There are so many things to think about during your pregnancy, so many things to plan, to decide, to buy. What to eat, what to avoid, which tests to have, whether to have ultrasound scans, where you want to give birth, what kind of pain relief you would like, who you would like around you at the birth….Indeed if you have been trying for some time to conceive a baby there are many things to consider around conception too.; your diet, tracking your cycle, pre-natal vitamins, exercise.
I considered many topics for my first blog post – Breastfeeding, Skin-to-Skin, Cord Clamping, but my heart kept coming back to one simple thing – Connection.
You may, or may not, have a lot of professional input in your pregnancy – doctors, midwives, maybe a Doula. No matter what “the professionals” can tell you about your pregnancy, no-one knows your baby and your body better than YOU.
There are three connections I would love to discuss with you:
– Connection with your baby;
– Connection with yourself;
– Connection with your instincts as a mother.
Connection with your baby
Connecting with your baby starts when you become pregnant. Your baby awaiting birth is physically, emotionally, and spiritually connected to its mother, its source of life. It’s more than the overwhelming love you feel the first time you hear their heartbeat, the first time you feel them kick, it’s knowing that you truly feel your child, you understand them, you intuitively know their needs.
Parents are somehow expected to know what to do and when do it. That “somehow” is your instincts. Sadly, for some mothers and families that is not always the case. They are so bogged down with the “advice” and information thrown at them by everyone else, they’ve forgotten to connect with their baby and follow their instincts.
Finding the emotional connection with your baby should be one of the most important aspects of parenting. Creating a relationship based on love, security and bonding is not only vital to the wellbeing of your child, but will aid you endlessly in your first few months of caring for your baby.
Children that are positively emotionally connected to their parents develop a positive sense of trust, a sense of self, and a feeling of security. That feeling of security leads to a calmer, peaceful baby in the first few weeks and a less stressed out Mum. It doesn’t mean your baby will never cry or be in pain, but having that connection there means baby knows Mummy loves them and will take care of them, they won’t have to cry forever. Holding them close to you, carrying them in a sling – close to your warmth and your heartbeat just as they were in the womb, helps to maintain their sense of security and connection to you.
When your baby is still in the womb, still growing, take time to develop that connection. Talk to them – evidence shows your baby can start to hear sounds as early as 16 weeks. Your voice can be soothing to your baby. Spend time with them – that may sound silly, you are carrying them around in your womb 24/7 – but take some time, put your feet up and truly focus on your child(ren), put your favourite music on and enjoy sharing some one-on-one time with your baby.
Share this time with your partner too. (S)He may not be able to feel baby inside as you can, but they can still connect – lay a hand across your tummy, talk to the baby – they can hear their voice too! Cherish this time you have to connect with your baby, and the opportunities your baby has to connect with you – a kick when they recognise your voice, or a feeling you experience when you spend some quiet time focusing on your child.
Connection is invaluable and can have an untold effect on your child’s life …the memory of the security and love felt may well intrude upon negative acts of self-destruction as a young adult.
Imprint your love now, and may it last forever