Guest Author - Julie Renee Holland
Not only is it possible to begin bonding with your baby before birth, there are many real benefits to working on an emotional connection with your unborn child. Prenatal bonding is not difficult, you may even be instinctively doing many things to bond with your baby. I just finished reading "Bonding Before Birth" by Miriam Stoppard and I was thrilled to learn that so many things I was doing were putting us on the right track to prenatal bonding.
I've known for years that when I finally became a parent that I would want to use an attachment parenting style, but until I was pregnant I never gave prental bonding any thought. My first reaction to prenatal stimulation and prenatal bonding was to think, "Man, talk about overcompensating!" But once I started to do some research I was surprised to see that research shows prenatal bonding has benefits for the whole family.
When parents stimulate and bond with babies before birth, the babies are calmer, more alert, an even have a larger head circumference at birth (hmm, do I really want that last one?!). Miriam Stoppard's book is a great place to start with bonding. Her advice is straightforward and medically sound.
I was particularly pleased at her advice to play whatever music you enjoy to stimulate the baby's hearing. Previous information I had seen suggested that only certain classical music would be good for baby. At the risk of sounding uncultured - I have to admit that I hate most classical music and the thought of spending hours listening to Mozart made my blood pressure rise! Dr. Stoppard suggests that music that makes mom feel good is good for the baby.
Dr. Stoppard also mentions that the flavors of the food you eat after week 14 are actually tasted by the baby in the amniotic fluid and again when you are breastfeeding. Babies learn to like the flavors they are familiar with. Both good reasons to increase your vegetable intake!
This little book is full of comforting and helpful suggestions. Taling to your baby, singing, massaging your belly, and playing kick games with baby during the last trimester can all help boost your baby's brain and help them prepare for life on the outside. Bonding before birth is not about creating a super achiever - rather it is abou doing all you can to connect with the little one who is about to share your world.