You’re pregnant! (Ha, you don’t need me to tell you.) You have another human person inside you! You’ve never seen them, never heard them, can’t quite touch them (though you feel their movements), but you will do all those things soon, and this person is going to be a major part of your life forever now.
You’ll have lots of time and ways to connect with your baby after they are born. But gosh, they’re living inside you right now, with you everywhere you go, and possibly causing a whole bunch of discomfort. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel a good connection with them right now? So how do you do that with someone that you can’t see, hear, or touch?
1. Talk to your baby. You’ve probably heard that babies can hear you in the womb, and talking helps them get familiar with your voice. You’ll also find that it helps you remember that you are talking to someone!
2. Picture your baby in the womb. That little person is really in there! Even if you haven’t felt movement yet, imagine what they are like and what their world feels like. Then you can continue the practice throughout your pregnancy.
3. Sing to your baby. Sing some songs that you’ll want to sing to your baby outside the womb also. They will be familiar to your baby when they are in your arms, and that means even more comforting!
4. Sit with your hands on your belly, breathe, and feel the movements. Just give yourself space to savor time with your baby. This could be just a few minutes in the middle of your day, or you can do something special like take a bath.
5. Visualize your labor experience and the work you will do with your baby. This is a powerful tool for your own mindset and preparation for labor. It’s also a powerful tool for connecting with your baby in the big work you both have ahead of you.
6. Imagine your baby being born. That moment when your baby slides out of your body and into your arms. There is absolutely nothing like this moment. Looking forward to that first experience of touching and holding your baby can make it all feel more real.
7. Prepare something for your baby. This can be something as small as putting sheets on their little bed and looking forward to laying them down there. Or it can be something as large as designing and preparing a whole nursery for them. Either way, you are preparing to welcome your baby in your home. Additionally, any time you look at it you can picture your baby using it!
8. Write to your baby. Write a letter to your baby. Or even a series of little love notes. You could keep them to share with your baby when they are bigger, or keep them for yourself. Either way it’s a meaningful way to connect with your baby in pregnancy.
9. Take a walk and picture how the rocking motion is soothing to your baby. They are having all kinds of little experiences in there and what you do with your body affects them! Also, the walk will be good for you, and your baby will enjoy the motion.
10. At your prenatal visits, ask your care provider how the baby is lying and see if you can identify your baby’s body parts on your own at home. It’s amazing to be able to feel their body and understand how they are lying!
11. Make a maternity book. This could mean including pictures of things you did while pregnant with this baby. It can also have your comments on those things. Make sure there are plenty of pictures of your wonderful pregnant self! While you make it, imagine showing your child someday.
12. Respond to your baby’s movements. If they push on you somewhere, give a little push back!
13. Use your baby’s name once you’ve chosen it.
14. Make something for your baby. A little different from the preparation in number 7, this one has you doing more arts-and-crafts, whatever that looks like for you. Knit, crochet, sew, or quilt? Paint or draw? Stencil a picture on a onesie? The idea is to make sometime with your hands that is specifically for your baby. Check out my Pinterest board on the subject if you want some cute ideas!
15. Tell your baby about what life will be like on the outside together. Even though your baby doesn’t understand your actual words of course, it’s a meaningful way to talk to them and feel connected with your future motherhood experience with them. Spend plenty of time talking about the love you have and all the many ways your baby will experience it.
Of course you do not have to do all of these things in order to connect with your baby during pregnancy. I want to give you tons of ideas so you can pick the ones that feel meaningful for you and run with it! So go! Start building your lifelong relationship with your child now!