No maternal instinct: Am I a bad mom?
Nine months of preparation
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Nine months of preparation

Giving birth isn't the same as becoming a mother
During pregnancy, some women are unable to imagine the child they're carrying for nine months. Others imagine their baby in a certain way - but it may turn out to be completely different when it's born!

Returning home from hospital can be one of the most distressing times for a new mother. From the very first minute, you have to deal with your baby's overwhelming demands: it's hungry, it needs sleep, it's crying...

"The mother needs to have built a solid nest to cope with all of that," says Linda Morisseau, a child psychiatrist at the Pediatric Institute in Paris.

Going home
After the birth, a lot of women soon wish they were still in hospital with lots of expert help on hand! When you're so exhausted, it's easy to feel like you can't cope. That's why it's essential to give some thought to your return home from hospital while you're still pregnant.

Will there be enough people around you? Is there anything you can deal with in advance?

There are plenty of opportunities to talk about arrangements for after the birth.  You can ask questions when you go for a scan, see your GP or meet with your midwife.

But remember, you can't plan for every eventuality, and you can't do it all on your own.

"Don't feel you have to manage everything," warns Reith.  "Aim lower, and accept any help that's offered."


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