The internet is full of blogs and advice on “10 ways to bond with your bump” and “tips for expectant mothers to love your bump”. These tips involve everything from singing and talking to your bump, massaging your bump, playing music to your bump an so on. I’ve read forum after forum of expectant mother’s doting over their bumps and gushing about the love they have for their baby bumps already. If i am honest, i can’t relate at all.
I have had the easiest pregnancy with things just starting to get tough now as i near the final weeks, I have an anterior placenta (this cushions the full effects of baby’s movements) and this pregnancy was unplanned. So forgive me if i am not stroking my bump in adoring circular movements muttering away whispering sweet nothings to my tummy. It’s not through lack of trying, it’s just the whole pregnancy for me has been like an out of body experience. I have sat in rooms with sonographers commenting on the rapid activity of my baby thrashing away on the screen desperately trying to somehow connect that moving image to the inside of my ever-growing belly. I’ve struggled to think of names for someone i have never met. I took a really long time to start documenting my bump in pictures, but i knew one day i would want to look back in awe at how my body changed. I have had to really take the time out to think about risks i may be causing to my baby as everything felt so easy to carry on life as normal. I have sat in antenatal classes being handed an abundance of advice about things to help with labour, epi-no’s and tens machines only for it to completely go over my head as it just doesn’t feel like any of this is happening. Don’t worry, i’m not in denial. I can imagine my life with a baby and there will be plenty of time for me to bond with him once he is here. In fact, i’m sure it will be love at first sight but right now i still can’t picture this baby inside of me and bond with my bump.
However, i do feel i have created an attachment to my unborn child to some degree. Perhaps it’s more a connection with the idea of having a baby but it’s helped me to imagine what life will be like once he’s here. So here are my suggestions for other ways form that bond with your baby (before he arrives) if you’re feeling totally detached from your bump:
- Keep a pregnancy book. This will mean you will be able to share your journey with your baby when he’s older and if he’s interested!
- Create a keepsake. This could be anything from knitting a hat to personalising a blanket but it’s something special from you to your baby that they can keep forever.
- If you live away from immediate family and friends, plan a trip home. This will ensure you establish those all important family bonds with your baby and the whole family has an exciting time to look forward to.
- Spend time with your partner creating a baby’s nursery or preparing the house for the arrival of a newborn. This can help prepare you for your new roles as parents and the imminent arrival but also create a new space for those special moments you will share with your baby.
- Talk about your baby using the name you plan to use with family and friend’s. This helps you and the friends and family that surround you to mentally prepare for the new addition by imagining life with him in it and using a name can really personalise those thoughts about your baby.
This is just my experience and if there is one thing pregnancy has taught me it’s not to google anything!! So even without having googled “i can’t bond with my bump, am i normal!?” i know that i am perfectly normal and i’m not alone. So for all you mum’s who are feeling a little silly trying to sing away to your bumps or feeling a stab of guilt that your not bonding with yours, i hear you. But it’s O.K, as the doctors keep telling us we all experience pregnancy differently and soon enough baby will be in your arms and you’ll wonder what you ever worried about!