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All About Pregnancy

7 Ways to Bond With Your Baby—During Pregnancy!

You can actually connect with your baby before delivery. Here are 7 ways to start

You don’t have to wait until you meet your newborn to start building a strong relationship—there are ways to bond with your baby even before she arrives. Here, a few to try.

1. Be mindful.

“It’s easy to get caught up in forward thinking when you’re pregnant, but mindfulness can help you pay attention to your body and your growing baby,” says Carla Naumburg, Ph.D., author of Parenting in the Present Moment. What's more, research suggests that mindfulness can help ward off depression in new and postpartum moms. One easy way to start: Go for a walk and count every eight steps, then begin again.

2. Breathe.

“Breathing deeply calms your nervous system,” says Jane Austin, director of Mama Tree, a prenatal yoga school in San Francisco. Instead of belly breaths (too uncomfortable now!), breathe horizontally into your ribs, like an umbrella opening and closing.

3. Picture your baby.

Yes, you already have an ultrasound, but it’s important to gaze inward, not just outward, says Austin. To start, sit in a comfy chair, set both feet on the ground, and form an image of what your baby looks like inside of you.

4. Try prenatal yoga.

Those designed specifically for pregnant women not only include safe-for-pregnancy poses, they encourage you to send loving messages down to your baby.

5. Talk to your baby.

You don’t need a special script to get the dialogue going. You can narrate something as mundane as preparing dinner or a walk around the neighborhood. Plus it will get you used to talking to your baby when she's here—a great habit since chatting with her regularly can boost language development. (And yes, babies can hear in the womb!)

6. Put down your phone.

While you wait in line or at the doctor’s, press pause before reaching into your bag to see whether you’ve gotten any texts or updates, advises Naumberg. It’ll give you another chance to be mindful and send sweet thoughts to your baby.

7. Share the love.

“Every time you touch someone you care about, your body transfers ‘love’ hormones to your baby,” says Austin. “When you’re nourished and supported, your baby is too.” So make a date with your BF, hold hands with your partner, or pet your pooch to keep the good vibes flowing.