Bonding with Your Baby Starts in the Womb
Bonding is the strong attachment that develops between parents (caregivers) and their baby. Bonding is what connects parent and child and provides the parent with a desire to protect and care for their baby and supply them with constant love and affection. Bonding gets parents up in the middle of the night to feed their hungry baby and makes them attentive to their baby’s wide range of assorted cries. For the baby, bonding is about establishing trust and developing a sense of self worth.
Scientists are still studying the effects of bonding. They know that the strong ties between parents and their baby provide the baby’s first model for intimate relationships and may develop a sense of security and positive self-esteem. Additionally, parents’ responsiveness to an infant’s signals can affect the child’s social and cognitive development.
Bonding with your baby should start in the womb. In fact, benefits of maternal –fetal bonding will help facilitate the bond after birth. It may lift a pregnant women’s spirit to honor the difficulties of pregnancy and to appreciate the beauty of it despite feeling ill and exhausted. Mothers that bond with the baby during pregnancy may see a decrease in postpartum depression in turn allowing them to better care for their baby after birth. Likewise babies born from mothers that embrace their pregnancy may tend to deliver calmer and healthier babies than those stressed out by the pregnancy.
Especially for first time parents, it can be difficult to imagine that a life is growing inside of you. There are many great ways to embrace the pregnancy and help make it a reality, thus fostering the bond beginning in utero.
In the beginning of the pregnancy:
• Create pet names for your growing baby
• Gather information regarding pregnancy
• Have family attend the first ultrasound with you
• Record your baby’s heartbeat and listen to it throughout your pregnancy
• Learn the gender of your baby
• Choose a name for your baby
•Spend time imagining your baby in your arms
• Connect and spend time with other expectant families
After 18 weeks when the baby has developed hearing:
• Play music to calm or stimulate your baby
• Sing to your baby
• Talk to and read stories to your baby
After 22 weeks and in the final trimester:
•See what your baby looks like with 3D/4D Ultrasound and share with family and friends
• Prepare your baby’s room
• Shop for your baby
•Take Lamaze Classes and newborn care classes
Embrace your pregnancy as it is the beginning of an incredible journey into parenthood. The bond you develop with your baby beginning in the womb will pave the way to positive parenting and a strong parent – child connection.
Written by Nikki Limburg, Owner of GoldenView Ultrasound in Chicago IL and Boston MA www.goldenviewultrasound.com