Bridging your heart with your unborn child.
I typically go for a reiki healing session every six months or so, and on my most recent visit my healer could feel a disconnect between my heart space and the baby that’s growing inside me. I felt this disconnect, I knew it was there. I had been so consumed with coping with the physical demands of pregnancy and looking after an active toddler that I had neglected to build this relationship with the baby growing in my womb.
The same thing happened when I was pregnant with my first child. I was so focused on preparations for the birth itself that I wasn’t spending the time making that integral bond with my unborn baby. This actually proved to be detrimental once my baby was born, as the pressures of being a new mother sent me tumbling into the pitfalls of postnatal depression. Although I loved her immensely and would do anything for her, it took several months for me to truly feel the connection with my new baby.
This time round, I have committed to doing things differently. In this article, I wanted to share some of the daily practices I do together with my unborn child that have greatly helped to cement our relationship while she is in utero. These daily rituals are helping to alleviate the risk of potential postnatal depression and ensure a happy and healthy journey into becoming a mother of two beautiful little girls.
Eating for two
Not your traditional definition of eating for two, this means including your baby in your daily meals. When you eat something, your energy body responds to how it tastes, how it feels, how it nourishes your body – and your baby is capable of picking up on every single energy shift you experience since she too is living in your body.
I started first by really being present for my food, savouring every single bite and every single flavour and texture. I felt the food in my hands and let my taste buds truly savour the food on my tongue. Once I’d mastered this, I began to explain what I was eating to my baby as though she were sitting at the table and sharing the meal with me. For instance, when I sat down to a snackof raw carrot sticks with hummus (one of my favourites during this pregnancy), I would say this to my baby:
“This is carrot dipped in delicious hummus, my baby. Can you hear the crunch the juicy, sweet carrots make as I chew them? And can you taste how creamy, tangy and delightful this hummus is? I’m going to make you grow so big and healthy on carrots and hummus, my love.”
If you are eating out and don’t feel comfortable speaking to yourself out loud in public, you can have this conversation in your mind. The connection will still be nurtured and built upon. The baby and your heart will still feel it.
Feeling for two
Similar to eating for two, this is about sharing a positive experience of how your energy body responds to an external trigger. The elements that most generated a positive emotional and physical state for me during this pregnancy were air and water. When I went for my regular swims, as I entered the water, I would talk to my baby about how cool the water felt on my body and how supportive it felt to be submerged in it. I also did this when taking a warm shower or bath, asking my baby if she liked the feeling of the water trickling over her soft skin.
Or when a breeze blew over me, I would close my eyes, truly feel and connect with the feeling of the breeze flowing over my skin, and I would say this to my baby:
“Can you feel that incredible breeze, baby girl? It makes me feel so alive. Feel how the cool air feels on your open skin. I can’t wait to share the wind with you when you’re born.”
You can say anything that feels right for you, for whatever senses bring about a positive reaction in your energy body. If you have pets, you could talk to your baby as you pet your furry friends, or if you’re listening to music you could tune in and really feel the music together. You can even explain something that you’re seeing that brings you great joy – the sight of a beautiful tree or bird soaring through the sky, perhaps. The possibilities are endless.
Integrating your family
Once you’re comfortable with speaking to your unborn baby, get your spouse and any other children you might have involved, too. Get them to gently put their hands on your growing tummy and speak to the baby about an experience they are having. This will help nurture their bond before the baby is born, which will be beneficial to everyone once the new baby becomes part of your family in the physical world.
I started to integrate my toddler in this ritual. At first, she wasn’t sure, but with time she began to really enjoy it and got used to it. Eventually she would say, “Mama, can I show this flower to my baby?”
I truly believe this connection my toddler has built with her baby sister-to-be will prove only positive when the baby is born. It will help her more easily adjust to life with a newborn in the house, helping her to cope with the baby’s crying and the feelings of jealousy she is inevitably going to feel once the baby is born.
Opening your heart
What I began to notice as I practiced speaking with and connecting with my baby during the last couple of months of pregnancy was a shift in my heart space. Speaking with her on a daily basis while doing normal routine tasks brought her from being a mere foetus growing in my womb to becoming an actual physical baby that I felt so close with in the room with me at the time. I very quickly started to feel an honest connection with her, a feeling my heart yearned for and welcomed openly.
This tie even started to lessen any anxieties I had about my impending labour. I felt as though I knew my baby already, and I began to see the labour journey as one we would be doing together, not one that would be done to me. And during labour, I continued to speak to my baby, letting her know I was there to help her make the journey into the outside world and into my loving, open arms.