The wait is finally over; your new baby is going to arrive today. You have done everything in your power to have a healthy pregnancy and birth. You want to be the best mom for your precious gift.
A crucial part of this is bonding.
Bonding is the connection between the newborn and family or other humans. Babies who bond well are happier, healthier and better adjusted.
5 Easy Steps to Bonding
1. Skin to skin contact: Immediately after the birth, your newborn should be placed in your arms. This contact allows you to groom and clean your baby. You gently touch, explore, massage, and smell your newborn. This act allows you to release a chemical in your brain called oxytocin also known as the “love” hormone. You fall in love with your baby and your baby falls in love with you.
2. Eye contact: You baby will be alert and awake the first hour after birth. Your baby’s eyes will be searching for yours. Your baby knows you. He has heard your voice, your heartbeat and felt your rhythms. Now he is ready to see you. This contact allows new pathways to form in his brain that will impact him for a lifetime.
3. Talk to your baby: You baby knows your voice. Hearing it brings calmness to his world. Birth is a difficult event for your baby. Your voice brings back normalcy. Sing to your baby if that is what you have done during your pregnancy. The human voice is powerful. Let your baby hear YOUR voice first and above all others in the room.
4. Listen to your maternal voice: During your pregnancy you have bonded with your baby. Your nurturing brain has changed and grown. You know how to care for your new baby. Listen. Your brain will tell you what to do. No website, magazine article or book can replace your maternal instinct. Love your baby and trust yourself.
5. Spend time with your new baby: Don’t allow your baby to be separated from you. Often babies are taken away for baths, screenings and evaluation. Ask that these procedures be done in your room. Ask for rooming in, so that your baby is not taken to a nursery. This allows you to get to know your babies needs so that you can be responsive without relying on someone else to make that observation and then respond.