Bonding after Birth
Now if you are anything like me, you spent most of your pregnancy checking your pregnancy phone app and reading books on pregnancy and birth: “At 9 weeks, baby is the size of a peanut and you will start to notice your rounded belly,” etc.
Once baby arrives you may think to yourself, ‘I’m not really sure what happens now.’ There isn’t a baby bible, but there are a few important things you will want to know about once baby arrives.
Bonding with baby when they first arrive is really important. Bonding is really a continuation of the relationship that began during pregnancy. The physical and chemical changes that were occurring in your body reminded you of the presence of this tiny person. Birth cements this bond and gives it reality. Now baby is actually here!
Tips for Bonding
• Put baby straight to the breast or chest for skin to skin contact if possible. This can aid the bonding process from the beginning.
• Make eye contact with your baby. Gaze at baby (as if you will actually be able to stop) and speak to them and acknowledge them as a person. Interact with baby from day one.
• Show respect for your baby and teach them respect for themselves by explaining to them exactly what is going on around them. For example, I would say to my son, “Okay wee guy, I’m going to take this nappy off now and put on a new one, is that okay?” I would wait for him to respond and eventually, they do actually start to squeak in response so you are effectively having a conversation with them.
• Touch your baby. Loving touch is so important for new-borns and gentle stroking and practises such as baby massage are great for helping baby heal from any birth trauma and also gently eases them into the world outside of your tummy. Babies can often become overwhelmed with the barrage of sensations they experience after birth. Reassuring touch can help to ease this transition
Bonding, the Blues and Baby Massage