Your belly is a beautiful gateway to your baby. And by harnessing its magic, you can finally start bonding with the darling visitor in your womb.
It’s natural to burst with anticipation on the count down to your pregnancy due date, especially when you’ve had nine months of heavy-duty carrying to do. But as you eagerly await the arrival of your little one, take heart in knowing that you can get a head start on bonding by staying attuned to your belly. From responding to kicks to singing lullabies to your bump, there are several ways you can connect with your pint-sized passenger, right from now.
Belly to Baby
Your child is already a little human with eyes and ears and can do a lot more than you think.
- By 18 weeks, your baby will be able to hear the growling of your stomach and the rhythm of your heartbeat
- By 22 weeks, your baby’s eyes will open and will start to respond to light
- By 26 weeks, your little bundle will react to shrill sounds outside the womb and may find comfort in hearing your voice; they will also respond to the touch of your belly
- By 32 weeks, your baby might well develop language and memory skills, recognising vowel sounds and music scores
Bonding Tips for Expectant Moms
- Speak and sing to your belly, visualising a soothed little baby on the inside
- Gently touch, caress or massage your belly
- Communicate with your baby through touch; lightly push your baby and rub your bump in response to kicks and hiccups
- Play a soothing song to lull your baby into a state of zen; a lullaby that mimics a heartbeat of 60 beats per minute can be golden in conjuring tranquillity
- Maintain a pregnancy journal of stories, developments and pictures of your blossoming bump, to show back to your baby one day
- Glimpse your baby via pre-scheduled ultrasounds and cherish the images you see on the screen; watching your baby move around can be a priceless experience
- Seek relaxation and ease your mind of stress; research suggests that lower stress levels can improve pregnancy outcomes
- If you’ve already zeroed in on a baby name, address your baby by that name to build a sense of intimacy
Bonding Tips for Expectant Dads
- Massage your wife’s bump as a prelude to skin-to-skin contact with your baby
- Feel your baby’s kicks whenever you can
- Attend pre-scheduled ultrasound appointments to glimpse your baby via ultrasound; these can serve as poignant encounters with your unborn child
- Attend prenatal workshops, programmes with your wife and offer your views on her birth plan, to both her and her doctor
- Attend Lamaze classes to learn how to support your wife in the lead up to labour
Bonding with your unborn baby can be a delightfully rewarding experience, allowing you to get acquainted well before their arrival. So, when D-day finally does roll around, your how-do-you-dos won’t take nearly as long as you anticipated, and you can start out with your baby right where you left off with your belly.