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Bonding With Your Bump

by Laura Faulkner

At 28 weeks pregnant I am fascinated by every kick, flutter and hiccup I feel. I adore laying and watching my little girl kicking, stretching and twisting in my tummy and there’s nothing more mind-blowing than seeing your bump grow day by day.

I am so in love with my little bundle of happiness that I can’t leave my bump alone. I know many mum’s-to-be struggle to bond with their bump in the early days as they begin to get to grips with their pregnancy and the hormones begin to take over so I’d like to share a few tips on bonding with your bump that I have found the most useful, many of these will come naturally to you anyway, but others have been advises by midwives during my antenatal care.

They say that from 20 weeks onwards your baby will be able to hear and recognise voices and sounds. Plus, some research suggests that your baby can recognise their parents’ voices, so regularly speaking to your bump in a soothing voice will boost the bonding process after birth. Ensure that you and Daddy speak to each other, and laugh together so that baby can become familiar with your loving voices.

Reading to your bump is also a great way for your baby to hear both your voices. Your baby will also be listening to your heartbeat, therefore it’s extremely important to keep calm in stressful situations, don’t get your heart racing because you are wound up or stressed because the sudden change of rhythm in your heartbeat could alarm your baby.

Music can be soothing to your baby, even in the womb. Babies normally prefer music with a strong, regular beat as it reminds them of their mummy’s heartbeat. Playing your favourite CD on repeat to your baby will teach them to start recognising the different rhythms and noises. It’s also a good idea for you and Daddy to sing to your bump.

Like me, you probably can’t keep your hand off your bump whether it’s a protective hand resting on it or stroking at the end of the day. Rubbing your bump is a way of communicating with your little one, when you feel your baby try massaging your bump and feeling those little lumps and bumps and you’ll find that the more you rub the more your baby will move in response to your movements. Build up a little conversation of kicks and rubs between you. You can feel inside your tummy when baby responds, but it’s also a great bonding experience to baby and Daddy too. Daddy’s movements may feel heavier, stronger and firmer than your touch; in time your baby will began to recognise the difference between both parents.

Massaging your bump is a great way to bond with your baby and also to wind down and relax at the end of the day. As oils and lotions can be deemed dangerous in pregnancy, it’s best to avoid them and use your stretch-mark creams as a massage lotion is a great way to combine moisturising your bump to keep the stretch marks at bay and soothing your baby. This can also be an intimate, relaxing bonding experience for Daddy to get involved with too.

When your pregnancy aches and pains aren’t bothering you too much regular exercises such as yoga, aqua natal classes and using your gym ball, will keep you feeling fit and healthy during your pregnancy and can also have a positive, calming effect on your baby. The movement of your body will help to rock you baby in the amniotic fluid and the endorphins released during exercise will pass across the placenta, too.

A tip I learned at my pregnancy physio class was that rocking slowing from side to side on your gym ball for half an hour before bedtime will rock and calm your baby into a relaxing position and encourage them to sleep, this might be useful if your baby like to get active when you get in bed. It seems to work for me so I’d recommend you giving it a whirl.

Another amazing way to bond with your baby is for you and Daddy to go along with bump for a 4D scan, we had a scan and were amazed at how clear the detail was in the picture. This is a truly special moment for you and your other half to share. You’ll even be able to start to see who your baby will resemble. We came away with 50 photos and a video of our baby, keepsakes which we will treasure forever. It’s amazing to feel so close to each other and your little baby in these early stages.

As your bump grows and your body changes it’s also nice idea to take photos of your bump to keep, it will be nice to have these to look back on with your child when their older, or learning about where babies come from, you will be able to show them where they came from.

I hope you enjoy every minute of your pregnancy, even if you are suffering with the dreaded pelvic pains, back aches, and have acquired the pregnancy waddle. Pregnancy is very special and will be over before you know it, enjoy it while you can. Enjoy bonding with your little bundle.

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