Giving birth is one of the most beautiful experiences that a mother can have… but why wait until delivery day to start connecting with your bundle of joy?
Pregnancy is a perfect time to start purposefully bonding with your baby.
Today, we explore 5 easy and unique ways that you can start connecting with your baby.
Tip #1: Use Your Voice
Even in the womb, babies pick up on the sound waves that surround their mother. This is great news, as it means that your unborn child is becoming accustomed to the sound of your voice before they've even met you!
At around 14 weeks, your baby starts to distinguish your voice from other sounds. Your baby hears everything that you say throughout the day, from your presentations at work to the tunes that you sing in the shower… so take a moment to talk to your baby.
Tell your baby the plans you’ve got for their arrival, how loved they already are and how you can’t wait to meet them.
Many expectant mothers report feeling a little silly at first when they start talking to their baby bump. But once you get past the initial hurdle of self-consciousness, it’s an incredible way to connect that’s beneficial for your feelings of bonding with your child, but also your child’s development.
Studies show talking to your baby during pregnancy reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the womb. This helps relax your baby and associate your voice with comfort and security. It can also assist with your baby's speech and language development.
Tip #2: Massage Your Belly
Who doesn't love a good massage? It's a great stress reliever for grown ups, and studies show that babies love it too.
Babies respond positively to the belly being massaged by learning the massage patterns of their mothers. When the baby is born they already recognise your touch through your massaging movements that you've used while massaging your baby bump.
Not only is massaging your belly a great way to de-stress and unwind (and keep pregnancy stretch marks at bay if you're using a belly cream to keep your skin hydrated and supple), but also a fantastic way to help nurture the bond between you and your child, right from the early stages of pregnancy.
Tip #3: Listen To Your Baby's Heartbeat
There's something so reassuring about hearing the beating heart of your little one. Medical ultrasounds are always best delivered by your obstetrician / OB GYN, but if you'd like a little moment of connection with your baby's heartbeat at home, you might like to try using an at-home fetal doppler.
A fetal doppler is a special device that lets you hear your baby’s heartbeat - it uses low levels of ultrasound waves so you can safely listen for your baby's heartbeat at home. BabyHeart's range of at-home fetal dopplers also come with a great selection of options to make listening to your baby's heartbeat even more fun!
Our Mini Doppler is compact and lightweight, perfect for busy parents who'd like to take the doppler out on the go so that friends and family can listen, too.
For those who are more visually motivated, our Standard Doppler features an LCD screen that also clearly displays your baby's heartbeat, as well as a built-in speaker. And for those who like more robust features, our Advanced and Premium Dopplers come with great additions to power and portability.
The fetal dopplers are a great tool for helping you connect with your unborn child.
There is something truly irreplaceable about the experience of hearing the heartbeat of your beautiful little person before they've even entered the world!
Tip #4: Stop And Smell The Roses
It may sound cliché, but the experience of pregnancy really can go by in the blink of an eye - and with so much to organise (especially if you're a first time mother!), it's easy to get caught up in the details of planning and logistics.
But try to make sure that you take time to slow down, relax and enjoy this time. Try to set aside some time each day - many expectant mums like to combine this with taking a soothing bath, going for a stroll or doing some meditation.
Although it can be hard to switch into the mindset of relaxation when there's so much to do, it's important for your mental health to make time to be as relaxed as possible - this will ultimately have positive flow-on impacts to your little one, so take this as your cue to take a moment for yourself!
Tip #5: Seek Support From Other Mums
Many expectant mothers might feel disconnected, anxious, uncertain or just a little bit stressed out - and that's totally normal and okay! Pregnancy is a beautiful experience, but it can also be a stressful time, so it's important not to beat yourself up if you're feeling uncertain.
During pregnancy (and post-birth, as you navigate the world of raising a child), it really can make all the difference in the world to have a support network around you that understands what you're feeling.
Friends and family can all be invaluable sources of love and help, but you may also wish to consider joining a new mother's group. You'll make lifelong friends who are all sharing the same experience, and having an open space to share your joys and your fears can bring a sense of relief and comfort as you navigate this journey. We hope these tips have been helpful!
If you'd like to join an online community, we've created a space for you for this very purpose! Click here to join the private VIP BabyHeart Australia Facebook Support Group.
Stay tuned to our blog for more helpful hints, advice and ideas to help you make the most of this magical time.
Want to start connecting with your baby bump? Click here to shop our range of premium fetal dopplers - there’s an option for every need and budget!