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How to Bond with Your Baby during Birth

Learn how to bond with your baby during childbirth from childbirth expert Elizabeth Mangum-Sarach in this Howcast video.

Transcript

How to bond with your baby during birth. The most important thing to remember is to trust your instincts. One thing to consider is to have immediate skin to skin contact. As soon as you deliver your baby, ask your care provider to place your baby on your chest, so that you can have immediate skin to skin contact.

If you're wearing a hospital gown, you might want to loosen the gown and make sure that your skin is showing. Know that your body temperature will help to regulate the temperature of your baby. Don't worry about moving the baby to the warmer immediately. This postpartum phase is called the Golden Hour and it's very important for your baby to have that immediate skin to skin bonding and can really encourage immediate bonding between you and your baby.

Other ways to bond with your baby are to sing to your baby or think of a lullaby that you've been singing to your baby all throughout your pregnancy and sing that to him or her when they're born. Something to remember when thinking about bonding with your baby is that do whatever you would do to bond with anyone that you love. Eye contact is important, touch is important, having your baby hear your voice is really important. When a baby is born, they can see as far as from the nipple to your face. So, they're able to see your eyes, they're able to see your expression, they're able to feel your love. Immediate skin to skin contact can be just what you need to have a first great experience in bonding with your baby.

If you're not able to have immediate skin to skin contact with your baby for whatever reason, know that your partner can go to your baby's side as well and your partner can continue to do all of those things. If your baby is born prematurely, you can offer something called kangaroo care, which is immediate skin to skin contact for premature babies. It's an opportunity for you to hold your baby in a kangaroo care wrapper. Just like a kangaroo holds it's baby in its pouch, it's an opportunity for you to allow for a continued development and bonding between you and your baby.

During labor, there are a lot of ways that you can bond with your baby. You can talk to your baby, you can rub your belly, you can give your baby encouraging words and let him or her know that you're ready to meet her. And these are some tips for how to bond with your baby.

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