Bonding with Baby
We are each other’s medicine.
The baby in your belly, arms – against your chest especially.
“I feel high and my baby is the drug,” I thought.— New Dad, Dave @ Insider Magazine
Bonding with this baby can be your special medicine. Your healing. Your integration of old and new.
It’s a pretty profound phenomenon, this oxytocin medicine. And while not every way of bonding with baby will produce an increase in this fabulous feel-good neurotransmitter, your bond matters. Your interconnection matters.
Note: Your baby (or babies) needs consistent caregiving/givers to thrive. For a variety of reasons from physical to mental health and beyond, some mothers may not able to engage in bonding activities early on. So if you are not mother and do consistently give care to a tiny human, know your impact can be significant too. We welcome you too to read on!
Here are three ways you can bond with babe:
- Make eye contact – preferably during daylight hours, but if you’re not worried about sleep anytime is just fine
- Safe physical touch – skin-to-skin and massaging babies feet are two lovely ways to get a mutual oxytocin boost!
- Conversation – it doesn’t matter if you baby or babies cannot physically respond (this one is great for womb-mates who have yet to come earth side!) your baby loves the sound and the vibration of your voice
HUM with your baby! Humming is a beautiful way to connect because of the calming response it produces in our bodies and minds. Humming activates your vagus nerve shutting down fight or flight responses. (Insert happy dance!) It tells your brain and heart to “come down” from the busyness that may have come to be; and it allows your body to rest and digest. Finally, it triggers the release of feel-good neurotransmitters including (more) oxytocin to promote feelings of relaxation!
What worked for you?
Do these activities resonate with you on your bonding journey?
How did you bond with you baby in the early days?
We’d like to add that these ways of bonding with baby can also be beautiful ways to bond with your partner too! Feel free to use what feels good in your experiences together.
With you as you grow, precious ones!
Your Cherry Blossom Doulas
Photo credit: the lovely @cherryblossomdoulakristy
Note: We are always here for those struggling with this bond. Many of your doulas have been here, too! Click here to connect with our team for support.
Hi! I’m Alyssa Leon. I lead Cherry Blossom Doula Services, LLC – an inclusive birth + postpartum doula team in Arizona; and mentor doulas in Arizona and beyond.