For many women, connecting with their baby during pregnancy doesn’t come quite as easily as they thought it might. Perhaps you feel a little awkward during pregnancy, or maybe you feel as though you have to wait until your baby is born to start connecting with them.
When I was pregnant, I had debilitating Hyperemesis Gravidarum and one of the things that helped me through was finding ways to connect with my baby during pregnancy. It helped me to see past the wretched sickness and helped me persevere when I felt like I couldn’t go on.
But you don’t have to be sick to want to connect with your baby! It’s a wonderful thing to have this little connection between Mama and Babe that bonds you and ties you together, and nurturing that during pregnancy can be a beautiful thing.
Here are some of the ways you can connect with your baby during pregnancy:
1 – Talk To Your Baby
The idea of talking to your baby during pregnancy is really cute, but there’s also evidence to suggest that babies start to recognise words before they’re born! Not only is your baby listening to you, but they’re picking up on how you’re saying things and what you’re saying. How incredible is that!
Talking to your baby about how much you love them, how amazing the world is going to be with them in it and that you’re so excited to meet them are all positive, uplifting and loving things to say to help build that connection.
2 – Interact With Your Baby
One of my favourite things to do when I was pregnant was ‘poke back’ at my baby when they would kick or push out on my stomach. They would kick, I would gently push back, and they would kick again. It was almost like we were having this little unspoken conversation, but knowing they were responding to me was such a big step to creating that bond.
It’s also been suggested that a baby in utero can differentiate between a touch from their mother and a touch from someone else. Touch is also one of the first senses your baby develops, so interacting with your baby may help to strengthen that sense too.
3 – Find Out Their Gender
This isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay, but I was struggling a lot with connecting with my babies during my pregnancies and finding out their gender each time helped a lot.
I think this is because it helped me see them as my little son and my little daughter which helped me to connect with them. I found out early with my daughter (at 10 weeks via blood test) because I was so sick and I knew that finding out would help me feel more connected.
4 – Name Your Baby
While deciding on a baby name can be very difficult (and the cause for a few arguments here and there, and it makes you realise how many people you know that you may not like so much), it can also help you when you’re trying to emotionally connect with your baby.
If you’re struggling with a name, it doesn’t have to be the name you’ll call them when they’re born, but it might be a cute nickname you use when referring to them or talking to them. Rather than calling them ‘the baby’ you might refer to them as ‘little peanut’ or ‘baby *insert last name*.
5 – Imagine What They Will Look Like
Can you imagine what your little baby will look like? What features do you think they will have of yours? Or your partners? Have you looked to see what the probability of their eye colour will be based on your eye colour? (Genetics is super interesting).
Then you can start to imagine what they will be like as they get older and as they grow. It helps to make it all seem more ‘real’ especially in the early days when you don’t quite look pregnant or when you haven’t been able to feel your baby move yet.
6 – Talk To Your Baby About What You’re Doing
If you find the idea of having a conversation with your baby difficult, try simply talking to your baby about what you’re doing as you do it.
Let your baby know you’re getting ready to go out for the day, going to see people or run errands. It’s kind of like vocalising your actions, but directing it towards your baby.
This can make you feel a little more comfortable talking to your babe and your baby will get to hear the sound of your voice.
7 – Meditate or Focus On Your Baby
I’ll be the first to admit, I suck at meditation. But when I really wanted to focus on connecting with my baby, I would lay somewhere comfortable, close my eyes and just focus on the movements my baby was making.
Sometimes this was easier to do in a bath, the buoyancy of the water was more comfortable, and I could focus on how my pregnant body felt, and how my baby moved.
8 – Have An Ultrasound
I”m not advocating for unnecessary ultrasounds, but there are some providers who offer things like 3D and 4D ultrasounds where you can see your baby moving and you can keep photos or little videos of your baby.
What our babies get up to in there is still somewhat of a mystery to us, so seeing how they move around and their little quirks (babies will suck their thumb, hiccup and move with intention) can be a great way to feel more connected to them.
9 – Get Your Husband/Partner Involved
There are so many great ways to get your husband/partner involved in your pregnancy, and doing so can help you feel more connected to your new babe.
I always found that when my husband would talk to our baby girl and lay his head on my belly I felt so much love and felt so at peace about everything. It made it easier to imagine our new little addition to the family and it made me so much more excited to meet her.
Having him involved made a big difference in how I connected with our daughter and it might help you too.
10 – Prepare Their Space
Even though we knew our baby girl was going to be sleeping in our room, we still had a dedicated space for her and this meant I was able to take some time to decorate and prepare it for her.
Washing and folding all the little tiny baby clothes, adding some cute decorative items, and just getting her space ready, made me feel more connected, especially when I’d talk her through what I was doing and how her space was looking for her.
Whether you’ve had challenges in finding that spark with your baby, or if you’re looking for new ways to feel closer to your new little babe, these ideas will help you connect with your baby during pregnancy.