Waiting nine months to meet your unborn baby can feel like an eternity, but you don’t have to wait until birth to bond with your new born. Finding ways to bond with your bump is not only a great way to pass the time, but also an important part of preparing for stimulating your baby in the womb, you are also preparing her for what awaits in the real world.
Gently rubbing and talking to your pregnant belly are some of the first motherly actions you take. You don’t become a mother when your baby is born, you grow into becoming a mother during your pregnancy. Babies who were stimulated with touch and sound in the womb appeared to be more alert at birth, have better head control and will be able to turn their heads in the direction of their parent’s voices after they are born. Communicating with your unborn baby is not just about forming a bond but it is also about affecting your baby’s social and emotional state at birth.
To help prepare for your new life, spend a little time bonding with your unborn baby when you can. Here are some great tips to help you bond with your unborn child:
Message your bump: A soothing way to bond with your baby is to gently massage your belly. This is safe to do after the first months of pregnancy, and it is a great way to relax and wind down. Some pregnant women usually have stretch marks as a result of the pregnancy, so many of them use oils and creams in an effort to prevent this marks. However, there is very little evidence that moisturisers and creams work to prevent them. Nonetheless, smoothing on cream or oil can certainly be a relaxing ritual for you and your baby and may help to keep your skin feeling soft and supple. A massage on your baby bump gives you a wonderful chance to sit still and spend time thinking of and talking to your baby. Ask your partner if he had liked to give you a massage. It may help him to share in your pregnancy more easily.
Sing and talk to your Baby: Your baby’s hearing is developing all the time. From about 23 weeks the baby can enjoy the daily sound track of your heart beat and the growling of your hungry tummy. The baby will also start to hear sounds from the outside world. Hearing your voice while he/she is in the worm helps your baby feel attached to you quickly once he/she is born. Talking and singing to your baby can be truly rewarding once you know he/she can hear you. You may feel a bit self conscious at first but you will soon get used to it and enjoy having chats with your bump.
Keep a scan picture of your baby close by: A picture of your baby’s scan on your phone can be a constant reminder that your bump is home to a little person. You may well be wondering whether you are having a girl or a boy, however you are unlikely to find out at this stage. You may be told at your anomaly scan between 18 to 20 weeks plus six days of pregnancy. You could also arrange a private 3D or 4D scan later in pregnancy. These scans can give you a clear view of your baby’s pictures. You may even be able to tell whose nose she inherited. The best time to have a 3D or 4D scan is between 26 weeks to 30 weeks of pregnancy. Private scans can be expensive but seeing what your baby looks like may make prospective parenthood seem more real for you and your partner.
Help Daddy bond too: Most mums to be experience some pregnancy symptoms in their first trimester. This daily physical reminder of pregnancy may help you bond with your unborn baby from the start. Although dads to be don’t have this physical experience, there are still plenty of ways to help your partner bond with your baby as your pregnancy progresses. Help the dad to be to feel your baby move. Once you are 23 weeks pregnant, let him know that your baby can now hear sounds outside your womb. Encourage him to talk and read to your bump. This will help your baby become familiar with her daddy’s voice. Encourage your partner to attend antenatal classes with you so he knows what to expect during labour and birth. Raising a child takes teamwork, and the sooner you and your partner learn to work together, the better. There is plenty he can do to help.
Go for a walk: Try taking some time out to bond with your bump by going for a walk. It is great exercise and easy to fit into your daily routine, even if you are working. Going for a stroll gives you space to think about your baby without too many distractions or interruptions. You can even have a discreet chat with your bump as you go. If you did not do much exercise before you became pregnant, start with a gentle stroll at a place that is comfortable for you. Once you have got into the habit of walking regularly, you can build up to faster walks lasting between 20 minutes of brisk walking with a few minutes at a slower pace.
Response to your baby’s kicks: You may start to feel your baby’s movements from about 18 weeks to 20 weeks if this is your first baby. Feeling your baby move can be wonderfully reassuring after weeks of having no idea what she is getting up to in there. Responding to your baby’s kicks is about as close as you will get to two way communication before he/she is born. And you can do it at any time, wherever you are. Rub your bump when your baby moves and you may find that he/she kicks back at you. There is nothing quite as exciting as feeling your baby respond to your touch for the very first time.
By: Mercy Kukah