Why A Psychiatrist Wants To Normalize Maternal Ambivalence

Having strong support during pregnancy and beyond is important for many reasons but especially to help normalize some of these emotions and experiences. A dear friend, family member, trusted physician, or other support person can share their own maternal ambivalence and help normalize yours.

For many, support comes by way of a mental health practitioner, especially one that is well versed in the unique stressors of pregnancy and motherhood. It is important to know that emotional ambivalence around many things, but especially around motherhood, is a normal and healthy experience. It does not detract from how much you love your pregnancy and baby. The data shows when professional supports help new moms recognize how common these mixed emotions are, they can experience a sense of ownership and agency during motherhood.

Working toward a healthy and stable bond with your pregnancy and baby is important for a number of reasons. One being the positive bond between mom and baby can support the healthy development of your child. Mothers who feel emotionally unwell or feel a sense of rejection toward their babies would likely benefit from a professional evaluation to ensure that there are no other factors, like postpartum depression, that may be contributing to these emotions. And any thoughts to harm your baby or yourself warrant an emergency hospital visit.

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