The Bonding Fix
Mother & Baby India|October 2020
The Bonding Fix
Maternal instinct doesn’t always magically appear as soon as you see that positive pregnancy test. But don’t stress —arm yourself with strategies to help you connect with your baby

WHEN YOU’RE PREGNANT

1 Sing Along

Singing can help your baby feel closer to you. Babies start to pick up sound at 16 weeks and the ear fully develops at 24 weeks. “If you talk and sing to your baby as a bump, he’ll recognise your voice once he’s out of the womb and he’ll be more likely to respond to you,” says UK-based GP Philippa Kaye, author of Your Pregnancy Week by Week. “Research also shows playing classical music will soothe him.” Now, where’s that Mozart CD?

2 Take the plunge

Looking after your mood is crucial, as it’ll impact on how your baby feels. If you can find time, a dip in the pool won’t just reduce stress, it will help trigger happy hormones for both of you. “Exercise releases endorphins that cross into the placenta, benefiting your baby, too,” says Philippa.

3 Get nesting

The overwhelming urge that drives you to tidy, clean and get organised before your little one arrives is not irrational, but a vital way to mentally prepare for the birth, says research from McMaster University, Canada. “Providing a safe environment for your baby helps to promote attachment,” says UK-based professor Marla Anderson. Re-arranging the cushions again? As you were.

4 Rock on

Moving gently from side to side will help soothe your baby in the amniotic sac. “Instinctively, babies feel safe and secure when they’re being rocked, so it’ll calm him down,” says Philippa. “That’s why new mums naturally swing their babies in their arms.” Sit cross-legged on the floor and gently move from side to side to give him a ride.

5 Frame it

Before your baby has arrived, it can be hard to imagine how you will experience a maternal bond. “Keep a picture of the scan in your purse to help you visualise your baby, as this will kick-start an emotional connection,” says Philippa. Even flicking through selfies of your pregnant body on Facebook or your phone can help.

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October 2020