3 Tips For Prenatal Bonding With Your Baby
Did you know you can start bonding with your baby before they're born? It's true! Pregnancy is the perfect time for you and your partner to begin nurturing a relationship with your baby. There are a few different ways you can communicate with your baby in a beautiful way to help them feel acknowledged, wanted and loved before they're even born.
Mother and baby are intimately connected for 10 months. By 23 weeks of gestation all of your baby's senses are developed. During this time your baby is learning about their world through your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Recognizing and validating your baby's experiences in the womb supports their emotional and physical development. Here are some ways to communicate with your baby during pregnancy to support their development, minimize the effects of stress and set the foundation for secure attachment.
Seek out connection
Feeling supported during pregnancy has a beautiful effect on both mama and baby. When we feel well supported we are better able to manage the inevitable stress of life and therefore provide a nurturing environment for baby. It can be helpful to identify both inner and outer resources. Inner resources can be accessed through meditation, tapping into creative expression (art, dance, journaling), a supportive mantra, or mindful communication with your baby, just to name a few. A few examples of outer resources would be maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner, a walk in nature, a supportive family/friend, or healing modalities such as psychotherapy, acupuncture or prenatal massage therapy. Ensuring that you have the support you need to feel nurtured, loved and validated will help your baby feel the same.
Take a moment to pause and check-in
We often speed through daily life forgetting to pause and reflect on our emotional well being. During pregnancy it is especially important to pause, take a moment to check in with yourself and ask "What do I need to feel supported right now?" Developing a deep knowing and trust in your body will support you throughout your pregnancy, your baby's birth, and your motherhood journey.
Don’t get distracted by stress
Stress is an unavoidable factor of life, especially motherhood. All women experience a degree of stress and concern during pregnancy and, in some ways, it can be helpful. Stress can motivate us to ask questions, it can inspire us to examine what kind of mother we want to be for our children, and help us access our inner strength and courage. During exhausting or demanding moments instead of stressing about the stress, reframe the situation and communicate with your baby. For example, you can say, "Baby, mama is stressed because I have to meet this deadline at work. It's not your responsibility and you don't have to do anything to fix it. I’ve got this" Differentiating your experience from your baby's experience will help mitigate the effect the stress can have on your baby.
Babies are aware, sensitive and perceptive beings. Acknowledging their experience can help establish the foundation for a secure and healthy attachment between you, your baby and your partner as you begin your life as a family.