Why do natural childbirth advocates have so much difficulty bonding to their own babies?


I’ve always loved this quote from Maureen Hawkins:

Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born, I loved you. Before you were an hour, I would die for you. This is the miracle of love.

It beautifully describes how fiercely I bonded to each of my four children, even before they were born.

I had no control over it. It happened without my doing a single thing. So I feel somewhat sorry for natural childbirth advocates who apparently have so much trouble bonding to their own babies and getting their babies to bond to them.

The quote above does not mention vaginal delivery, yet natural childbirth advocates, unlike most women in the world, appear to have trouble bonding with babies who haven’t transited their vagina.

The quote doesn’t mention pain or pain relief in labor, yet natural childbirth advocates, unlike most women in the world, appear to have trouble bonding with babies if they received pain relief in labor, especially if they had planned to refuse it.

The quote does not mention feeding method, yet natural childbirth advocates appear to have trouble bonding to babies unless they breastfeed them, and apparently, it takes them extra long to bond with their own babies since they insist that they must breastfeed them for extended lengths of time to strengthen the tenuous bond.

Indeed, their ability to bond with their own babies is so fragile that unless they immediately hold their babies skin to skin, they have trouble completing that natural bond.

That’s not to say that every woman bonds to every baby immediately. It can take days or weeks or more, but nearly every woman manages to bond fiercely to her child and nearly every child bonds to his or her mother.

So natural childbirth advocates apparently have great difficulty bonding to their own babies. That’s the message that I take away from their endless bleating about how epidurals, C-sections and bottlefeeding undermine the mother-infant bond. Why do they have so much trouble doing what every other woman does naturally? What accounts for the irony that the women most committed to “natural” birth can’t manage natural bonding when faced with even the least little disappointment or difficultly?

I would guess that it has to do with viewing the baby as merely a prop in their little pieces of performance art. Like bridezillas who become enraged by a wedding cake that is the wrong flavor and think the wedding is ruined, natural childbirth advocates appear to become distraught at not having an unmedicated vaginal delivery and bear resentment of the baby for “ruining” their experience. Natural childbirth advocates, and lactivists, too, see babies as bit players in the narrative of their mothering superiority (hence the endless blather that producing breastmilk is a superpower or that vaginas have superpowers). Simply put, natural childbirth advocates seems to have trouble appreciating, bonding to, and loving their babies for who they are, instead of what they can do for them.

Perhaps natural childbirth advocates can explain it to the rest of us: For most women, NOTHING can interfere with the fierce bond that they form to their babies. Why do NCB advocates and lactivists form only fragile bonds that can be destroyed by a C-section or a bottle of formula?