You’ve probably imagined it a thousand times in the past few months…that magical moment when you first meet your baby. Except, for some women, it turns out to be not so magical.

Some mothers do feel an instant rush of love and connection with their baby. Others bond with their baby gradually over weeks and months. In fact, one study indicated that it’s not unusual for six months to pass before mothers feel that strong sense of connection to their babies.

It’s perfectly normal for new mothers to look at this small slimy stranger with a sense of bemusement rather than adoration.

So, where did we get this idea that we are “supposed” to love our babies as soon as they are born?

I suppose like a lot of other myths about motherhood, we can blame the media in part. According to Hollywood, all women have an innate maternal sense which leaps into overdrive as soon as they give birth (usually lying on their backs with people shouting and panicking all around them, but that’s another story).

However, in real life, there’s no evidence to show that a lack of immediate connection with your newborn has any effect on your long-term relationship. It doesn’t mean you’re not maternal. It doesn’t impact your ability to breastfeed. And it doesn’t mean your baby won’t love you!

Rather than putting pressure on yourself to feel a certain way, try and surround yourself with supportive, non-judgmental friends and family. The more relaxed and supported you feel, the easier it will be to bond with your baby – whether it takes you half a second or half a year.