Father-Baby Bonding Tips for While Baby is In-Utero
How to develop a relationship with your child before he or she is born
In order to bond with your baby in utero, and at the same time draw closer to your partner, all that is required is willingness and a little imagination. Here are some suggestions:
- Read about gestational growth or watch educational videos about prenatal development. Getting to know what is happening in your child’s life from week to week will help “bring the pregnancy home.”
- Learn about the relationship between nutrition and fetal development. Be proud of the knowledge you acquire. Consult with your partner about the best nutrients for your developing child.
- Investigate childbirth classes, birthing options, physician or midwife protocols; hospital policies; and infant massage techniques.
- Listen to your child’s heartbeat. Feel the kicks; notice the hiccups. Talk and croon to your child, and be on the lookout for responses to your loving sounds.
- Prepare the nest. Fix what’s broken; buy or create what’s needed; and build something new, just for your baby.
- Give to yourself. Take time to be with yourself; nourish yourself. Meditating and walking outdoors can help you recover your inner rhythm and tune in to the gestation and birthing in the world of nature.
Find a time and place to be “alone” with your child (perhaps while cuddling quietly with your partner or after she has fallen asleep). Making contact through your wife’s belly, allow yourself to relax, then touch, kiss, or converse with your unborn child. Direct positive thoughts and loving feelings to your infant. If you wish, visualize yourself holding, touching, rocking, or talking and singing to your child. Then let this image and the sensations connecting you to your child become etched into your consciousness, and it will be part of your experience together each day to come.
Jack Heinowitz, Ph.D., has been a psychologist and family therapist for over 40 years. He is the author of several books, including "Pregnant Fathers: Entering Parenthood Together".