“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” – Sophia Loren
As I progress in my weeks of pregnancy I’ve been looking for ways to bond with my baby while he’s still in the womb. I’ll be entering week 24 on Monday and figured it wouldn’t hurt to find more ways. The number one way of course is by talking. Babies start to hear sound around week 18, those sounds become more sensitive by week 24, and by weeks 25-26 they are able to respond to noises and voices by moving. As awkward as it may be to speak out loud to an empty room there’s a little person who can hear when you speak and feel when you press on your stomach. I’ve been finding some cool ways to bond and wanted to share for those who may be looking for some too. Everyone doesn’t automatically form a connection with their baby for various reasons; pregnancy circumstances differ, they be feeling overwhelmed and haven’t had the time to bond, some have experienced loss and find it hard to think positively about their pregnancy. Whatever the reason may be, people bond with their babies on their own time and pace, for some it may not happen until after birth and that is perfectly fine. For those who wish to work on building a bond with their baby while still in the womb, here are a few ways to try.
- Massage your bump: as you get further along in your pregnancy you’re likely to start feeling movement that are much more distinct from the flutters you may have been feeling. I remember feeling the little flutters and wondering how a real kick would feel until one day I was like “oh yeah, he definitely just kicked me” and further along I was able to actually see my stomach move. It’s a wonderful feeling and an amazing experience to have a little person living inside of you. I’ve found that simply placing my hand on my stomach or massaging it with oil, creams, body butters, etc. can get a reaction out of my baby. From there you can play around and press on the area lightly to see if he/she will move more.
- Respond to your baby’s movement: This may be the closest you feel to your baby when he/she moves as I mentioned, place your hand at that spot or around your stomach to encourage more movement.
- Sing, read, and talk to your baby: It may be awkward at first when you attempt to communicate with your baby because they can’t respond and you can’t see him or her but you know they’re there. It’ll eventually get easier I assume as you begin to feel more comfortable. Hearing your voice helps your baby become more attached to you and allows them to recognize your voice amongst others once they are born. Reading stories are also a great way, it’s never too early to grab those baby books and read. I also found a cool site where you can put your baby’s name and it will personalize a few stories about the adventures you’ll have when the baby is born (Personalised Stories For Your Bump). It’s convenient if you don’t have any books yet and want to read to your baby.
- Top 10 books to read to your baby even in the womb:
- Oh Baby! The Places You’ll Go – Dr. Seuss
- Pat the Bunny – Dorothy Kunhardt
- Where The Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
- The Cat in The Hat – Dr. Seuss
- Where The Sidewalk Ends – Shel Silverstein
- Hop on Pop – Dr. Seuss
- Love You Forever – Robert Munsch
- Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown
- Mama, Do You Love Me? – Barbara M. Joose
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – Bill Martin Jr.
- All of these can be found on Amazon or online for low prices and I’m sure your local library carries most, if not all. There are tons of baby books out in the world that your baby may love. Most people ensure that they have the Dr. Seuss collection, I had those and a million Disney books as a child, reading is fundamental.
- Top 10 books to read to your baby even in the womb:
- Try yoga: The best time to start is within your second trimester, it helps with practicing breathing, learning your body, and relaxing, allowing you to feel and become more in touch with your baby.
- Keep your Ultrasound Photo close by: Seeing your ultrasound picture is a constant reminder that you are growing a human and they are connected to you in several ways, physically being number one.
- Help Dad and family members bond too: Allowing other people to talk to your baby and feel him/her move is also a way to bond with not only your baby but those people as well. You and baby get to feel closer to each other and those who are involved in the journey.
- Make/Have a Keepsake: If you crochet or knit, make a blanket or some type of clothing in preparation for birth. A keepsake can be anything from a photo or something you feel a connection with that you’ve created or brought while thinking of your baby. Some people do belly cast for this reason.
- Take Bump Photos: Taking photos of your growing belly is not only a way to track growth but to help yourself recognize that you are indeed nourishing and growing a baby. If you’d like to track your weeks by belly size there’s an app I like to use called “BabyPicsFree” you can place little sayings and weeks that include the size of your baby on pictures.
- Track your pregnancy: Since technology has become so useful I like to use apps that give you information on your baby depending on how far along you are. The apps I use have new information everyday in regards to your pregnancy and can be very informative and interesting. I use “Glow Nurture” (this app has something called “community” where you can see posts other expecting mom’s and mom’s have made and different groups depending on where you are in your journey. It’s not only for expecting mothers but for those who may be trying to conceive, have experienced loss, etc. it’s a cool app). I also use “BabyCenter” “The Bump”, and “OviaPregnancy” but my go-to is Glow. They all offer different things which is why I have so many but one is enough. Pregnancy journals are good also! I’m still looking for a good one myself, there’s nothing like physically writing and tracking your experience.
- Take Care of yourself: By taking care of you, you take care of your baby. Slow down and allow time to relax and collect yourself and your thoughts. There’s a lot to do before a baby comes but that doesn’t mean you have to stress yourself and do it all in one day. Pregnancy requires rest, your body is experiencing a lot physically, emotionally, and mentally. Stay hydrated and well rested, don’t overexert yourself and don’t be afraid to accept help when it’s offered. Growing a human can be hard, pregnancy comes with a lot of worries and doubts and overall feelings; talking about how you feel or writing it down is a sure way to lift some of those worries or make you feel better.
Some of you may be asking “What if I tried and still don’t feel connected to my baby?” If you don’t feel like you are bonding with your baby don’t beat yourself up about it, it takes a while for some to experience those feelings. On BellyBelly’s Facebook page a while back, a mother asked the following question:
“I’m currently 35 weeks pregnant, and I feel awful for even admitting this… but is it normal to not feel connected to your baby? I’ve done everything suggested to build a bond, but I just don’t feel it yet. It’s not that I’m not excited to have a baby, but she was unplanned, and my fiancé and I are struggling financially. It’s just extremely overwhelming. Is there more I should be doing to build the connection? I’ve shopped, set up the nursery, I talk to her every day and play with her when I feel her kicking. I’m just not sure what else to do.”
Here are a few great responses thanks to some of their Facebook fans:
“I think the fact that you are concerned shows a mother instinct in itself. Maybe try not to worry so much and go with the flow. Sometimes it just takes time to feel the connection. Don’t push yourself to feel it or put any pressure on yourself. Added in the factor of financial strain and timing of unplanned its bound to be a difficult transition for you. Be gentle on yourself xxxx” — Jan Holly
“You’re connecting with her and you don’t realize it. I had the same issue when I was pregnant, but I didn’t give up or lose hope. The day I went into labour and gave birth to my baby, he heard my voice and looked right up to me with his glowing glossy eyes. He knew who I was… and if he could have, he would have smiled, gave me a hug or a wet kiss. I know he would of. Continue to talk and play with her. And make sure daddy does to. She’s excited to meet you guys. And she can’t wait to be blessed into the world!” — I’beez Mona
“I actually felt anxious after I gave birth, because my connection with my daughter still wasn’t there or what I thought it would be. It took a couple weeks to feel it, and now my daughter is 5 weeks old and I can’t imagine my life without her. It will come soon and you will look back wondering how you ever could not feel bonded to your little one.” — Kelli Britton
“Postnatal depression robbed me of the ability to cherish the early days and months with our baby. I didn’t have that instant bond/love at first sight that people talk about. It took me until about 3 months to fall in love with him, but it did happen. Be patient with yourself, the connection will come. Hugs to you, it’s a tough road to travel.” — Carla Groth
Thanks for reading, be sure to check out my first interview with a fellow Mommy on her experience with motherhood – “Discussing Motherhood with a “Mommy With Attitude”
- Fatherhood Is Important Too!
- Is Circumcision The Norm?
- First Trimester – “The I Still Can’t Believe it Stages of Pregnancy”
- What Can I Expect Throughout My Pregnancy?
Last but not least, being as though I am expecting and I am a soon to be mama, I had to represent for the little ones. You can now shop for baby clothes with me @mumstyledme on Instagram! Be sure to follow the blog page on Instagram @chooseyoualways and my personal page @breyanaijae_
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Thanks for reading, Be Blessed & Stay Humble. As always Choose You Always!