Bonding with a newborn is very important. Emotional bonding between a child and parent is essential to healthy development. These early bonds are the basis of an infant’s sense of security. Children develop their first instincts about whether their world is safe or unsafe – “approach” or “avoid” – based on parental bonding.
This raises an obvious question: How can you bond with your baby carried by a surrogate?
The surrogate has a vital role in a pregnancy, carrying the child to term before the newborn infant goes home with his or her family. The expectations placed on the surrogate and intended parents can differ, as can the relationship between the surrogate and parents.
No matter how the particulars vary, though, everyone wants the baby to be happy and healthy! One part of that shared responsibility is making sure parents have plenty of opportunities to bond with a baby before birth.
Parents naturally pick up on many of these bonding skills throughout the course of pregnancy. When a surrogate is included, they simply need to think a tiny bit differently about how those valuable moments look.
How to Bond with Your Surrogate Baby: 4 Tips
There are all sorts of ways you can bond with a baby before birth. These ideas are just a starting point. Once you decide what methods are right for you, it’s a good idea to communicate with your surrogate. She can help you continue the bonding process all throughout pregnancy even when you can’t be physically present!
Some of the best ways to bond with your surrogate baby include:
- Start Talking to Your Baby
Before they ever actually start to learn language, babies bond with others based on the sound of friendly and familiar voices. While in development, the fetus gains the ability to hear sound outside the uterus within about 24 weeks. Talking to your baby whenever you visit your surrogate is a wonderful way to get the relationship started. Later in pregnancy, a baby may even respond to your voice by kicking or moving.
- Save Mementos of Pregnancy
During pregnancy, you’re sure to have thoughts and feelings you want to express. One of the best ways to do it is to start a digital scrapbook your child can enjoy later on. You can include photos, videos, and audio. Yes, your baby will take some time to appreciate it – but this gives you a chance to process your own emotions and create memories. Plus, your whole family can participate, drawing you together before the big day!
- Record Songs and Stories
Special recording devices can be used to play your voice directly through the surrogate mother’s belly so your growing baby can hear. It may be too early to teach them to read, but singing and storytelling offer all of the benefits of talking to your baby. Some parents believe that singing is soothing for the child and may even help them develop a sense for music later on in life.
- Hold the Baby at Birth
It’s crucial to hold your baby – with skin-to-skin contact – as soon as possible after birth. This first experience releases powerful neurotransmitters that help the baby bond with and recognize you. Many expectant mothers develop a birth plan with their surrogate that allows the surrogate to hold the baby later on.
Bonding is a process that lasts a lifetime, but these tips will get you off to a strong start. For information on surrogacy for expectant parents, contact Jennifer Fairfax.