Bonding with Your Baby Starts Early in Pregnancy

woman and her partner touching her pregnant belly

The shared warmth and love of being a mom starts long before your baby is born. In fact, you and your baby will likely begin bonding early in your pregnancy. That joyous sense of attachment does more than just make the challenges of pregnancy feel rewarding, according to researchers, it’s also critical for your child’s health and psychological development.

According to Marilee Hartling, RN, prenatal program manager at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, “When there’s a healthy attachment between baby and parent, the baby comes to believe that the world is a safe place. This is the beginning of the establishment of trust.”

While some women report feeling the bond with their baby as soon as they realize they’re pregnant or get a positive pregnancy test result, it takes longer for others, and that’s okay. There’s no right or wrong timeline for your feelings. Just keep in mind that your baby is growing every day, and he or she is continually relying on and bonding with you.

As early as 16 weeks into your pregnancy, your baby’s ears have developed well enough to start detecting some sounds. And the first sound he or she hears is your heartbeat. That constant, reliable rhythm becomes soothing for your baby.

Later, your baby will start experiencing other sensations that contribute to bonding. By 26 weeks, your baby will know the sound of your voice. At this stage, reading, talking or singing to your baby provides a positive way to continue building that connection.

Around this same time, your baby will likely be able to feel your touch through your belly. Gently rubbing your belly, especially in response to your baby’s movements, can be a great way to interact and reinforce the growing bond with your baby. If you’re comfortable with it, this can also be an ideal opportunity for your partner to start bonding as well.

And, of course, continued bonding is essential even after your baby is born. Skin-to-skin contact, eye contact, demonstrating facial expressions, and talking and singing to your baby are all loving ways to build and reinforce the bond you share.

At Sira in Gainesville, we celebrate the beauty that comes with bringing a new life into the world. We also recognize it can be a real challenge and often comes with uncertainty and a lot of questions. Our trained client advocates have helped hundreds of women find the answers and support they need.

Whether you know you’re pregnant or think you may be, we’re here to provide you free services, including pregnancy counseling, connection to community resources, pregnancy testing, pregnancy confirmation ultrasounds and more.

Contact Sira today at 352-377-4947 to schedule your free appointment.

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