Ideas for Prenatal Bonding

Pregnant woman sitting in the sun

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Prenatal bonding is how you relate to your baby during the pregnancy. For the vast majority of women and their families, it is a process rather than a single moment. Here are some ways to help with prenatal bonding.

Read to Your Baby

Consider choosing some of your favorite children’s books and begin reading to your baby. You can do this from the very beginning of pregnancy, but it is particularly good in the second half of pregnancy. This is also a great idea for dads and others around you to join in with bonding with the baby before birth. 

Write Your Baby a Letter

Writing your baby letters can be a great way to think about your baby and to increase prenatal bonding. You can have conversations and explains your hopes and dreams for your life together. It can also be like a pregnancy journal. Many moms use this as the start of a lifelong letter journal and give it as an 18th birthday gift.

Spend Time Daydreaming About Your Baby

Having a baby is an amazing thing. Though sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the physicality of how you feel, the many appointments and the to-do lists. Consider taking a few minutes each day just to daydream about life with your baby. Beginning to imagine yourself as a parent and creating positive visualizations can help ease fears you may have about parenting.

Share the Qualities That You Hope for Your Baby

Think of this form of prenatal bonding as a date night with the baby. You and your partner can share your ideas of the qualities that you hope your baby has in life. You might even try to frame it in terms of the qualities that your partner brings. This can be something physical like blue eyes or curly hair or it can be a character trait like a loving, friendly, or great laugh.

Sing to Your Baby

Perhaps your voice is an important part of your life—singer or not. Love conveyed through song, particularly between a mother and child is an age-old tradition. Begin singing to your baby and feel that connection grow. Not sure what to sing? Don’t worry about the song choice, it can run the gamut from top 40 to lullabies. Your baby just wants to hear your voice.

Talk About Your Baby

Share your baby with others. Be sure to tell the grandparents about how your baby moves. Ask questions about when your mom or mother-in-law was pregnant. Compare your baby’s movements and rhythms with those of you and your partner. This can make them feel included in prenatal bonding. Invite them to feel kicks if you feel it is appropriate.

By Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH
Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH is a professor, author, childbirth and postpartum educator, certified doula, and lactation counselor.