Pregnancy is just the beginning of a life-long love affair with your child. The easy weeks can be tiring and stressful, and it’s easy to feel a bit disconnected from your growing baby. But as your pregnancy progresses, and your bump grows, you’ll start to feel much more like a mom to be.
To help prepare for your new life, spend a little time bonding with your unborn baby when you can. We’ve got some great tips to help you get in touch with this new little person.
Here are 10 things you can try to help you bond with your bump:
- Use Your Voice. When your baby is born, she will recognize your voice and turn towards you whenever she hears it. She will remember your voice because she has spent months listening to you give presentations at work. Spend some time each day talking to your baby, telling her about the things you will do together, touching your belly, reading your favorite childhood book to your baby. You can put headphones on your belly and play music for your baby. You can sing your favorite lullaby. All really great ways to connect with your baby during pregnancy. You may find that your baby responds to the sound of your voice, and begins kicking and nudging you as you talk. If you feel uncomfortable talking to your bump, trying singing instead.
- Go Swimming. Swimming is a great way to take the weight off your feet, and it even gives you some idea of what life is like for your baby! Not only is swimming a safe way to exercise but since your baby’s floating in fluid too, it gives you a chance to relate to her. No matter how big your bump, the gentle support of the water will give you some welcome relief in the later stages of your pregnancy. You could also look out for aquanatal classes. These are an ideal opportunity to tone up and make new friends.
- Massage your Bump. A soothing way to bond with your baby is to gently massage your belly. This is safe to do after the first three months of pregnancy, and it’s a great way to relax and wind down. An aromatherapy massage is a great way to pamper yourself. It gives you a wonderful chance to sit still and spend time thinking of and talking to your baby. Try adding one or two drops of lavender, frankincense or ylang-ylang to a carrier oil for massage. All of these oils are safe to use after the first trimester. Ask your partner if he’d like to give you a massage. It may help him to share in your pregnancy more easily.
- Nudge Back. For now, your baby’s only method of communication is bumps, kicks, and nudges. You have probably noticed that your baby becomes particularly active when you sit down to rest. Play with your baby by responding to her movements, gently poke back when she nudges you, and see what she does. You can also rub your belly in the area you feel movements.
- Take a Yoga, Classes. Prenatal Yoga classes give you a chance to escape the humdrum of daily life and focus on your pregnancy for a while. The yoga teacher will talk you through each pose, explaining how it is beneficial during pregnancy. You will also be given time to relax and focus on your developing baby. This is a great way to guarantee yourself time to focus, which can be difficult to find when you are tying up loose ends at work, packing a hospital bag and preparing the house for a new baby. Yoga has been proven to be beneficial for depression and anxiety during pregnancy.
Every pregnancy and every pregnant woman is unique.
- Have a Bath. A nice long soak is a perfect way to get away from it all and enjoy some real “me time”. It’s also a great chance to devote some attention to your baby. Just make sure the water’s not too hot, as this can be bad for your baby. Run a warm bath and perhaps light some candles and play soft music in the background for a soothing ambiance. Then simply lie still, breathe deeply, relax completely and picture your baby. Try taking a few minutes to visualize yourself holding her when she finally arrives. Imagine what she might look like, what you might say to her and how that first cuddle might feel. If you’re well into your second trimester, you may have already felt your baby’s movements. However, these can be easy to miss when you’re busy during the day. A nice quiet bath is a perfect time to focus on your baby’s squirming and kicking. Get to know the pattern of your baby’s movements, and imagine how big and strong she’s getting!
- Get Dad Involved. It’s not just you who wants to develop a lasting bond with your baby – dad-to-be will want a slice of the action too! When you feel the baby kick, place your partner’s hands over your tummy so that he can feel the movements too, and let him respond by rubbing your bump in the same spot. He could even read baby a book or two. You may find that you develop a stronger bond with both the baby and the dad-to-be simply by watching their relationship strengthen.
- Take Bump Photos. Not only will your own photos make a lovely keepsake once the pregnancy is over, but will also help you to focus on your growing baby during pregnancy. Set a time each week to take a photograph of yourself sideways on. As you compare the bump photos from each week, you will be able to see how much your baby is changing and growing during the pregnancy. This visual reminder may help to make the pregnancy seem more real and will give you time to reflect upon the changes occurring. Booking a professional pregnancy photo shoot towards the end of your pregnancy can make you feel special too, where yourself and your partner (or yourself alone) can have some gorgeous moments captured by a professional, that you will no doubt treasure forever.
- Respond to Baby’s Kicks. You may start to feel your baby’s movements from about 18 weeks to 20 weeks if this is your first baby. Feeling your baby move can be wonderfully reassuring after weeks of having no idea what she’s getting up to in there! Responding to your baby’s kicks is about as close as you will get to two-way communication before she’s born. And you can do it at any time, wherever you are. Rub your bump when your baby moves and you may find that she kicks back at you. There’s nothing quite as exciting as feeling your baby respond to your touch for the very first time.
- Go for a Walk. Try taking some time out to bond with your bump by going for a walk. It’s great exercise and easy to fit into your daily routine, even if you’re working. Going for a stroll gives you space to think about your baby without too many distractions or interruptions. You can even have a discreet chat with your bump as you go. If you didn’t do much exercise before you became pregnant, start with a gentle stroll at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Once you’ve got into the habit of walking regularly, you can build up to faster walks lasting between 20 minutes and 30 minutes. You could alternate a few minutes of brisk walking with a few minutes at a slower pace.
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