Bonding with Baby

Bonding with Baby

By Former Consultant Psychotherapist to the rich and famous Dee Murray

Having had two children myself, both by emergency c-section and my second child being extremely premature born at just 27 weeks, I understand how important it is to bond with your baby from the moment it is born. Though for some mothers this sadly, and even heart breakingly does not come naturally and has to be worked on and encouraged. My first child born nearly 20 years ago was a difficult pregnancy. Like most women I tried to enjoy the best bits, the first time that you start to show your bump, the first kick and the scans are all exciting. But some of the time I could not sleep, I was sick for the first trimester and... it came back in the last trimester and I even remember at antenatal class the midwife telling us all not to worry as only 1 in 10 babies are born by c-section, and do you know what? I knew that one would be mine!

Thankfully, I had no problem bonding with my daughter, she was an easy baby and very placid, but I do believe that I can take some credit for that. It is a true fact that the more relaxed you are as a mother the more relaxed your babies are. They sense all of your feelings both positive and negative, so it is important to remember that you grew this small person, they are indeed a part of you, and just because they are now outside of your body it does not mean that they do not feel your pain, discomfort or indeed happiness! Statistics show that post natal depression is on the rise, with 1 in 10 women suffering from this condition, though in reality certain organisations will tell you it is more like 1 in 7. Why? Could it be that we have forgotten (with our modern busy lives) how to relax and enjoy our pregnancies? I feel that we place ourselves under so much pressure that a pregnancy becomes an inconvenience. There were times when (tongue in cheek) I felt like it would be fantastic if only we could just order our babies and have them on an express delivery within 48 hours!

Calm yourselves, for help is at hand. I have treated my parenting much like I run my business and these are the rules I like to stick to. Follow them for yourselves and see how you get on.

Rule Number 1 – Just remember that not everyone has a natural motherly instinct, we dont all know how to be Mothers, sometimes you have to work at it and find out how to be good at it. Ask for help, like all the best jobs sometimes they require training. Speak to friends or colleagues who have calm and relaxed children, mimic the parents you most admire! Do not be afraid to be away from your child and have breaks. Friends and relatives are always volunteering to babysit when they are little – LET THEM, take a break and do something nice for you. Miss your baby for a couple of hours and enjoy them when you get home. Having time off does not make you a bad mother!

Happy Mothers make great Mummies! and guess what? Happy mummies make happy daddies!

Rule Number 2 – Be disciplined, set a routine. The sooner you can organise yourself the easier it is. Both my babies slept through the night at around 6 weeks, but I learned how to do this when I was a children's Nanny when I first left school. The techniques stuck with me. If you have ever seen Nanny 911 or Super Nanny you will understand what I mean. If finances permit, I strongly advise having a maternity nurse to help you even if it is just for the first week or so, a good one will teach you everything you need to know and this can be invaluable! Children thrive in a routined environment it makes them feel safe, afte all who really enjoys living in chaos?

Rule Number 3 – Touch! Babies love to be touched. My children loved and still do love their feet being massaged. My son who is now 8 absolutely loves to have his head stroked or even his ears! It may sound strange but don't you remember stroking your bump? The power of touch for us all is amazing and touch can tell a child so much, make them feel safe and secure as well as loved. Baby massage or Baby Reflexology is wonderful and we have courses starting very soon, so check out the website for more info at www.allyourlife.co.uk

Remember why you have become a parent in the first place. It is your job to nurture this little person into becoming a well rounded, self assured and confident individual. I have a 19 year old so believe me you feel when they have hit their teens that all your efforts have gone to waste, but its not true. Give them a fabulous start, all they need is security and love and you teach them how to love their own children when you can enjoy grand parenting! Then you get to pass down all of your secrets to successfully bonding with baby. Good luck and enjoy. Before you know it they are all grown up!

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