Pregnancy can be a life-changing experience for women because they experience new changes, both physical and emotional, almost every day. Most women describe the process as having someone with them at all times, a person that they can feel but not see, and are curious about their child from the beginning. The feeling of wanting to bond with your child comes early on and is common among women. This feeling arises even as they make it through the first three months while experiencing an emotional rollercoaster.
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What is Bonding With Your Baby Before Birth?
Bonding with your baby before they are born involves spending alone time and forming a close relationship. This way, when your baby finally comes into the world, you have the feeling that you know him. This process is not exclusive to mothers. Even dads-to-be can find ways to bond with their unborn child.
The core idea behind this process is acknowledging that your baby is with you, even before birth. The way parents form an attachment with their baby is different during each stage of the pregnancy. As your baby grows, he becomes more aware of the surroundings and hence, responds differently to each situation.
While in the womb, you will take care of your baby’s needs, so there’s plenty of time for you to bond with him/her. Remember, bonding with your baby after birth will be different. Developing a relationship with your baby during pregnancy can make the process easier and more comfortable for you.
How You Can Bond With Your Baby Before Birth
Here are some ways that you can bond with your baby before birth:
The First Trimester
From the moment you hear the news, and until you have your first ultrasound scan, you will be emotional. You may be in shock, disbelief or complete euphoria, but it’s alright if you find yourself not feeling entirely happy with the situation. Women who aren’t planning to conceive often feel some degree of anxiety when they learn of their pregnancy. Most women describe the nine months of pregnancy as being enough time for love and acceptance to grow eventually.
Talk To Your Baby
During the first three months, you can start bonding with your baby by talking to him and imagining as if he’s right there with you. While it may be difficult for parents who have never talked to an imaginary friend or themselves, other parents will have a fun time. If you feel shy about speaking your thoughts to your baby out loud, you can begin by writing down all your feelings in a baby diary that you can read out to them when they grow older.
Take Care Of Him
It’s also during the initial months that you have to learn to take better care of yourself for your baby’s development. This includes leaving behind harmful habits and behaviors, such as smoking, and consumption of alcohol and drugs.
While many women consider this an essential step during pregnancy, it’s also a way of bonding with your baby before birth. Every time you’re taken over by the thought of having a cigarette or a glass of wine, you’ll stop because of your baby. This is an important thought process that helps you develop an attachment.
Sing and Read To Your Baby
You can take the bonding a step forward by singing and reading to your baby. This process allows your baby to get familiar with your voice early on. You can soothe your baby with your voice once he is born and starts fussing. Combine this with gentle rubbing, and you will always have a calm and composed baby.
If you feel like you don’t have the voice to sing to him, you can read fairy tales to him instead. This will allow your child to develop a liking for stories and he will be calmed by the sound of their favorite book in the voice of their parent.
Whether you prefer to read or sing to your child or want to do both, it’s crucial that both parents take part in this activity. This way, your child can develop a sense of familiarity for both yours and your partner’s voices. Eventually, once he is born, both of you can have a go at trying to calm him down when your baby’s feeling fussy.
The Second Trimester
By the second trimester, your baby’s senses are developed significantly. Your baby can begin experiencing sounds and movement from the outside world. Inside the womb, your baby’s body has developed as well so he’ll soon be able to move around. Throughout this period, you’ll be bonding with your baby before birth by mostly interacting with him.
Touch and Massage Your Baby Bump
It’ll be around the fifth month of pregnancy when you can feel your child begin to move inside the womb. Even if your baby develops at a faster rate and starts to move around sooner, you won’t be able to feel him until he is big enough to kick and make you feel it.
In the middle of this trimester, you’ll begin to feel the gentle thumps of your baby kicking from inside the womb. It may feel surreal, and you’ll be struck with disbelief. However, once you are used to it, respond to your baby’s kicks as it lets him know that someone’s there.
You can respond by gently touching your belly, or if you want to be a little more active, you can try shaking it a bit. This leads to healthy cognitive development in your child and allows his neural pathways to grow and adapt to foreign settings. Additionally, by responding to your baby’s movements with touches and massages enhances his sense of touch. That’s great considering it’s the first of the senses that the child can experience at as early as five weeks after birth.
Be Proud Of Him
A big part of parenthood is being proud of your child. No matter what he does, you feel like celebrating every milestone because it’s an achievement for you as well, that you’ve made it this far. So, every week, when you experience something new, make sure to let your baby know how happy you are.
This can be when you have a look at the ultrasound scan and notice how well he’s growing and developing. While you’re doing this, your baby can adapt to your voice when you feel proud and are happy. Hence, by the time your baby is born, he will have gotten used to the sound of it and will be able to recognize it better.
Give Them Music
Music is often described as food for the soul and what better way to enhance your child’s senses than by introducing him/her to amazing music. If you’re looking forward to a friend who shares the same taste in music as you, the good news is that you can start developing their liking for your favorite genre.
The importance of bonding with your baby lies in him being familiar with your touch and voice, and other aspects of the human world when he finally arrives. So, you can help your child get familiar to music by playing it often and singing along as this can help your voice reach him clearer.
While classical music is a good option if you want to bond with your baby before birth, you can always try other genres to see which one stimulates your baby the most. Try recording your child’s movements while inside the womb and learn his patterns to know more about your child’s personality.
Performing different yoga poses during pregnancy is a great way to relax and keep your body in shape. Take a yoga class during your second trimester and focus on your body, the way that it’s changing and the way that your baby is growing.
Even if you weren’t quite the exercise enthusiast before your pregnancy, you can start doing yoga because antenatal yoga poses are simple and involve limited movement. Moreover, you can perform restoration exercises that enhance your focus.
Remember to take these classes after the first fourteen weeks because any change in movement during the first trimester can be harmful to your baby’s development. Stretching and deep breaths are a big part of pregnancy-based yoga, and they can be helpful during labor when you’re overwhelmed because they allow you to have more control over your body.
The Third Trimester
Your baby is on its way, and preparations are in full swing. This means your baby will be exposed to an entirely new set of experiences, whether it’s shopping for cribs or baby clothes, or decorating a nursery.
Have Regular Conversations with Him
At this point, you’ll have developed a close attachment with your child, and you can’t wait to meet him, so you spend days narrating what you’re doing to him. This is a great activity that can help you feel grounded when emotions like nervousness and anxiety take over you.
Introduce Them to New Sounds
Merely locking yourself up at home isn’t enough if you want to bond with your baby. You can do much more like introducing him to your favorite movies. It’s true that no parents stop their liking for entertainment during the pregnancy. Exposing your baby to the sounds of cinema will help him adapt to his surroundings quickly.
The same applies to sounds from the world outside. Even though doctors do recommend limited outdoor activity, this doesn’t you should stay at home throughout. This will make your baby used to the quiet environment of your home, and make it difficult for you to go out with him once he’s born.
Exposing your baby to the sound of traffic and noise will make it easier for you to reintegrate back into society with your baby after your delivery. The consequences of not bonding with your baby this way are that you’ll have to restrict your outdoor activity because your baby doesn’t like being outside. Parenthood can become difficult when you stop giving time to yourself.
Get In the Water
During the last stages of your pregnancy, you’ll need as much help as you can get to stay calm and avoid feelings of anxiety. One of the best ways to do this is to spend time in water. Whether you prefer more movement and activity or want to soothe your nerves, stepping into the warm embrace of water can help.
Many swimming clubs offer aqua-natal classes for expecting mothers so you won’t go through the trouble of feeling out of place. Going for a swim is a safe exercise for expecting mothers because it allows body movement without putting much strain on the belly.
Even if you’re not interested in moving around too much, just floating in the water is an excellent way to relax since it gets you off your feet and makes you feel weightless. This is a pretty great feeling for moms to be because of how they’re strained from carrying the extra weight for months.
In case swimming and pools don’t pique your interest, you can always opt for a nice, soothing bath to calm your nerves. This is also a cool way to bond with your baby because it helps you feel what he’s feeling, i.e. being surrounded by warmth from all sides.
Whichever you prefer, swimming or a bath, remember to keep the water nice and warm so that your baby doesn’t feel uncomfortable.
Bond With Your Baby during Pregnancy
Most of all, it’s essential that you bond with your baby during pregnancy out of love and affection. Even happy thoughts are enough to create a pleasant environment inside the womb for your baby to feel. The whole point is that you try to make the pregnancy as memorable as possible for you, even though your baby won’t be able to remember anything. Cherish every moment, and try bonding with your baby after birth the same way as you did throughout the pregnancy.