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Bonding with your Newborn


baby carriageOne phrase that has caught the attention of new parents in the U.S. is bonding. Bonding is the process by which you and your new baby form the attachment relationship of parent and child. Bonding can begin in the first moments of holding your newborn whether immediately after the birth or several hours later. All of the senses affect both you and your baby; touch, smell, eye contact, taste (nursing), the sound of your voice (which the baby recognizes from the womb), the sounds of the baby’s breathing or cries. You sense a feeling of awe and protectiveness. Your baby becomes calmer and more receptive to his new world.

For some new parents, this type of bonding does not occur immediately. The stresses of birth, the fears and apprehension of the future all seem too overwhelming and the parent may feel a separateness from their newborn. Be patient. It will happen over time if given the chance.

In other cases, the baby may need to be removed to a nursery immediately for medical care. Not to worry, the process of bonding can still occur even hours later.

Here are some ways to promote early bonding:

   -   Request that the baby be given to the mother immediately upon birth. Hospitals in the U.S. today may not have the mother hold the baby immediately after the birth, you must request it.
   -   Place the baby on your chest in your arms, skin to skin. (your beating heart and warm skin will calm your new baby).
   -   Look into your new baby’s eyes and talk or sing to him.
   -   Nurse your baby as soon as possible.

Bonding is an ongoing process that continues throughout your baby’s first year. Even as your baby begins to become more independent, she will soon return to you for reassurance, needs and guidance.



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Bonding with Your Newborn