Bonding With Your Baby While Pregnant
It may be hard sometimes to think that you can get to know and interact with your baby while you are pregnant. After all, you can't hold them in your arms or see them. But that doesn't mean that they aren't there and aware of what's going on. At no other time are they more connected to you then when they are in your womb and actually physically attached to you through their umbilical cord. You have a huge advantage here, and bonding with them is easier than you may think!
There is an absolutely lovely book that I have called 'The Attachment Pregnancy' by CAPPA's own Laurel Wilson and Tracy Wilson Peters. It is all about bonding with your baby during pregnancy. If you're at all interested in learning in detail ways to build this relationship up I would recommend grabbing a copy!
In the book they use the word 'bond' as an acronym.
B - Being
O - Observing
N - Nourishing
D - Deciding
The importance of simply being. Being present, being conscious, being aware of the life growing inside of you and how your actions impact it. This is where the practice of mindfulness comes in. When faced with a difficult situation ask yourself, is this serving me? Is this benefitting me and my baby in any way? If the answer is no, do your best to remove yourself from the situation. This includes the relationships you have. They need to be built on support and trust. Now is the most crucial time for your mindset to be positive as your stress levels directly impact your little one. When you flip your mindset and look to manifest positive things, you'll attract those things to your life.
The next step is learning to observe your environment rather than react to it. The hormonal shift that you experience in pregnancy makes you hyperaware of what is going on around you. Now is the time to notice the things you surround yourself with and if they benefit you. During pregnancy, your baby becomes who you are, and how you handle things during this time. When you choose mindfulness, you choose to connect deeper to your baby. Stress reduction is key and a great way to do this is by breathing exercises.
Observing also means observing how you treat and feed your body/baby. The foods you put in are what you build your baby out of. Make conscious choices about what your body needs/what it wants (and remember, everything in moderation! Don't deny yourself. If ice cream will make you happy it's okay, just not every day).
Where they speak of nourishing here, they aren't talking about food anymore. It's all about nourishing your soul and getting in all that good loving. We know that oxytocin is the love hormone that is released when we breastfeed, experience loving touch, connect with the ones we love, and experience orgasm. It's important to get as much of this as possible not just for your own health but for your baby too! Your bond will deepen the happier and more fulfilled you are. Your baby is conscious and she responds to love even before she is born. In the second trimester she can hear the outside world, and yours and your partners voices. Speak to her, and each other, lovingly.
Know your options for everything. Options for birth, options for parenting. Just, everything. When you focus on them towards the end of your pregnancy they will be dealt with and will cause less stress when you are in the moment. Decide how you want your birth to go and envision that (this is where that manifesting comes in handy!). Vision boards are a great way to visually see what you'd like to focus in and manifest. Decide who will be with you and what they will be doing. Decide with your partner how you're going to care for baby, and what your responsibilities will be to each other and her. The decisions you are making now will shape your child's life, so do your best to choose wisely.
All in all, it's fairly clear that the choices you make directly impact your baby and the bond that you two share. It's also important not to kick yourself when you do experience stress. It's normal, and something every pregnant women will go through. Short term stresses happen and they are okay. It's the persistent long term stress however that can negatively impact your little one. If you find yourself dealing with a lot of issues, try taking a step back from the situation and tuning into it. Decide if what you're doing is best and how you could make it even better. In the end, all that matters is you and your baby. Stay positive mama!