Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Bonding and creating meaningful and trustful relationships, is a part of the human experience I have been invested in exploring for years. When do we start to connect with our children?
Prenatal Psychology a relatively young branch in Psychology. Frames it as early as when a parent starts to imagine the new human they want to invite into their life.
I remember the day I decided it was time for me to become a mother. I had known that this was my wish for a long time. But this was different. That day, I became ready to take this next step together with my partner. I was on a 4 day retreat in nature, with a group I was studying with to become a Nature Therapists. (A branch of Eco Psychology).
During this retreat, we woke up early before the sun rise. To an early morning sky, still dark and full of stars. On the first two mornings we walked to a near by hill, facing east. Close to where our tents where.
On the last morning of the retreat, the rest of the group choose to sleep in. I went out on my own, to witness the sun rise. I found myself on the same hill, wrapped in a warm blanket. Singing to myself a lullaby that my grandmother had song to my mother and my mother had song to me. As I was singing it I felt a warmth inside. A connection to the child I was starting to invite with song into our life.
Bonding happens when a caregiver forms a strong connection with their baby.
It promotes the secretion of oxytocin the LOVE hormone and other hormones in the brain that encourage closeness. These hormones encourage the will to be invested in the care giving relationship.
For baby bonding promotes rapid brain growth emotional wellbeing and so much more…
Prenatal Psychology recognizes that we have three different relationships that unfold as we become parents. Two of them are formed even before our baby is born!
It starts from the moment that we wish for a baby, or sometimes it's our baby that surprises us, when a pregnancy is discovered!
The first relationship that we develop, is with the idea of our baby.
Our imaginary baby. This can include an image of what this new human will look like, or an idea of who they will be once they are born, or maybe how we will feel in the presence of this new human.
The second relationship is with the physical growing unborn baby, growing inside the womb. In utero babies are aware of sound, touch and the pregnant person’s emotions. They are active learners receiving biological messages from the environment and the world they will be born into. The information that they receive helps them understand and answer. If they will be born into a world that is full of stress or calm world? Will it be a world of abundance or of scarcity?
The third relationship starts at the moment our baby is born. Bonding with our baby can be instant and feel strong almost immediately. But often it takes time for us to feel that we are attached, it can take a while. This is completely normal.
Bonding with your baby is about creating space for them in our life, even before they are born.
By cultivating a relationship with them during pregnancy, we are letting them know that they have a place in our family. We are giving them the message that they are welcomed in to the world!