Six Ways to Bond With Your Unborn Baby

Written by Luschka on January 16th, 2012

Birth, Pregnancy, Preparing for Parenting
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I have a terrible confession to make: I haven’t been very excited about this pregnancy.  I know. Terrible, isn’t it? My husband was pushing for another baby, and I thought it may be good idea for our daughter to have a sibling. But me? All I could see was months of sickness, followed by extra laundry and a house which (if possible) is even more untidy, even less sleep, and more months or years before I ever have a date night again.  Despite trying for another baby, upon finding out I was pregnant, my tears weren’t pure joy as they were with my daughter. It’s taken me many weeks to feel joy, happiness, excitement, and more importantly, love for this baby.

I do think that the fact that I struggled to keep my pregnancy with my daughter, and that I had a number of early scans may have helped  her feel ‘real’, while I’ve had no scans so far (I’m 18 weeks at time of writing) and have only felt a bit of movement this time round.  As a result, I’ve had to find other ways of bonding with my unborn child.

1)      Writing letters – Just as I did with my daughter, I have been writing letters to my unborn child. This has helped me, without doubt, to feel a connection with this little life growing inside me.  The letters are sometimes very emotional, other times very matter of fact, and at times honest and raw.

2)      Quiet conversation –take quiet moments to hold your belly and talk to your baby. It may seem silly,  but again, it helps the baby feel real.

3)      Choose a special CD or piece of music to listen to when you lie in bed. It is believed that babies remember the music after birth and that it helps to soothe them.  Having ‘your song’ will help the prenatal bonding.

4)      Later on,  when you’re feeling kicking, poke back, playing a game. Your baby can apparently hear your voice from around 18 weeks and from 20 they can distinguish their parent’s touch from a stranger’s, so respond to kicks, giggle, laugh, and rub your belly in response.

5)      Lie in a pool or in the bath with your ears submerged listening to the sound of your heart beat.  Close your eyes and take long, deep breaths. It gives you the opportunity to feel what your baby is feeling and hear what your baby is hearing.

6)      Give it time. If your baby feels what you feel during pregnancy, being riddled with guilt about lack of excitement isn’t going to help. Sometimes you just have to accept what you feel and allow yourself the freedom to work through it.  The truth of the matter is that you can’t hide what you’re feeling from your unborn child, but you can work on it, and in most cases, given time, your love will grow.

Today, when my little one kicked, I felt a momentary happiness. The laundry will still be there, the lack of sleep still stack up, and this sickness is still refusing to pass, but there is a little life joining our family soon, and it’s impossible not to be excited about that.

About The Author: Luschka

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Luschka is a mother to two little girls. She is passionate about the principles of Attachment Parenting, and although she admits to learning as she goes, she likes to share what she's learnt with others - possibly because of her experiences in adult education. AP challenges a lot of Luschka's own background, which she loves as it makes her research and study everything. She writes at Diary of a First Child , documenting the journey for those parents who don't live in idyllic isolation, but still want to follow this path with their families.

10 Responses to Six Ways to Bond With Your Unborn Baby

  1. Lauren  

    Ah, I’m so glad you’re talking about this openly! It has taken me awhile with all three of my pregnancies to feel that connection. I heard someone say it was most common to happen when the mother felt movement, which makes sense to me — and yet there’s some pressure to feel it well before then, isn’t there? Plus, you’ve had such a hard pregnancy, and that can’t have been easy.

    Anyway, these are fantastic ideas for bonding! I loved how my Hypnobabies practice led me through talking to (in my head) my unborn baby, giving a nickname to … well, him, though I didn’t know his sex at the time, and imagining holding him in my arms. There was something very lovely about that process. Even though I knew he wasn’t really hearing what I said to him in my head, it felt so right and I couldn’t help but think that my good thoughts were transferring to him in other ways, like through lower stress levels (at least temporarily, ha ha).

    • Luschka  

      Yeah, I think it’s unacceptable to not be thrilled the moment you find out, but I’m glad that we’re 3D enough as people to be able to grow and develop – rather than 2D TV characters where everything happens on cue, if you know what I mean.

      I think the difference between the emotions in the two pregnancies has probably been the biggest surprise for me!

      And yeah – hypnobabies, focusing in, relaxation and meditation, I think they all do the same thing, and it’s awesome!

  2. Shannon @ The Artful Mama

    Thank you for sharing such a personal confession with us. I am dealing with pre-natal depression with this current pregnancy and I could not connect right away with this baby. I wanted to have a second but once it happened I couldn’t wrap my head around the pregnancy. I really like the bath suggestion. I have begun to connect with the baby since starting to feel movement and dealing with my depression. Another thing that has helped me to connect was helping my son connect with his sibling. Thank you again for sharing your experience with us.

    • Luschka  

      You’re so right Shannon. I realise in retrospect that I suffered from depression through my first two trimesters. It was very hard – feeling like an unfit mother to my already breathing baby, feeling like a failure as a woman who can’t even get ‘knocked up’ without it being a drama, and worst of all, the HORRIBLE guilt about the medication I had to take to keep me alive and what possible effect it could have on my baby.

      I really hope your depression fades as the pregnancy progresses and you can find the bond – remembering too that many mothers don’t feel it until they hold their babies.

      You’re right about connecting with older siblings too – I hadn’t thought of that, but my daughter being excited about being ‘a big thithter’ really goes a long way to relieving the concerns about her in all this :)

  3. Charise Rohm Nulsen  

    Thank you for being so honest. I can relate, and I think these suggestions to make a conscious bond are really important.

  4. Momma Jorje

    Be aware – the same difference between babies can happen with bonding at birth. I was so glad I had read that before my 2nd was born because I didn’t feel the same connection with her that I had immediately following the birth of my 1st.

    Great suggestions here! I wish I’d seen some of these sooner. I had no idea that baby can distinguish touch. I loved rubbing on my belly and also found my husband rubbing my belly very soothing and I couldn’t figure out why. (This is probably why!)

    For me, once I knew there was likely something “wrong” with our child, I knew that our baby needed to know we loved it. I started talking to the baby right then! So by the time we actually got Spencer’s diagnosis, I felt much love for him already. I think making him real like that had to have helped ease the acceptance.

    And I loved poking back at him in utero!

  5. Gretchen  

    I LOVE your ideas – especially choosing a special song :) I did so many fun things during my pregnancy with my first and her baby book/box is brimming. It already feels daunting to do that for #2 as I hardly have any energy which makes me feel like I’m already giving this baby less :( Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this – you definitely aren’t alone!

  6. Andreina

    Beautiful post! Thanks :)

  7. Jennifer

    I am nearly 34 weeks pregnant with my first, and actively tried NOT to bond in my first trimester. I went through infertility treatment with this pregnancy, and I had somehow convinced myself that I would miscarry because my body didn’t deserve carry a healthy pregnancy. It was only after I began to feel movement (around 21 weeks) that I truly felt connected to this baby. Thanks for your post.

  8. Christtine

    Thank you sooo much for ur posting. It hit home exaclty…I need this support with woman that are going through what I am

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