job in caring for your baby.” She explained that her own postpartum mood diagnosis was “PTSD, caused by birthing.”

“It's important to ask for PTSD screening when you are being screened for postpartum depression and anxiety because the treatments are different,” she advised, then spoke directly to the mom who posted: “Sending you strength and solidarity.”

Another mom echoed the thought that it could be a postpartum mood disorder. She wrote of her own experience with postpartum depression, stating, “I had it but didn’t realize it for quite some time because I didn’t feel sad, I just felt….empty. With periodic surges of dread and rage, but mostly empty.”

She went on to say that while “it can absolutely be normal not to bond with your baby right away and not to feel that immediate rush of love… the way you’ve described things… [having] thoughts of regret, makes me think something more is at play here.”

“It can be really scary to take that first step and get help, but as someone who has been there, I promise you, your life can be so, so much better than this,” she said, encouraging the mom to seek support.

Another supportive mom recognized that the mom’s decision to go back to work could be a healthy and healing choice for her.

“Going back to work and having adult interactions and a ‘purpose’ outside the home will probably help you feel ‘human’ again.” She guided the woman to find a support group or therapist for postpartum depression, and to consider how she could connect with herself.

“I genuinely felt I couldn’t connect with my baby until I got past the loss of self from entering motherhood,” the other mom said. “It was literally a grieving process that I still process sometimes.” She explained the bonding process as one in which “you can’t bond with baby if you’re not even bonded with the new you right now.”

Becoming a new parent transports you into a new role, a different version of your life. Moms who experience postpartum mood disorders should know that they're not at fault, and that they can feel better by reaching out to the right support networks.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.