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E. Why First-Time Mothers Feel Guilty

Narrator: This is Science Today. Psychologist Robin DiMatteo of the University of California, Riverside did a study of women who'd recently given birth for the first time. She found that many of them weren't prepared for their own emotional reactions .

DiMatteo: I think that the media often present, particularly in fictional TV shows, a mother who has just given birth and suddenly is as happy as can be, is deeply in love with her baby and maybe even looks great too.

Narrator: But as DiMatteo points out, it isn't called "labor" for nothing.

DiMatteo: Thirty or forty hours of labor is an incredible amount of work, and they were absolutely exhausted by the time the baby was born. They needed to be taken care of as well. And almost everyone that talked about it felt guilty.

Narrator: That is, until they talked to other mothers who felt the same way.

DiMatteo: That makes a lot of sense, you don't really feel like taking on a new responsibility after you've just run a marathon. You want to rest.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.