Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting and challenging times in a woman’s life, full of new experiences at every turn.
No matter how you feel about the process, it’s a perfect opportunity to begin building a relationship with your unborn child. Bonding with your baby before it’s born will help ease you into the throes of motherhood, and leave you with many positive memories of your pregnancy.
Seeing your baby for the first time during an ultrasound is a milestone you’re unlikely to forget, and with modern technology, you can take home an even more intimate reminder of the life growing inside. With an ultrasound in 3D, or even 4D, you’ll receive photos and video footage of your baby from all sides, a memory to last forever. Beyond an important medical process, this process is also a perfect opportunity to fall in love with your mini-me – don’t underestimate the power of a visual in strengthening the bond you share.
Babies develop the ability to hear from around 18 weeks of pregnancy, and yours will hear much of what you do during your pregnancy. Taking the time to speak to your baby is one of the best ways to feel more connected, and will allow him or her to become familiar with your unique sound. Just remember that not all sounds are pleasant for small ears, and you should avoid yelling and other loud noises wherever possible. Music lovers are in luck, since music has long been recognised as a powerful tool for mental and emotional development. Playing the right kind of music to your baby – classical pieces, in particular – can boost mood and encourage healthy development.
Just as you can feel your baby’s movements inside your body, he or she can feel your touch from the outside. Developing a physical connection with your baby is as simple as being responsive to any movements you might feel. When you feel a kick, poke your belly with your finger and wait to see whether your baby responds. This is a playful way to start growing a more intimate connection, whereas a gentle touch can be very effective in soothing a restless baby.
Just as gentle swaying movements can help to soothe an infant or young child, your unborn baby will tune in to the natural rhythm of your body. Just as you ought to be mindful of your thoughts and feelings during your pregnancy, it’s also important to be conscious of the way you move. That being said, there are plenty of benefits to come from staying active during pregnancy, ranging from increased energy levels to an easier labour.
If you’re hoping for a healthy pregnancy, keeping calm is a great way to boost your odds. It can be challenging to regulate challenging emotions during such a unique and potentially volatile life experience, but you may find success with meditation. Not only will some deep breathing exercises help you feel more centred, but they’ll also make space in your day to send some positive emotions to your growing baby.
Just like your thoughts and movements, your baby will also feel much of what you feel throughout pregnancy, so even on stressful days, try your best to keep calm and smile.
After your baby is born, there’s a good chance that the highs and lows of pregnancy will be forgotten. There may be some experiences you would prefer to forget, but it’s worth taking the time to document your physical and emotional state throughout this unique time in your life so that you have something to look back on. Take photographs of the changes happening in your body, write journals, or keep a video diary – whichever method you choose promises to be a therapeutic release, if nothing else.
Getting in touch with your baby is, in many ways, similar to getting in touch with yourself, and by making the time to establish a bond pre-birth, you put yourself in the best possible position to take motherhood in your stride. Enjoy getting to know your brand new son or daughter before they make their way into the world, and you?ll have plenty of memories to cherish.
Tanya is a writer and a mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her husband and kids.