Preg­nancy can be quite over­whelm­ing, but each pass­ing day can help you grow closer to your baby. M&B lists down some ways to love your bal­loon­ing belly, and cre­ate an eter­nal bond


How to ex­press your love to your un­born child

IT’S Valen­tine’s Day! Ev­ery year, the 14th of Fe­bru­ary marks a spe­cial time for show­ing your part­ner, just how much you care. And while we be­lieve that you don’t need a des­ig­nated day in the year to ex­press yout love, par­tak­ing in the fe­s­iv­i­ties does help to make you feel ex­tra spe­cial. Now, if you’re ex­pec­tant par­ents, there’s no bet­ter time than now to let those emo­tions flow, es­pe­cially to your baby that’s about to be born. Here are some ways to love your bump, and your baby at the same time


From about 23 weeks, your baby can hear your heart­beat and the rum­bling of your hun­gry stom­ach. Talk­ing to your baby while still in the womb seems a lit­tle funny and will make you self-con­scious. But, talk­ing and sing­ing is one of the most ef­fec­tive ways to bond with your un­born baby. Dr Chaitali Lad­dad, founder and direc­tor, The Pe­di­atric Net­work, says, “Spend some time, ev­ery day, in­ter­act­ing with your baby. Talk about the ac­tiv­i­ties you will do to­gether or the des­ti­na­tions you will visit; tell your baby about how you have been feel­ing all day. Af­ter your baby’s birth, she will be able to recog­nise your voice and will turn her head to­wards you when you talk to her.”


Prac­tic­ing yoga and med­i­ta­tion is an an­cient method that re­laxes your mind and re­duces stress. The ideal time to start an­te­na­tal yoga is in your sec­ond trimester (af­ter 14 weeks). Dr Lad­dad opines, “En­rolling your­self in an­te­na­tal yoga classes will help you stay tuned in to your preg­nancy phase. It is the best way to pro­vide relief from preg­nancy blues and anx­i­ety. Th­ese ex­er­cises help a mum-to-be fo­cus on the growth and devel­op­ment of her baby.” Fur­ther elab­o­rat­ing, Dr Anil Sethi, coun­sel­lor, mo­ti­va­tor and psychologist says, “Yoga helps main­tain good health and en­sures a smooth de­liv­ery. Med­i­ta­tion and breath­ing tech­niques taught in th­ese classes help re­duce stress and anx­i­ety.” 3 DADDY-BABY AT­TACH­MENT! Moth­ers have first-hand phys­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence of what be­ing preg­nant feels like, in­clud­ing the highs and lows. Dads don’t have the op­por­tu­nity to bond with their baby the way moth­ers do, but there are plenty of ways to help your part­ner bond with your grow­ing baby. Dr Lad­dad ap­peals to ex­pec­tant mums, ex­plain­ing, “The mo­ment you feel the baby kick, im­me­di­ately place your part­ners hand over the belly. Let him feel the kick and ask him to rub his hands over your tummy. Watch­ing the re­la­tion­ship strengthen be­tween the dad and the baby, might help you de­velop a deeper bond not only with the baby but also with your hus­band.” She fur­ther adds, “A hus­band can fur­ther pam­per his preg­nant wife by spend­ing more time with her, go­ing on short drives to­gether, read­ing a book to the baby, tak­ing her for a night walk and also ac­com­pa­ny­ing her to her check-ups.” Par­tic­i­pa­tion from ex­pec­tant fa­thers will make you feel that you are in this preg­nancy to­gether and will also bring you closer.


There’s no doubt that a mas­sage is a great way to re­lax. When you’re ex­pect­ing, get­ting a mas­sage has never been more im­por­tant. Dr Lad­dad says, “Th­ese mas­sages help re­lax tensed mus­cles, aids cir­cu­la­tion and mo­bil­ity, and makes you feel good. Preg­nancy changes your cen­ter of grav­ity and puts a lot of pres­sure on your back, neck, ab­dom­i­nal mus­cles and shoul­ders. Preg­nancy mas­sages can help ease some of the pres­sure and al­le­vi­ate lower back pains and headaches.”


Swim­ming is a great way to take the weight off your feet. Not only it is a safe way to ex­er­cise, it also gives you a chance to re­late to your baby since she is float­ing in flu­ids too. Dr Lad­dad says, “Swim­ming for ex­pect­ing mums of­fers great ben­e­fits as com­pared to other forms of phys­i­cal train­ing and ex­er­cises. It is the most harm­less way of work­ing out as the wa­ter helps to sup­port body weight and lessen the bur­den on the spine and limbs. It also helps to en­hance

one’s aer­o­bic ca­pac­ity and of­fers relief from morn­ing sick­ness.” Opt­ing for aqua­na­tal classes is an ideal way to tone up your body, and even make new friends in the process.


Af­ter the baby ar­rives, go­ing for a va­ca­tion to re­lax will def­i­nitely not be on the cards. You and your spouse will hardly have the time to talk, let alone spend some time to­gether. Go­ing on a baby­moon just be­fore your lit­tle munchkin ar­rives will give you two some time off from your daily rou­tine. Dr Lad­dad says, “A va­ca­tion here on is go­ing to in­volve a great deal of plan­ning and ex­e­cu­tion. Make use of this op­por­tu­nity, plan an amaz­ing and re­lax­ing baby­moon es­cape, and en­gage in some se­ri­ous cou­ple bond­ing be­fore your bun­dle of joy ar­rives. Par­ent­hood is a stress­ful af­fair; this is a great way to recharge and re­con­nect be­fore the baby ar­rives.”


Your jour­ney to­wards moth­er­hood is ir­re­place­able. The mo­ments you ex­pe­ri­ence when you are about to be­come a mommy (es­pe­cially if it’s your first baby) are ex­tremely spe­cial and un­for­get­table. “Cap­tur­ing your preg­nancy phase will give you mem­o­ries to last a life­time. Take am­ple side-pro­file pho­tos of your belly ev­ery week. This will help you com­pare the size of your bump and you will be able to es­ti­mate the growth and devel­op­ment of your baby. Tak­ing pho­to­graphs is a great vis­ual re­minder of all the var­i­ous al­ter­ations and changes you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing. Opt­ing for a pro­fes­sional shoot with your part­ner is also a great way to bond and pre­serve pre­cious mem­o­ries,” says Dr Lad­dad.


Ac­cord­ing to Dr Lad­dad, “The sole method of com­mu­ni­cat­ing and in­ter­act­ing with your baby all this while is through kick­ing and nudg­ing. Your baby be­comes more en­er­getic the mo­ment you sit down to re­lax. Re­spond­ing back to the baby’s move­ment is a great way to play with your un­born child. When the baby pokes you, poke back, and wait to see what your baby does next. Also, rub the area of your belly where you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing move­ments.”

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