We offer a variety of services that will help you enrich that bond with the tiny life growing inside of you. One of our favorite early ways to help you bond is by giving you a “sneak peek” at the gender of your baby! This early gender test is available to all expectant mothers, whether they are current Heartland patients or not, and it is 99.9% accurate!
While some expectant parents prefer to keep their baby’s gender a surprise until they are born, that doesn’t mean that they can’t start bonding with their little one as soon as they know that they are expecting! Here are our top ten tips for bonding with your baby.
1. Talk to Your Baby
Even though it might seem strange at first, one of the best ways to bond with your baby from the beginning is to talk to your baby bump! Tell them about your day, about how excited you are to meet them, and all about the family they’re about to have. You can talk to your baby at any time, and it’s even easier to feel a connection when you put your hand on your belly and feel them start kicking!
Many babies will start responding to the sound of their mother’s voice, and in fact, it’s one of the reasons that they can recognize you as soon as they are born. So, talk to them early, often, and sweetly. They can hear you as soon as 23 weeks, and before that, they can feel the vibrations of your voice.
2. Sing to Your Baby
Similar to talking to your baby bump, singing and playing music has been proven to help stimulate their brains even when in the womb! Their ears and other senses develop early on, so they can hear you, even if they cannot yet understand you. This is a great activity for your partner to engage in as well as it will help the baby recognize the sound of their voice too.
3. Massage Your Baby Bump
Another ideal way of connecting with your baby is to gently massage your baby bump. This is safe to do with scented lotions (such as lavender) from three months on. Get your partner involved as well.
By massaging your bump daily, you are not only connecting with your baby, but you are also helping to prepare your skin for the stretching it will experience. By keeping your belly bump moisturized, you can help prevent stretch marks and ligament pain as your belly bump grows.
4. Have an Ultrasound
One of the great ways of feeling an immediate connection with your unborn child is through an ultrasound. Being able to see your baby move and being able to see some of their features is an incredible experience that can help new parents bond instantly with their new baby.
At Heartland, our expecting mothers will have a bedside ultrasound at every visit so you can see your baby frequently throughout the pregnancy journey.
At 32 weeks, our expecting mothers may enjoy a live 4D ultrasound experience in one of our ultrasound theaters (available at select offices). Friends and family are welcome to join when guests are allowed.
5. Take Prenatal and Antenatal Yoga Classes
Prenatal and antenatal yoga classes are an incredible way to stay in shape, stay limber, and reduce the aches and pains that come with growing a baby. These classes help new moms-to-be develop an awareness of their bodies, their babies, and their emotions. Plus, you’ll be able to meet other moms-to-be which will help you feel more connected to others and will give you access to others that understand what you’re experiencing.
6. Go for a Walk
Not only is it healthy for you to walk throughout your pregnancy (unless otherwise recommended by your health care provider), but it can also be a way to bond with your baby! At around 18 weeks a baby can feel the way that their mother is moving, which is calming and comforting to them and helps lull them to sleep.
By going for a walk while pregnant, you are helping to comfort and soothe your baby while also giving you time to reflect on your pregnancy and the life growing within you. This is an effective way to relax and if you get your partner involved, then you can talk about all the things you want to do with the baby when they arrive! This helps form a bond among all of you.
7. Soak in a Warm Bath
For many moms-to-be, it can be difficult to find time that is just for you to relax without worrying about taking care of your family. It’s important to let your partner or support system know when you need a break and to try to plan a scheduled time for you to be able to relax and just take care of yourself. Pregnancy is hard work!
A useful way to relax and bond with your baby is by taking a warm (not hot) bath. Not only does this help you to destress and soak in some quiet time, but you can take it as an opportunity to read or sing to your baby without interruption. This is a wonderful time to talk to them about your day and how you can’t wait to meet them.
8. Ask for Family Members to Participate
If you have other children already, ask them to help you decorate the nursery, pick out new toys and blankets for the baby, and come up with songs and stories to tell the new baby.
By getting your family involved with the arrival of the new baby, you can help prevent jealousy and hurt feelings as well as help them understand what is going on and what to expect. By letting your other children help you do things while you’re pregnant and by explaining to them what’s happening, you can help them bond with the new baby and get excited to meet them.
9. Take Care of Your Mental Health
Although it is easy to overlook the signs of being stressed, tired, or anxious about the arrival of a new baby, it is essential to take care of your mental health. Make sure that you are taking time for yourself to relax and rest and that you are noticing if you are feeling emotions or feelings that you either can’t explain or don’t understand.
It is common for new moms to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and at times even depressed. While feeling these things are normal, it doesn’t mean that you just must accept them. Speak to your health care provider and let them know how you are feeling.
At Heartland Women’s Healthcare, we offer perinatal mental health support through video-based telemedicine visits that can assist you through difficult periods before, during, and after your pregnancy. Our goal is to make sure that you are happy and healthy and that your baby is too.
10. Take Birthing and Maternity Classes
One of the best ways to be prepared for what’s to come is by taking some maternity classes. These classes are offered in a number of facilities and cover many different subjects. From breastfeeding to giving birth to how to diaper and swaddle your newborn, these classes can be an invaluable source of free information for new moms.
Although no one can predict with 100% certainty what their experience is going to be like, you can still benefit from the knowledge. Take your partner with you if possible and it will help them not only bond with you and the new baby, but it will also help them understand what is going to happen. It can also help them understand what they will need to help with during the birth and after the baby is born.
The most important thing to remember while you are pregnant is that you need to take care of yourself first. By making sure that you are happy and healthy, you can help ensure that your baby will be born as healthy as possible.
Make sure to get your partner and any children you may have involved with the new baby as well so that they have the same connection and bond with the baby that you do. Take time for yourself as often as you need to and make sure that you are trying to connect with your new baby throughout your pregnancy.