It was a wondrous moment! I looked in awe at my baby the very first moment she came out of my womb and into this world. The terrible pain that I experienced from labour was incomparable to the overflowing joy I felt when I saw my baby. Tears welled up in my eyes as she was placed in my abdomen. I felt a strong urge to nurture and care for my newborn. How happy I was!
I can never forget the time when I gave birth to my first baby. Yes, it was painful but the joy of knowing that life had formed in my womb was overwhelming. And the attachment I felt for my baby deepened. I cannot explain it but it is the kind of closeness which is more than what I felt for my parents, my siblings, my friends or my husband. Probably this is what they call the special bond between mother and child.
However, I believe that this special bond, between mother and child, takes time to form and strengthen. So, mums, how do you go about forming and strengthening?
Bonding actually starts while the unborn baby is still in the mother’s tummy. The changes that are taking place in the mother’s body indicate that another life is growing inside. So as these changes are taking place, bond with your unborn baby by talking to him or her. Your baby can already hear and recognize your voice even at four months old. And as the baby grows, he or she will respond to your voice when you talk to him or her.
Mother and child bonding which starts in the womb can continue right after the baby is born in the hospital. Arrange for your doctor and the attendants for your baby to be placed on your abdomen and chest before routine procedures are done. If it is possible and if you are not too exhausted, breastfeed your baby right after birth. But if it’s not possible, try to make sure that your newborn stays with you throughout your stay in the hospital.
When you go home from the hospital, bond with your baby through these activities:
Have constant physical contact with your baby
Holding and carrying your baby makes him or her feel comforted since it is the earliest way of communication for him or her. Likewise, touching your baby’s skin is said to have a therapeutic value on your baby. Breastfeeding is also a form of physical contact which strengthens the bond you have with your baby. Massaging your baby at least once a day is another form of physical contact and can also be beneficial to your baby’s health.
Look into your baby’s eyes
Your baby can communicate and connect with you through eye-to-eye contact. Keep your baby close within a distance of 8 to 10 inches so he or she can see you. When you talk to her, look at those beautiful eyes and you will learn how your baby responds to you.
Talk to your baby
If your baby can already recognize your voice even while he or she was inside your womb, then the more he or she will recognize your voice outside of it. Aside from that, babies love to listen to voices. So speak constantly to your baby. Talk to him or her when doing something such as taking a bath, changing diapers, and a lot more. You can even read stories or sing songs to him or her. In this way, your baby can learn sounds to help in his or her language skills development.
Bonding can take even with the slightest actions – a little cuddle, a tickle. Don’t fret if you don’t feel any bond. It takes time so keep with the hugging and interaction!
Other must read newborn topics:
Good sleep habits for your newborn
Newborn jaundice: tips from a doctor
5 tips for newborn skincare