Whether your pregnancy is expected or unexpected, it can be difficult to establish a relationship with the unseen child.
Bonding with your baby during pregnancy offers many benefits, not only to the baby but to the parents as well.
When a mother bonds with the baby during pregnancy, it affects the baby’s future growth and development.
Bonding with the baby during pregnancy is simply the process that you go through in experiencing emotions and feelings for the baby.
You begin to identify as the baby’s mother.
Early in the pregnancy, it can be hard to imagine the baby. The baby’s kicks may not be felt until the 14th week or later in the pregnancy. Some new mothers aren’t even sure they’ll feel the baby, because it can feel like gas.
The Dating Ultrasound
An ultrasound done in the first trimester of the pregnancy is often called a dating ultrasound. It confirms the correct dates of your pregnancy.
This ultrasound can often detect a baby’s heartbeat as early as six weeks into the pregnancy.
The scan can determine if the pregnancy is developing normally in the uterus. It can also count the number of babies present.
What can be seen in this early ultrasound depends on how many weeks into the pregnancy you are:
- Before 5 weeks gestation, the pregnancy may be too small to detect a fetus. However, there will be other signs of pregnancy.
- From 5 to 6 weeks, the baby is a tiny embryo just a few millimeters long. Don’t panic if you cannot see too much.
- At 6 to 7 weeks, the baby is still very tiny, less than an inch long, but you can begin to detect the heartbeat.
- During the 8th to 11th week of gestation, the baby will continue to grow and develop. You should be able to see the baby through a transabdominal ultrasound.
- From the 10th to 11th week, the embryo will be much more recognizable as a baby, with a body, head, arms and legs.
Although the gender may not be apparent in the dating ultrasound, it does give you a chance to confirm that you are pregnant and bond with the baby.
You may even get a photo of the scan to carry with you. This makes the baby that much more real.
Bonding Beyond the Medical Tests
Mothers and fathers have many ways to bond with the developing baby besides the ultrasound.
- Massage oils and lotions rubbed into the mother’s belly helps prevent stretch marks and relax a new mom.
- Massaging the baby bump is an excellent way to interact with the baby.
Just beautiful, if you want a warm fuzzy feeling to start your week watch this clip.@FamilyLinksUK Welcome to the World programme encourages parents to talk and sing with their baby in the womb and after birth #TTYB19 https://t.co/rVaHKI4Nn7— Sarah Darton (@SDarton) January 28, 2019
Talking or singing to the baby can also create an attachment to the baby.
Although you can get a small microphone that attaches to the stomach, women have been talking to their unborn babies for centuries to strengthen the bond between mother and child without technology.