Your maternal instinct forms a bond between you and your child. You are born with this instinct. You grow naturally drown to dolls. Then as you become older you keep wishing for maternity.
Scientists to date still can’t explain such maternal behavior. It is hardwired to your brain and it starts once getting pregnant.
I have always wished to be a mother. But when I got married my partner and I agreed to delay parenting. Suddenly I had an unplanned pregnancy. At that time I became desperate to keep the baby. Something changed in me. I am no more selfish.
I lost appetite because of morning sickness and heartburn but I compelled myself to eat for my baby’s development.
I craved for junk food but I trained my brain to hate them for my baby’s health.
Magical love developed in me when I first held my baby. It was like I wasn’t living before and now I am someone new. I forgot all the pain I went through during the last nine months.
Thinking about your baby and sacrificing to protect your baby from sickness and danger are powerful ways to connect with your baby.
Find out other basic ways to bond with your baby and become addictive to one another for life.
- Eat healthy for strengthening your reproductive system. Consume dairy fats to keep your ovaries healthy.
- Exercise for positive energy and well-being.
- Take multivitamins such as Folic acid, vitamin B12 and Selenium to prevent major birth defects.
- Avoid alcohol, smoking and caffeine to protect your fertility.
- Sunbathe for vitamin D.
-It regulates your period.
-increases the level of your sex hormones (progesterone and estrogen)
-keeps you and your future baby safe
Note: Don’t expose yourself under the sun for a long period. Protect your skin with sunscreen.
- Lose weight but not too much. Decrease your daily caloric intake but don’t stop eating. Overweight and underweight increase the risk of miscarriage.
- Drink more water to reduce the risk of infection. Such as urinary infection.
- Say no to drugs to avoid abnormal sperms which lead to genetic defects such as down syndrome (trisomy21)
- Learn to relax before and during pregnancy to decrease the chances of premature baby.
Eat food rich in nutrients because
malnourishment effects your fetus’ growth and health. You may have an underweight baby with poor immunity.
– cut down on carbs (acid reflux)
– eat more fish (high in omega-3
– eat dairy products
- Ask the doctor what prenatal vitamins you might need because deficiency in some vitamins might cause insufficient growth of the baby. Read about Iron deficiency and folic acid deficiency.
- Exercise with caution and don’t exhaust yourself. Pregnancy exercise protects your unborn baby from diabetes and other health problems.
Excessive exercise can restrict oxygen from reaching your uterus.
- Stop drinking alcohol to prevent mental disorder called (FAS) Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
- Quit smoking to protect your fetus from neurological disorders and other developmental problems.
- Watch your caffeine intake to protect your unborn baby from birth defects such as Cleft Palate and protect yourself from iron and calcium deficiency.
- Drink water as much as your body needs.
I know about the toilet.
It became my friend too.
But you should stay hydrated for the safety of you and your baby.
Water helps in shipping vitamins to your fetus.
- Avoid stress. Rest, relax and focus on your baby. Constant stress has a long-lasting effect on your baby’s brain and health.
- Feel her/his movement to know your baby’s wellness in the womb. If you feel butterflies shaking and tumbling inside you, this could be the baby. It starts between 16 and 25 weeks of pregnancy. If you are second-time mom you might feel this starting week 13 of pregnancy.
- Read books and articles to know what to expect. This can shed many of your fears.
- Make something memorable. Write letters addressed to your baby expressing your feelings and read it to him/her years later. Both of you will enjoy it.
- Do things that make you feel good you can take a memorial photos of your belly.
After birth you will miss your baby bump.
- Talk and sing to your baby. Talking to your unborn baby is important for both of you.
Talking to the baby bump develops your baby’s:
- Hearing skills: your baby can hear your voice and will recognize it after birth.
- Speech skills: your fetus can pick up words and will learn language faster after birth.
- Social skills: your baby can differentiate sounds and will be able to easily connect with other voices after birth.
- Feeling of security: hearing your voice gives your baby the feeling of security and safety.
Talking to your baby also helps you develop motherhood skills.
- Get prenatal massage therapy to reduce stress, relax your muscles, improve your mood, get a good sleep, improve blood circulation and deliver oxygen and nourishment to your fetus.
- Get a copy of your ultrasound monthly scan. Print it on your shirt and go out. I did it and felt as if i am holding my baby and showing him to the world.
- Take a 3d/4d ultrasound. This ultrasound shows the real features of your unborn baby.
- Call your bump by your fetus’ name. For better bonding you can start calling your baby by his real name.
- Play with your fetus. Ya play! Wait until you feel your baby’s kicks. Tap on different places of your bump. Your baby will feel this and will kick back on the same place you tapped.
- Soak up sunshine for vitamin D and not for tanning. Your body and your baby need vitamin D. It regulates the levels of calcium and phosphorus that keeps your bones, teeth and muscles healthy and builds your baby’s bones and teeth.
Warning: Again your skin during pregnancy is very sensitive hence excessive UV ray is dangerous. Use sunscreen to protect your skin, do not expose yourself too much to the sun.
Two basic ways to feed your newborn:
- Breastfeeding (mother milk)
- Bottle-feeding: it can be
– Breast pumped milk
– Formula milk (cow milk, goat milk or soy milk)
Both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding are natural ways of bonding. Responding to your infant’s needs calms her/his stress and prepares him/her for feeding.
Note: be patient with breastfeeding it is hard and painful at first. But once your milk flows and your baby knows how much he/she wants it will be easier that preparing milk bottle.
- Skin to skin
Breastfeeding is considered to be a skin to skin attachment.
Whether you breastfeed or not, hold your baby tight and put him/her on your skin for few minutes. Babies like to be held, your smell and touch secure them.
What if you have an excuse such as Cesarean?
Ask your care giver, she will help/teach you.
I know it is a busy world but try to find the time.
My voice sounds like a dying cat, but my baby loves it.
Besides lullabies, you can sing your favorite songs.
It stimulates her/his auditory skills.
I usually sing “My Immortal” by Evanescence and he loves it!
I talk to my baby as if I am talking to a mature child. I even tell him secrets.
Your baby might make weird sounds.
Pretend that you understand what he/she says and reply:
That’s so funny!
Don’t feel awkward, babies recall the words they used to hear when they were the womb.
- Make funny faces and noises
You think this is strange?
Believe me! Your baby will like it.
- Hold your baby facing the mirror
Introduce your baby to his/her beautiful face. Point on the facial parts.
Babies love mirrors. Try it with your fussy baby and see the difference.
I usually face my baby to the mirror and say:
“Hey! Look it’s you, David”
I wave by saying “hi David”
I hold his hand and make him wave.
I start a conversation while looking at him through the mirror.
So he stops crying, smiles and looks back at me
as if he is saying silently “mommy you are crazy”.
- Happy mommy=happy baby
Try to calm your fears and anxiety.
Always remember your baby is your reflection.
Once you panic she/he will get scared. Once you smile she/he will feel secured and relaxed. Once you loose your temper he/she will scream and cry.
Hold your baby tight supporting his/her head or use the kangaroo (a front carrier). Play music you love and dance softly. This improves your mood and calms your crying baby.
Warning: If you had a C-section you can’t hold your baby while standing before your incision completely heals. For the first 6 months, You can do this exercise while sitting.
Whether you had a vaginal delivery or a C-section you need to walk. But never stand or walk while holding the baby before your wound heals. Walk your baby in a stroller.
Note: Start taking few turns around the block.
Ask your care giver when can you start walking.
- Exercise together
There are several exercise positions you can both do. You will enjoy it while your baby thinks you are playing. But first you should get your doctor’s approval before starting this activity and always make sure your baby is in a safe and secure position.
- Sleep close
Sleeping next to each other is very important during the first 6 months, but not on the same bed. Put the baby in a separate crib close to you. After 6 months start putting him/her into sleep in his/her bedroom; because It will be difficult for you to change your baby’s habits after 9 months.
Make it fun. Choose the time when your baby is in a good mood, neither hungry nor sleepy and not directly after a feed. I Use Munchkin baby bath accessories, Aveeno baby wash & shower and Chicco bath sponge.
- Take care of your baby
Make your baby a feeding and sleeping schedule; follow that schedule. Believe me! Your care makes him/her feel your love.
- Take care of every part of her/his body.
Protect his belly button until the umbilical cord falls out. Protect his circumcised penis from water. Always check on her/his ears in case of infection. Always feel their body temperature to cure fever on the spot.
- Limit visits
Protect your baby from visitors especially from those who are sick. Never let anyone kiss your baby. Kisses are so dangerous especially those on the mouth.
- Read books:
“Pat the Bunny” book is my favorite.
It is comforting and fun.
Start reading to your infant touch and feel books. This allows your baby to recognize the rhythm of the language.
Gaze into his/her eyes, kiss the yummy belly, count the tiny toes, whisper sweet nothings and mimic him/her.
Your gentle touch, tender voice, soft hugs and sweet smile mean the world to your baby.
- Don’t forget yourself:
- Eat enough: you need the energy to be able to deal with the demands of your newborn.
I know you don’t have time, We have all been there!
Try to eat snacks while feeding the baby.
Eat foods that increase breast milk suck as avocado milk cocktail with almonds and honey.
Don’t forget to drink water, keep a bottle of water next to you should especially if you are a breastfeeder.
- Postpartum Care: take care of your body after delivery. Ask your care giver how to treat your injuries at home.
Visit your OB/GYN to check up on your physical and emotional recovery.
If you had a C-section, your doctor must check on your incision two weeks after delivery besides the six-week postpartum check-up.
If you had a vaginal delivery, the six-week postpartum check-up is enough.
- Keep taking your prenatal vitamins:especially iron because you lose excessive blood during and after labour. If you are a breast-feeder, contact your OB/GYN who might need to increase the dosage of vitamin D and omega-3 intake.
- Ask someone for help: with the house chores so that you get time to catch up on sleep and have a shower…
- Don’t smoke or drink
Smoking and drinking affect the newborn.
Smoking is dangerous on the newborn in a way:
- Secondhand smoke (smoking next to the baby)
- Thirdhand smoke (smoke residues on clothes, skin and breath).
- Nicotine in breast milk disrupts baby’s sleep patterns.
Drinking can affect the newborn in a way:
- You might lose conscious
- Alcohol reaches baby through breast milk
Quitting smoking and drinking is good for both of You. It helps your body heals faster.
- Keep clean
Wash your hands before and after taking care of your baby.
Wash your baby’s butt after every poop.
Wash the area around the anus gently after every bowel movement to protect yourself from urinary infections and vaginal bacteria.
Yes you can play with your newborn. As your baby grows, play becomes more active. The easiest games you can play are bubbles and peek-a-boo.
- Vaccines list and schedule
Once you discharge the hospital you will be given a vaccine book. It contains growth chart and a vaccine schedule.
Keep it and follow the schedule.
How does this relate to bonding?
Doing your best to protect your joy of bundle from illness is a way of bonding.
- Provide the perfect environment
Make your home a warm relaxing place. Love yourself. Maintain a healthy environment with dad.
23 Respond to the cry
Crying is the only language babies use to communicate. Handle crying by responding to your infant. Responding is not spoiling your baby but protecting him/her from growing aggressive.
- Keep your baby’s stem
Protect your baby from severe illness. Store the stem because you don’t know when you will use it.
- Other ways of bonding
Even If your baby is born premature where he/she has to spend few days/weeks in an incubator, and you can’t hold him/her. Don’t give up. Thinking about your baby and watching him/her increase your love hormone.
The bond between you and your baby is the strongest natural connection. It will change with years, but its power never fades.
Don’t worry about your labour pain, postpartum fatigue and depression. You will forget all that once you hold your bundle of joy. Your love hormone is powerful enough to form a tight bonding with your baby who in turn is equally ready to respond. This intense love gives you a feeling of euphoria.
Are you still having a trouble bonding with your baby?