It’s never too early to start bonding with your ever growing baby bump. There are many ways that you can do this and it may help you, your partner as well as your baby to feel more familiar with one another when they finally make their entrance into the world and are nestled into your loving arms!
I have put together 10 ways which I have found to be helpful with bonding with my baby during both my first pregnancy with my son and with my current pregnancy with baby number 2. Have a go and try some of them out. It is also a great idea to encourage your partner to bond with your baby so that they feel included and a part of this this amazing journey you are all on as well.
- Massage: Take time out to get a pregnancy massage (please ensure your massage therapist is qualified in pregnancy massage as it can be dangerous if not carried out correctly!!!) This will help you to relax deeply, ease your pregnancy niggles and allow you time to think about your baby with no distractions. You can also use some simple and gentle massage strokes on your abdomen in the comfort of your own home (video coming soon!). See how your baby responds to your touch and the stimulation of your hands. You may feel them become active and kick or they may become relaxed and sleepy. It is amazing to experience! Massage releases Oxytocin the ‘feel good hormone’ and this hormone floods both yours and baby’s body with love whilst sharing this special experience.
- Quiet time to reflect: In our busy, hectic lives we sometimes forget to stop and think about the future and reflect on our feelings of pregnancy, birth and parenting. Make time to stop and enjoy the quiet with no distractions. Think about your baby growing inside of you nestled safely in your womb, take a few minutes to breathe deeply and reflect on how you are currently feeling. Think about how you envisage your birth. What parenting choices feel right for you and your baby? There is no right or wrong answer so let your thoughts and feelings flow freely. How do you think it will feel to finally hold your baby in your arms? What will they look like?! All of these thoughts may help you to feel prepared and closer to your precious little one. It is also a great way to include your partner into this thought process and can be a good time to have an open, honest discussion. Let them rest their hands upon your abdomen as you reflect together helping them to feel connected to your baby.
- Talk/read to them: Babies can hear their mums and dads voices from around 18 weeks. More and more research is showing how much babies actually experience and have memory from being in the womb. The more babies hear your voice the quicker they will recognise this after their birth. You may want to tell them about your day, what the rest of the family has been doing, read a book that you have ready for them etc. It doesn’t matter so much what you are saying just that they can become familiar with your voices that will come to comfort and soothe them throughout their life.
- Share your favourite piece of music: Another great idea for when their hearing develops. Pick your favourite piece of music and play it regularly. If you have a favourite song you will get a rush of endorphins when you hear it, baby will also get this feel good factor and benefit. I have had mums say that they played a piece of music through their pregnancy or sang a song that they loved and it then soothed their baby when they were distressed once they were born! Amazing!
- Meditation/visualisations: a great way to create a mind/body connection and focus on your baby. Some antenatal classes may offer the opportunity to try this out and if not there are plenty of free guided meditations and visualisations on line to listen to!
- Hypnobirthing: Another great way to connect with your unborn baby. You will learn a variety of techniques to help with your labour and birth and learn lots of useful ways to breathe effectively during this time. We have some fantastic hypnobirthing specialists in Lincoln who offer both face to face and online courses for you to attend or work through at your own leisure.
- Pregnancy yoga: A lovely relaxing way to think about your body and your baby cradled inside during this time of growth and transformation. You will use gentle stretches and positions to help ease pregnancy niggles and prepare you for labour and birth. There is often relaxation time build into the end of the class to help you form a connection with baby. A great way to relax, unwind and bond. Central Wellness in Lincoln offers a fabulous space for Pregnancy yoga with a highly qualified teacher.
- Swimming/aqua natal classes: A safe way to gently exercise with your unborn baby. Feel the calmness of being surrounded by water and understand how this makes your baby feel whilst surrounded by amniotic fluid in the womb. Water has been proven to have a calming effect on us, perhaps why many ladies desire a water birth?! Gentle water based exercise is suitable throughout your pregnancy and supports your growing bump. We have a range of pools in Lincoln and Puddle ducks (Lincoln and Newark) offer some fantastic Aqua Natal classes with highly qualified instructors.
- Take a warm bath: Run a bath, light some candles, grab a book and soak away your worries. Make the most of relaxing and having some me time. This is a great time to notice baby’s movements and to see them moving around and reacting to the water.
- Keep a scan picture close by: Scan pictures are so clear now! It’s so special being able to capture the moment you see your unborn baby, bring an image home to keep with you until you have them in your arms and of course show the image to anyone who will look!
So have a go at some of these bonding activities, find ways to include your other half and any siblings so everybody can have the chance to be involved in the bonding process. I would love to hear how you got on so don’t be shyand leave me a comment or drop me a message!