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Five Ways to Bond With Your Baby During Pregnancy

May 11, 2012

I once had dinner with a group of friends, including a woman who announced to us that she was beginning her second trimester of pregnancy. As we happily congratulated her, complimented her on how great she looked, and asked her repeatedly if she was excited, she looked a little forlorn. She told us that she was sure she would be thrilled when the baby came, but that it was hard for her to accept that there was a tiny life for her. Her pregnancy didn’t feel quite real, and the knowledge that her baby was the size of a peach and had fingernails, as her pregnancy book told her, was interesting, but she wasn’t feeling the giddiness she thought she should be feeling.

Some women feel instantly bonded to their unborn children from the moment they read a positive test result in the bathroom. But other women feel a little uneasy about the changes taking place inside them, and aren’t quite sure what to make of the little flutters in their bellies. Luckily, there are ways of learning to communicate and bond with your baby, even before you give birth. Giving one or two a try might make you feel more connected and engaged with your baby.

1. By 20 to 25 weeks, babies can hear sounds, and the sound of your heartbeat and even the gurgling of your stomach are audible to them through the amniotic fluid. Playing music can be a nice way of communicating with your baby. Music that mimics your heartrate’s pace of 60 ā€“ 75 beats per minute, such as classical music, may be soothing. Studies have shown than in contrast, music with a faster tempo can get a baby kicking!

2. Once you’re in your third trimester, your baby has grown accustomed to the sound of your voice and your vocal patterns. Talk to your baby about anything, whether it’s what you’re making for dinner or how the traffic is on I95. Allow your partner to talk to your belly frequently and your baby will get used to the sound of both of your voices.

3. When your baby starts kicking away, remember that she can feel your movements, too! Apply a little light, massaging pressure to your belly and you may be rewarded with a kick or another slight movement. Feeling your baby move in response to your touch is a great way to feel more connected to her. And it’s not too early to give your baby a hug! Put your arms around your belly, squeeze gently, and embrace your baby!

4. OK, you’re probably sick of hearing people tell you to relax, but your stress level during pregnancy does affect your baby’s wellbeing. The occasional annoyance or feeling of being overwhelmed is normal and healthy. But making sure you’re in a generally relaxed and upbeat mood throughout your pregnancy can be great for both you and your baby. Taking time each day to relax can be a reminder that your wellness and hers are intertwined.

5. Have an ultrasound! This is a given, of course, but really pay attention to what your technician is showing you on that screen. Figuring out where your baby is inside your belly, and seeing the contours of her body can make things feel much more real! And if your hospital offers 3-D ultrasounds, they can be really exciting for new moms and dads. Seeing the shape of your baby’s face makes you that much more aware of the little person inside you.

With all that chatting, singing, massage, and music, your pregnancy may take on a whole new dimension, allowing you to feel more bonded and engaged with your little one, even before you’ve met her face-to-face!

Photography courtesy of Flickr.

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