Mom emotionally disconnected from baby

Mom emotionally disconnected from baby


Monday, May 25, 2020

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Dear Dr Mitchell,
I have an older child who was born in my teens, and I thought I was done having children, but I got married recently and my new husband wanted children. We had a baby six months ago, and I have nothing to complain about as far as labour and delivery went, and as far as support from my husband goes. However, I am embarrassed about my feelings for the new baby and sometimes I wonder if he's mine. I'm not vain, but he looks nothing like me or my family, and racially and genetically we have distinct features. And I just think he's not cute, and I feel no emotions. Worse, he is spoilt rotten, and I just cannot feel motherly towards him. What do you suggest? I don't think that this is post-partum depression because the baby is too old for that.

I am truly sorry to learn about your feelings for your son. It is not normal for a mother to have these negative feelings towards her own child.

If you have any doubt as to whether you have received the wrong child from the hospital, then you should get genetic testing done to establish whether this is your child. The fact that the baby does not look like you and your husband is significant, so it is important to do the test to get closure. It is also likely that this is your real child and the unusual look might be due to some latent gene being manifested. The baby could in fact look like a grandparent or distant relative.

In any event, it is important for you to try to love the baby even if he does not look like you or his dad. If it turns out that he is your real child, you will miss out on the joys of the early stages of his development. Even if there is the remote chance that you have been given the wrong child, you should love him like you would any child.

If he is spoilt, then that is because of the way you have raised him from birth and both you and your husband have to accept the responsibility for this. It is almost impossible to spoil a six-month-old baby. You should try to show him some more love, hug him, and spend good quality time with him. You will be amazed at how you will both become very happy. A child, whether biological or not, is a true gift from God, so shower him with love and you will be amazed as how things will change.

I think that you should speak to a psychiatrist and get some help in solving this problem to deal with your negative feelings.

You should get your husband involved in any counselling session.

This is extremely important since he might resent you for rejecting the baby. This baby will bring you a lifetime of happiness if you deal with the situation properly.

Best regards.

Dr Sharmaine Mitchell is an obstetrician and gynaecologist. Send questions via e-mail to; write to All Woman, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Ave, Kingston 5; or fax to 876-968-2025. All responses are published. Dr Mitchell cannot provide personal responses.


The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and must not be relied upon as an alternative to medical advice or treatment from your own doctor.

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