Although you might not realise it, your unborn baby will be aware of what’s going on outside the womb as soon as their senses develop, at around 26-27 weeks. This means that beginning to talk to them or playing music can help you build a connection with your child before they arrive. Finding ways to bond with your baby can be especially beneficial if you were struggling with nausea or feeling low in the earlier stages of pregnancy and are looking for a way to connect in a positive way. Read on for some ideas to inspire you.
After 3 months of pregnancy, it's now safe to have a lovely massage on your bump. Creams might not always work on stretch marks but they can be very soothing for you when rubbed into your bump by your partner, and will give them a chance to be involved in the pregnancy too.
Swimming can help you relate to your baby as they are floating through the days too! Joining an antenatal class can help you make new mummy friends that will become indispensable when your babies arrive, and chatting over your pregnancy with them will lead to further bonding with your bump.
Sing & talk
From around 23 weeks your baby will start to hear sounds from outside the womb, meaning you can sing and chat away to your heart’s content. Thinking of those sleepless nights when only a lullaby can help, will stop you from feeling self-conscious about talking to your bump now. Giving your unborn baby a nickname if you haven’t decided on a real name yet will make it easier for you and your family to talk to your bump. If you sing along to music, try and choose songs with a strong, regular beat – babies find these comforting as it reminds them of your heartbeat.
Having a nice warm bath to help yourself relax, will lead to a relaxed baby too! If you don’t often feel your baby wriggling around and kicking, this can be the perfect time to stop and pay attention to their movements. If you’re close to your due date, try to visualise yourself with your newborn, holding them close and feeling all the warmth that you’re feeling right in that moment in the bath.
Rather than paying attention to which of your favourite items of clothing you’ve most recently grown out of, try pregnancy yoga as a relaxing technique, and a way of keeping track of how much your little bundle is growing. As touching your toes becomes as much of a task as opening a jar of pickles, you can learn to admire your body (and your baby) for all its hard work.
Making a start on practicing your chosen method set to help you through labour can help you feel more in touch with your unborn baby from an early stage. Hypnobirthing can help you to eliminate distractions, and simply focus on your body and your baby.
Ask for a photo scan of your baby at every chance you get. Having a photo of them as your screensaver or in your purse where you will see it multiple times and on a daily basis will remind you that your bump is actually a real growing person, which makes it easier to bond and identify with them.
If you’re not too keen on the idea of having a conversation or solo performance with your bump, try grabbing a children’s book from your new and carefully planned collection and read it out loud. This is a great one for your partner or older children to do too – you might even have some fun practicing your best Winnie the Pooh voices!
You might notice that your baby becomes more active when you do certain things, and you can respond to this! Try rubbing your belly in the area your baby made their last movement, and you might be pleasantly surprised to feel another kick! These are some of the first signs that your baby is responding to you.
Knit a blanket or item of clothing for your newborn to wear – each time you sit down to work on it, you’ll have your baby in mind and the excitement of their arrival will build some more! If you haven’t made a keepsake from your pregnancy, why not get a cast made of your belly, start a pregnancy journal about all your crazy cravings, or have a fun pregnancy shoot! You can even set up an email address for your child and begin writing to them so they have special words to read when they’re older.
If you’re concerned about not bonding with your baby during pregnancy, don’t worry. The very fact that you’re worrying about it shows your mother’s instinct is kicking in. Many women don’t feel the connection until their baby is in their arms for the very first time, or even beyond that. If you’re feeling worried or anxious, speak to your GP or midwife.