top of page
  • Writer's pictureMummy's Star

Baby Bonding

Forming a bond with your baby isn't always easy, especially when you are dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

Some parents find forming an attachment with their child easy or effortless, but for others it can be much trickier. The practical and psychological effects of a cancer diagnosis, in pregnancy or shortly after giving birth, can disrupt plans and expectations, which in turn may affect the bond between you and your newborn.

Feeling that you aren’t bonding with your baby can be incredibly difficult, but is also totally understandable when your are also worrying about your own health. Other things that may affect how easy you find bonding with your baby include:

  • anxiety and worries over your/their health

  • appointments and hospital stays

  • isolation away from baby due to treatment

  • missing out on milestones or caregiving tasks

  • being physically unable to perform caregiving tasks

  • not being able to hold your baby (due to treatment/health)

Many of our mums and parents experience extreme guilt about the impact their cancer diagnosis had on their bond with their baby.

We want to reassure you that, while some changes are inevitable, there is still lots you can do to build a strong and loving attachment whilst taking care of your own health.

  • Making as much eye to eye contact as possible while you are together.

  • Talking, signing, smiling and playing with your baby.

  • Having skin to skin contact.

  • Delegating household tasks to friends/family/professionals to maximise time spent with your baby

  • Speaking to your Oncology team about the possibility of bringing baby onto the ward for some treatments

  • Utilising tablet/smart phone devices to share video calls, even with very small babies; they will hear your voice which will be recognisable to them from birth.

  • Leaving a stuffed toy or pillow with a voice recorder that has your voice on it for older children to cuddle.

  • Leaving a t-shirt or blanket that has been on your body for some time with a small baby to recognise your scent; this can be traded out for a 'fresh' one at intervals.

If you are finding it difficult to feel connected to your baby it is important to tell your GP, Midwife or Health Visitor about your concerns. Your Mummy's Star Information and Support Worker can also chat with you about this and help you to come up with some positive actions and solutions to help you.

bottom of page