Kristy provides support for pregnant and laboring mothers and for transitioning families after the birth of their baby.See all posts »
Movement and Talk with Our Babies Inside
I was at the grocery store the other day by myself -- a rarity these days. I found myself standing in the checkout line swaying back and forth. I wasn’t holding a child or carrying one in my belly. But after having three children it is uncommon to not have one to soothe as we wait in line. It has just become a natural movement to sway and bounce as if I am holding a baby. I can remember rubbing my belly a lot after I had already given birth like I did so often while baby was inside. Funny how that habit sticks with you awhile after birth. Partially because I think it is soothing to the mom as well. That action of rubbing your belly while swaying and moving your hips is a primal one that should be used during labor.
The opportunity to connect to our growing baby(s) inside of us is great. We begin to bond early on by talking, singing, and breathing with them, as well as moving with them.
I hear so many people express gratitude for the beautiful moments they have with their partners when they speak closely next to their belly to the baby(s) inside, or place earphones on their belly and play music, sing or read to the baby(s). All of these things help us to feel more connected to the baby(s) before he/she/they makes his/her/their way into the world. They also help our baby(s) to recognize our voices and tune in to the way we soothe them.
Importantly the way we breathe while baby is inside of us is passed onto the baby. Baby will breathe as we breathe and will also respond to our breathing. Slow, deep breaths are naturally soothing. When baby comes out of the womb it then becomes a recognizable way for baby to calm down and hastily relax.
Having conversations with your baby is a wonderful way to connect as well. I usually recommend that expecting mamas have a good talk with the baby when it’s time to be birthed; letting baby know they are ready to meet him/her/them and that they are safe and it’s ok to come out now. Also when labor slows down or when there is stress, a conversation with the baby(s) can help to relieve tension and bring the focus back inward to help mom stay connected to her baby(s) and the process.
Moving with baby(s) is a great way to bond and also a great way to de-stress, stay focused, grounded, and of course get exercise for mama and baby. There are so many classes out now that encourage all different types of movement during the prenatal stages. There are yoga classes, a variety of dance classes, belly dancing, hula hooping, nia, swimming; aqua aerobics, and Pilates. Of course walking and moderate hiking are great too.
Next time you’re standing in line at the market or even just waiting for your kettle to whistle, try talking with your baby, moving with your baby and breathing with your baby. You may feel a deeper connection and get a great response from baby. Laughing with baby is always a good thing too!