Not every woman has a close relationship with her baby right after birth. Our legend Ronald Feldhuizen is holding the famous pink cloud against the bright light of the flag this month.
Just a Hollywood cliché. In the movie, when a mother gives birth to a baby, there is always a crucial scene: the midwife wraps the newborn offspring in a warm cloth and carefully delivers it to the mother. She looks her baby deep in the eye for the first time, and there’s an instant link: Thank you, maternal instinct; Hello, pink cloud. Everyone is happy.
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Wait a minute, will Veldhuizen now claim that that moment doesn’t exist? Let me put it this way: There are probably mothers who are instantly very happy when they see their children for the first time. But the mother’s spontaneous attachment instinct that would create an unconditional love bond turns out to be elusive when scientists look for it. This is a big problem.
For example: About four in ten mothers feel apathetic when they hold their baby for the first time, Norwegian researcher Edwin Rosyth wrote in a review study. I also mentioned that most mothers gain warm feelings for their baby after only a week. In a small group of 5 to 10 percent, this feeling of connection doesn’t come until after a few months, or even never.
For these women specifically, romantic chatter about the magical attachment instinct is more risky. They must be doing something wrong, they think, and they could fall into a deep pit without realizing, according to Rosseth. Which of course leads to more misery, such as depression. And yes, more bonding problems.
The legend of attachment ال
The fact that the attachment myth has survived for so long is also partly due to the fact that science has been a male thing for centuries, British science journalist Angela Saini writes in her book Lower. Motherhood was uninteresting: women were simply born for this role, as everyone assumed.
Well, that’s not the case. Shocked biologists have discovered in recent years, such an association with the newborn is not self-evident in many other mammalian species. When conditions are harsh, pandas, monkeys and rodents regularly pick themselves up – then the young leave them immediately.
Fortunately, people rarely abandon their children, but it does happen. Often these are teenage moms who can’t count on anyone. Of course, many have to go wrong for things to go this way, but a few fairy tales about how a mother’s unconditional love always prevents the worst can make the problem worse.
And that pink cloud, doesn’t it really exist? Definitely. But parents make it themselves. Because it is only spontaneous.
This column is also found in It’s 5/2021.