My new book Dear Poppyseed, A Soulful Momma's Pregnancy Journal was written, in the first instance as a means to help me communicate with the little person growing inside me. The journey of pregnancy for me and for my relationship was a transformative one, and one I felt I needed to share with the little belly bean.
This inutero communication came very easily for me, as I believe it does for many women. Though sometimes we may stop and balk at our attempts at bonding with baby, perhaps because we feel silly. We tend to see baby as nowt but a bump until it arrives in our arms. From my experience I am now utterly convinced that baby is very much aware on a subconscious and soulful level. Because of this awareness, this humanity, I believe mummy and daddy can get to know their little one well in advance of their eyes meeting and skin touching. Perhaps even before conception...
I spent most of my pregnancy in some form of unity with baby. She was always at the heart of everything I did, even if I was doing nothing or was consumed by a task. Alongside this I made sure I had special time for exclusive bonding. And you know what, it worked. When baby arrived I felt I knew her. Nothing about her presence or her personality has ever been a surprise. I believe that spending the time getting to know her, making her feel loved and safe, whilst in my womb, has translated smoothly into us having an extremely close bond and a happy, calm, loving relationship.
Here are my top ten tips of getting to know your unborn baby...
1) Write your baby letters and/or keep a journal. The very act of doing this puts baby forefront in your mind, and at your fingertips. Your whole body works in concert to communicate with babe. Energetically baby will feel this. As a bonus writing about your day will help you too. I found that writing a journal to and for my baby was immensely therapeutic, something that was much needed with the on set of pregnancy hormones and parenting nerves!
2) Touch your baby. You may not know what part of your child you are stroking, be it an elbow, a toe or a fist. But touch it and stroke it all the same. Get your child used to warm, close contact, prepare them for a lifetime of cuddles and healing soothing mummy caresses!
3) Talk to your child. Yeah, I know... maybe not in public. But you can speak to your child mentally. You can send thoughts down to your belly, and let baba know you are thinking of her. And when alone at home, you can describe what you see, say how you feel, read her a book, tell her about your day, say you love her. Come on ladies, we all love a good chat with someone who listens intently and never interupts! Take advantage and at the same time show baby who you are and what you sound like.
4) Sing to baby, sing in the shower, hum in the car, whistle as you work. Let baby know they are not alone. If there is a sudden loud noise, speak soothingly to your bump. Play your favorite tunes and la la la along to them!
5) Sway and dance and wiggle. Give baby a ride! You may not wish to breakdance or visit a rave, but some soothing rocking and bobbing may well provide entertainment for little one and give you a chance to burn off some of the calorific cravings you've been having. Dance together as one.
6) Lay down somewhere peaceful and just be. Put your hand on your tum, gently rub it, chitter chatter or simply send happy, loving peaceful thoughts down to your beloved. Do this every day, perhaps as you wake up, or before you go to sleep, or both! Make that time to just be, get Dad in on the act, have him curl up next to you and both of you focus thoughts, energy and love on your growing bump. Bond babies bond.
7) Meditate and envision yourself in the womb with baby. I would mentally project myself down into my own belly, and when there I'd have a little chat with baba. I'd tell her all about how much she was loved, and I'd envision myself giving her hugs and kisses. Yeah it's pretty hippy, but it felt very real, very true, so try it!
8) BEFORE CONCEPTION and AFTER. Take some time out, find some silence, imagine your future child, and when you feel comfortable and connected, communicate with them mentally, or verbally. I believe your child has a spirit, and before it is inside you, it is accessible through the power of your thoughts - try it! I know I communicated with my baby before conception through dreams and meditations, and in part that is why I feel I know her so well. We were always meant to be. Destined to be together!
9) Take your baby on trips to meet family and friends. Encourage the people who are gonna love your baby to communicate with him in your tum. Get them to talk / sing / read / address the baby. If you know the babies' name, introduce the bump by name, or by a pet name. Make the baby into a little being in his own right. Allow him to hold a space as a being, albeit one that is currently in hiding. Include your child in all things and let him start to form some relationships!
10) Make space for baby in your home. This is something you inevitably have to do anyway, preparing a nursery, buying toys, clothes, nappies etc. Have a chat with bump and tell her what you are planning, see if she approves. Wait and see if you get a strong feeling for bear or butterfly decor and then go with your intuition. Be guided by your soul, knowing that the little soul inside you may be spiritually pulling some strings and showing you the way!