The transition into family life is not always as easy as it sounds. Talking about the baby, waiting for its arrival is one thing but the actual arrival of the baby is something altogether different. Usually the newborn is ready to bond immediately after birth but it’s not the same with the parents as they may need some time to adjust to this new lifestyle. It is completely normal to feel so and bonding does develop over time.
Ways To Create Bonding
Right after the baby is born and the umbilical cord is cut, the mother may ask the nurse to put the baby on her abdomen or chest (unless medical complications need the baby to stay away). This act of staying connected in those crucial after birth minutes could go on to create a lasting bond.
Breastfeeding right after birth stimulates the release of prolactin hormone in the mother which helps to trigger the mothering instincts from the very start.
Physical touch like skin to skin contact, gently stroking the baby, caressing the baby etc. result in increased bonding among the infant and the parent. Mother’s touch is also known to have therapeutic effects as it stabilizes the erratic breathing patterns in a newborn.
Eye to eye contact is another way to create a special connection. The few minutes of eye contact right after birth, before the baby falls asleep, is known to bring a rush of mothering feelings.
A newborn also responds well to the voice of its parents. While talking to her newborn, the mother’s voice automatically adopts a soothing quality which relaxes the child. Talking, sharing experiences or just plain reading to the baby goes a long way in creating that everlasting bond.
It is important for the parents to integrate the baby in their daily lives if they wish to create a bond. Carrying the baby close to their chest while going through the daily chores helps in attaining this.
It has been found that babies recognize the heartbeat of its mother. Therefore holding them close to their chest when they cry helps to build up a sense of trust among the parent and child.
Bonding With Father
Fathers usually feel left out throughout the birth process or are at times apprehensive. But they can start bonding right after birth by cutting the umbilical cord or holding the baby if the mother is resting. Simple touch, words or gazing could go a long way in triggering the fatherly feelings. Bonding with a child is rarely a conscious effort.