November 05, 2013 11:00 AM

Jason Kempin/Getty

Kristen Bell wasn’t exactly filled with motherly instincts while she was expecting daughter Lincoln.

“I love people the more I know them, and I didn’t know her. It could have been a water bottle in my belly, that’s how connected I felt to her during my pregnancy,” she tells Flare in their December cover story.

The actress, 33, admits that she worried about her lack of feelings and told her now-husband, Parenthood star Dax Shepherd, of her fears.

“I kept saying to him in all sincerity during my pregnancy, ‘I just don’t know how I’m going to like her as much as I like the dogs.'”

The couple have two pups, Lola and Mr. Shakes.

“I was being serious because I f—ing love my dogs; they are my children,” the House of Lies star says. “But within about 24 hours after she came out, my hormones reset and they reprogrammed my feelings about her.”

Now there’s no one she’d rather spend time with than her 7-month-old baby girl, and Bell admits that it’s kicked her protective instincts into high gear.

“I would really not like to see the aftermath of the first person who tries to take a picture of Lincoln,” she says. “There are going to be a lot of stitches.”

— K.C. Blumm

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