I HAVE stellar announcement to make this week, albeit sheepishly. I just found out late last week from ultrasound scanning that I am going to have a daughter! I would like to thank my friends and relatives for their sincere congratulations.
I am already seeing myself spending my spare time with my princess, reading her fairy tales and playing doctor for her Barbie doll and stuffed animals or practising judo with her. But, before my imagination goes wild, I’d better come back to reality, which is that, I, as an ambitious middle-class city resident, barely have any time I can spare even before she is born.
For such reason, I, along with my wife, have to make sure I create a bond with my baby as soon as possible. And so should all other new parents.
Studies have proved that even unborn babies in the womb have the emotional quotient and intuitive ability to feel their parents’ affection and form an attachment. The attachment in turn is important for the baby to have a sense of security and self-esteem, which enriches its life. The bond is important for the baby’s development as well as the parents’ enthusiasm in raising their infant, no matter how busy or tired they may be.
According to scientists, as a baby in the womb grows older and bigger, it gets to acquire sensual experiences such as hearing the sound of its mother’s body, recognising the intonation from the parents’ language, sensing bright light and surprisingly, remembering all of these, as if to instinctively form organised responses. Oh, I almost forget the naughty kicking in the mother’s belly. You can take advantage of these experiences to grow an intimate bond with your unborn baby. Like an invisible umblical cord of mutual understanding.
The mother has the lead when it comes to getting closer to the baby. Obviously, she is the one carrying it for 9 months or more. The simplest act is to talk to your baby since she can now hear your voice. You should also sing or play music to the baby since research shows it can stimulate the baby and help with the growth of the brains. Recent findings even suggest that babies can remember music they listened to while in the womb for months. However, you should let your baby listen to soft or classical melodies rather than punk rock, which can make your baby cry (even if you are a huge fan).
When it comes to physical contact, you can touch and rub your belly, or massage it every now and then. From the sixth month onwards, you can try pushing gently against or rub where the baby kicks to see if she ‘retaliates’ with a response.
Alright, men! It’s also your baby even though you are not carrying it. Similarly, you can talk to your baby so it recognizes your voice, or even better, read her a story. The best way to do that is to pick the stories that your wife likes too. You can rub or massage the baby bump (of course – if the mommy doesn’t mind) or feel the kicks. Attending the ultrasound appointment with your wife or partner should be encouraged as well.
My wife and I have tried all the activities above, and really feel that we are loving our baby girl more and more. And we are in love with one another more than ever, even sweeter than our early days of dating. Our baby girl, like those for other parents, is a gift from heaven.