In the early days of pregnancy it can be hard to feel connected with your little one and you may struggle with the idea of becoming a Mummy or Daddy – but don’t worry this is all completely normal. Perhaps baby wasn’t planned and you feel in shock, but even those of you who have been trying for ages can still need time to get your head around the idea! You may think 9 months of pregnancy is a long time but I think Mother Nature knew what she as doing because it can take this long to prepare both yourselves and your home for life with a new baby!
There are lots of ways to connect with your baby before they are born; bonding with your baby during pregnancy also brings comfort to your baby and helps with your transition to parenthood after they are born.
- Keep a journal
Some women like to write the journal entries as thought they are writing to their baby & tell them what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been feeling every day. It’s a great way to record that first flutter of movement or first big kick! It could also be a place to write your thoughts and worries as this helps with any anxieties you may be feeling; sometimes writing things down helps to process them in your mind.
- Create a memory box
Look for a box that really appeals to you to use as a memory box of your pregnancy, make sure it’s big enough to fit your journal in if you are writing one. As your progress though your pregnancy you can add things to the box – maybe start with your positive pregnancy test stick. Then add scan photos (make sure you laminate them as they can fade in time), photos of your growing bump, maybe tickets from Baby shows, even receipts showing how much you paid for the pram! Anything that is a memory for you or has a special meaning – even if it’s random! As you spend time gathering the pieces you are creating a bond to your baby and what a lovely thing to show them when they’re older.
- Massage your bump
Massage in pregnancy has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety which also benefits your baby too. Gently massaging your growing bump can help to calm your busy mind and allows you the time and space to think about baby and help you feel connected with little one. It’s also a great way for partners to get involved too and again baby could well respond with movements.
- Share your favourite music to your baby.
From 23 weeks your baby can hear sounds from outside of the womb and science shows that if babies are played the same music during pregnancy they can then recognise the tune afterwards and that music can be played to help calm them down. Your baby may also start to respond to the music whilst in the womb with wiggles and kicks and you could experiment with different artists but it’s probably best to avoid anything too banging!
- Talk to your Baby
Babies love you to talk to them – this is a great one for your partner as well because they can rest their head gently on your bump and talk to little one and then be able to feel baby’s movements in response. One theory suggests that the reason your baby’s hearing is well-developed in the womb is to help them start to bond with you before they’re born. Your baby’s familiarity with your voices helps them quickly form an attachment to you once they’re born as they will pay more attention to your voices than any other.
- Read/sing to your Baby
This really combines the two previous suggestions perfectly, if you read a children’s book you tend to find they are melodic in nature or nursery rhymes are another suggestion. This is the perfect combination of the familiarity of your voice with the repetitive rhythm of what you are saying.
- Book a Babymoon
Sometimes the chaos of preparing for the arrival of baby on top of normal everyday busy lifestyles can leave you feeling disconnected as a couple. A lot of parents-to-be also decide to move house once they know they are expecting so throwing this into the mix can cause stress levels to rise even more. It’s important to take some time out together; you could consider booking a “Babymoon” in your third trimester. This will allow you to grab some much needed quiet time together as a couple and bring focus to you and bump, allowing you both time to reflect what life will be like with your little one.
Thanks for reading
Jane – The Midwife
For more blogs on pregnancy, birth and life as a new mum please visit www.naturalbirthingcompany.com/blogs/news
If you are unsure about anything or have any concerns whilst pregnant please speak to your Midwife.