By Margo Kennedy, CNM~
Babies are conscious and aware in the uterus. They hear your heartbeat, voice and sense your love. They feel touch and feel the intention of our words and actions.
As we grow into our brain as babies, in our first year, our experiences create the design of our brain growth and contribute to the formation of our sense of self.
It has been discovered that positive imprints are needed and desired by humans for healthy development. They provide a brain with a sense of well-being that can impact how we experience our lives.
Feeling welcomed, wanted, seen, felt, heard, safe, protected, loveable, understood and that we belong all help us feel understood and loved. These are imprints we can provide our babies from conception on.
Here are some tools parents can use to transmit these positive imprints while pregnant:
Babies can hear by 20- 22 wks. They often recognize the music you listened to and the voices they heard surrounding you. During your birth and after, they are calmed by these sounds if they were calming to you in pregnancy.
- Try to develop a daily habit of daily relaxation or rest with some calm music or deep breathing. After birth, your baby will find this familiar, so you can use the same music or practices when helping them settle for sleep
- Babies love to be sung to! You or your partner can sing to your baby a song you love. This will send messages of love acceptance and welcome
- Partners can read their favorite childhood books to their babies and see how the baby recognizes it after birth
Touch and movement
Babies in the uterus feel touch and like to take on the movement experiences of their birth mothers.
- Massage your belly and use this as a time to talk to your baby about your day so it knows you are there for support. This can also be done by your partner
- Familiar motions are calming to babies. Parents mimicking the patterns of movement the baby felt in the uterus during pregnancy find this becomes a tool to settle their baby. So, pay attention to mom’s movements in pregnancy!
Stress is a normal function of life.
- Observe your life for balance and, if needed, search for support to help create it
- Conscious communication with your unborn baby helps them form context for what they are sensing
- If things are stressful, simply acknowledge them while including reassuring words about you and your baby’s safety. Your commitment to being there can help reassure your baby
Nurturing the Unborn Child by Thomas Verny, M.D
The Mind of Your Newborn Baby by David Chamberlain