For some mothers it’s like a bolt of lightning to the heart. A sudden rush of endorphins and a feeling of love so strong that it's indescribable. For others it’s a much slower process and this can sometimes raise feelings of guilt and failure. Below I have listed five tips which may help. Most importantly, if you are experiencing feelings of depression for longer periods than usual please contact a healthcare professional. Your mental health is a priority and the most important thing for you and your baby.
♥ Breastfeed or Bottle feed your baby skin on skin
Skin-to-skin contact stimulates the release of oxytocin commonly known as the “love hormone”. Skin-to-skin contact has so many benefits including the ability to calm your baby during witching hour, helping increase your milk supply, and reducing your risk of postpartum depression. Skin-to-skin contact can also be enjoyed by your partner too, no I don’t mean your partner is skin to skin with you, I mean the baby is skin to skin with your partner, help them bond with your baby too.
♥ Put down your phone and make eye contact
We live in such a fast past society that we sometimes forget to simply be present in the moment. Our phones are a constant distraction and in the moment can make us feel good (especially when you are feeling socially isolated and exhausted), however they can distract us from those really magic moments. Breastfeeding and bottle feeding should be used as a time to connect. Take the time to make eye contact with your little one and enjoy the magic!
♥ Enjoy a daily massage ritual
We all know how good it feels to have a massage and I bet you could do with one now? Infant massage has been shown to have numerous benefits including helping you and your partner bond with your baby. Here is a link for an introduction to baby massage.
♥ Read to your baby
Babies are never too young to start reading to. In fact reading to them from a young age helps with language development and literacy. Taking the time to connect, making eye contact and being the source of entertainment is a perfect way to bond. Remember to choose a time when your baby is alert and ready to engage. If they are tired too much stimulation can cause a meltdown.
♥ Play with your baby
Playing with your baby offers an ideal opportunity to have FUN, but did you know that play is essential to your baby's development? It contributes to their cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being as well as also helping with the bonding process. Warning, blatant plug ahead: Our Organic Rattle is the perfect first toy for your baby. By integrating rattles into daily playtime with your baby, you can promote and strengthen your child’s motor abilities as well as help him or her reach cognitive milestones including the ability to think and reason. Pretty amazing stuff!