Did you know that nurturing your child starts before he or she is even born? Parental bonds begin – for mother and father – can begin while your child is still in the womb. When this bond is built as a such an early stage it is called prenatal bonding. There are some arguments as to whether or not an infant is affected at this phase in their life – fact is that they are. A mother’s emotional state, while pregnant, directly affects that of her unborn child.
It is a known fact that a pregnant woman should stay as relaxed and stress free as possible. The reason may not be clear – because it will directly affect your child. Staying completely stress free is more of a dream though. Reality is, life will stress you out at times, no matter how much you try to fight it.
It is imparative, in these situations, to reassure your unborn child with comments like “Mommy is feeling upset because of work, it has nothing to do with you.”
Talking to your baby, even while in the womb, helps to build the prenatal bond, and builds a solid foundation for bonding later in life.
There are other ways to build a strong prenatal bonding with your baby.
Prenatal bonding is important for daddy as well, as daddy plays a big role in a childs’ life. Mommy is, obviously, the closest person – physically – to the unborn child. This does not mean that a baby does not need their daddy – the contrary is true.
It has been proven that newborns recognize both the mother’s and father’s voice after birth. Imagine the bond daddy can build if he communicates with the baby in the womb. When fathers take the same role as mothers, during pregnancy, that prenatal bond is built making a more solid parental bond after birth. The more a father communicates during pregnancy, the higher the chance is that his baby will recognize his voice and actually look for him in a room.
One of daddy’s most important roles is protection. Protecting mother and child will never come to an end, but is heightened during pregnancy. The more apparent this is, the more solid that bond is between baby and father. If both mother and father can work together on prenatal bonding, then family bond and foundation is much stronger.
Prenatal bonding builds a foundation for the baby that will help him or her in the future. Surprisingly, this type bonding will help with crucial developmental stages of a babies life. This type of bonding tends to lead to a calmer baby, or one that will calm quickly when near their parents. It has also been proven that prenatal bonding strengthens speech and language acquisition in children.
Music and communication are important factors in the bonding process, especially with an unborn child. This bonding technique can be continued after birth. There are many early childhood music options available – find these and play them frequently for your newborn.
Remember to continually communicate aka prenatal bonding, with your baby, through song, talk, and stories. It is never too early to begin!
This article was first published in Today’s Motherhood Magazine