Bonding with Baby
Bonding with your baby is something that every mom to be is hearing all over. It can be quite intimidating to know that a lot of your child’s healthy social development is relying on how well you bonded. But not to fear, we had our expert on babies, Michelle van der Westhuizen, in studio to explain to us how it works and what you as a mommy need to know.
Bonding with your baby starts while you are still pregnant, the nausea in the morning, tiny fluttering in the tummy, feeling babies movements etc. Daddies usually start bonding around the third trimester when they can see the big physical changes and also feel the little movements. They do react a bit differently than us ladies though, they start working longer hours and harder as their primal instinct is to provide for you and the little one. So don’t get frustrated or upset when he is late for dinner, his just doing his job. Going for your sonar scan also helps the bonding process as everything suddenly seems more real to both you and dad, sometimes we are even able to see the infamous nose that runs in the family.
Once baby is born a lot of hormone changes take place in both mom and dad to strengthen the bonding process. The “love hormone” oxytocin is present with both mom and dad, prolactin which is released when breast-feeding and of course our progesterone and oestrogen levels will also change in both parents.
When baby is placed on mom or dads chest (kangaroo care) more of the “love hormone” get’s released which generates the feeling of absolute love and contentment. The temperature of our chests also rises to accommodate and regulate babies body temperature. For mom, breastfeeding is one of the easiest and most important ways to bond with your little one. As time goes on and you get to know your baby, every touch, look, smell and sound will play a role in your bonding. So in essence, spending time in each others arms is how the bonding’s done.
Research has shown that people who did not experience this amazing bonding with their parents usually experience social problems later in their lives. Even going so far as to commit crimes that have them ending up in jail.
If you are reading this and realising that you missed out on this bonding opportunity with your baby, for whatever reason. Don’t worry, you can still start the process. Every touch and look that passes between you two speaks volumes. Have skin on skin contact, do baby massages, play games and spend time together.Make the most of it and make an effort to have a strong bond with your little one.
For more info on our baby expert, Michelle van der Westhuizen, go visit her website.
Play as a child! Love without condition! Remember nothing can replace you as a parent!