Some women bond with their baby before it is even an official fetus (about the 11th week of pregnancy), others require a little more time, abdominal growth, or tangible fetal movement before pregnancy seems real. Either way, it is never too early to begin bonding with the wee human who is growing inside of you. The two of you (or three or more of you, if you are carrying multiples) will share both a literal and physical bond for the next many months.
Here are 5 Prenatal Bonding Ideas to Help you Fall in Love With Your Baby Bump
1. Learn about the development process. The process from conception to birth is incredible. There are a seemingly infinite number of steps, processes, and activities that bring your baby from egg and sperm to a real, live, bundle of joy resting in your arms. The more you learn about what is happening every step of the way, the more real your baby will be to you. Register with a website like the Baby Center or What to Expect. You can read about your baby’s development and receive weekly email updates telling you exactly what’s going on – from when they first have hair and nails to when they can hear the sound of your voice.
2. Help your partner bond. Your bump means the beginning of a family, or an extraordinary addition to your existing family. However, while you are very physically, and intimately, connected with your baby, your partner and other members of the family are not. Create special Daddy, partner, and/or sibling bonding time so everyone has the opportunity to feel connected. Let them, feel the baby move, and sing or talk to the baby. This will help them to feel as if they are a part of the process. Taking pre-natal classes with your partner is another way for him to get insight and learn what’s expected as your pregnancy progresses.
3. Sing and talk to your baby. Your baby can begin hearing at around 16 weeks. Even before 16 weeks, s/he can feel the vibrations created inside your body when you speak and sing. Countless studies have shown that newborns recognize the sound of their mother’s voice immediately after being born, and they even show preferences for tunes that were sung by their mother while in utero. Begin talking to your baby, and singing lullabies, as a way to become more familiar.
4. Start thinking about names. A name is a powerful thing; it stays with us for our whole lives long. Begin the process of perusing baby name books and websites and start making your lists. Envisioning your baby as a real live human being, who you will be speaking to and conversing with as the years progress, can help you feel more attached. Once you have settled on a name, assuming you know the gender, you, your family, and friends will be able to address your baby more personally.
5. Play with the baby. Yes! Even this early on you can begin playing with your baby by responding to his or her movements and kicks. Your baby’s brain is very active, just beginning to interpret the sound of your voice, the smells and tastes in utero, and your daily rhythm. When your baby moves or kicks, rub your tummy, push gently against the rump or the obvious heel, and talk. Pretty soon, your baby will learn recognize your physical communication as just that, and will use movements to try and talk to you in his or her own way.
Ready to begin your prenatal baby bump bonding with caring healthcare professionals? Contact Overlake OB/GYN.