Tips for partners on bonding with their unborn baby
Partners: Here's how to born with your unborn baby
Mums have intimate contact with their babies for nine months and if you’re an expectant parent but not the one carrying the baby, the process of bonding with mum’s bump can be a bit daunting. We have some tips to help you make a connection with your baby even before they are born, and hopefully help you feel more comfortable with the idea that you’re going to be a really great parent.
Go the scans
If you haven't got used to the idea that you're going to be a parent, seeing your baby on a scan can make it real and is an amazing experience that you’ll treasure forever. You might even be able to see your little one kicking around and even sucking their thumb!
You could even go one step further and get a 4D scan. This is an advancement in technology that lets you see a bit more of your baby before they’re born. Usually you can get this done when you’re between 26 weeks and 32 weeks pregnant. Pin this to the fridge door or set it as your phone background as a constant reminder that your partner’s bump is home to your little baby.
As well as going to the scan you should take every opportunity you can to feel your baby kick by placing your hands on mum’s bump. You’ll be able to feel your baby's kicks at about 19 weeks pregnant, mum might even be able to identify an elbow or a foot!
Talk or sing to mum’s bump
Your baby’s hearing is developing all the time, and from about 23 weeks your baby will be able to hear their mum's heartbeat and sounds from the outside world.
All parents should spend time talking to their babies, as when they’re born your baby will then recognise your voice having already formed an attachment to you. If you’re away a lot with work, you can use your phone to record the sound of your voice and get mum to play it to her bump whilst you’re away.
If you love music you can play music to your baby, sharing your favourite songs. Better still if you’re a good singer you can sing to your baby, as this will have the added positive effect of them getting used to the sound of your voice. You might feel self conscious at first, but we promise you’ll get used to it. As your baby's hearing will be sensitive it is recommended to play something a bit softer so they aren’t exposed to extreme sound levels. It’s often claimed that babies prefer soothing classical music, so perhaps try some Mozart early on!
Be a team with mum
Attending antenatal classes with mum can help you know what to expect during labour and birth whilst also making you feel more connected to the pregnancy. If you’re a reader there’s a wealth of information out there to help keep you informed about what’s happening, and we're sure mum will appreciate your dedication!
Think about what they will be like
Another way to connect to your baby during pregnancy is to think about what they will be like when they grow up, and the things you’ll be able to do together. Buy them a book that you loved when you were a child or a toy that you also remembered playing with. You could even start to read the book to your baby before they’re born as they will be able to hear you. That way you can start connecting them as a person even when they are still in the womb.