Becoming a mum is one of the biggest challenges we face as women. It’s important to learn to nurture your baby’s well being for their proper development. Here are 5 steps you can take to set you on the right path.
Develop a connection from the womb
Babies are born with the most neurons they will ever have and their first sensory connections happen even before birth! Therefore it’s important to take some time to build a connection with your baby. From 24 weeks, your baby can recognise your voice and scent, which is why after birth they feel comforted by skin-to-skin contact.
You can help strengthen this bond by reading to your baby in the womb as well as building a routine of familiar sounds and touch. A regular massage can help too! It will lower your stress levels as well as help you learn your baby’s unique pattern of movement and rest in the womb.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on your stress levels – research from King’s College London has shown a link between maternal anxiety and a baby’s brain development. MRC Doctoral Researcher in Perinatal Imaging and Health, Alexandra Lautarescu and Head of Advanced Neuroimaging, Professor Serena Counsell, who carried out the research suggested that poor mental health could be related to low birth weight, premature birth and more frequent crying.
Stress management therapies such as CBT during pregnancy can have a hugely positive effect – since we can’t control everything it is important to get the support we need. Using an essential oil blend which is safe for pregnancy can really help support your relaxation too. Try Routine in The Womb Pure Essential Oil.
Babies experience sensory overload during birth and for some time afterwards, so it’s important to help them adjust. The first few weeks after birth, you can spend time developing the connection with your baby you worked on during pregnancy
Trying to get as much skin-to-skin contact during this time is important as it helps to release hormones which regulate your baby’s heart rate, temperature, breathing and blood sugar levels. It also helps lower stress and promotes healing. Spend as much time as possible holding and talking to your baby.
Looking after yourself
Don’t forget to look after yourself too, during this time. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the baby’s needs and neglect your own. But when you’re relaxed and have your stress under control, your baby will feel safe, secure and happy. They will also be way less likely to feel anxiety and sleep better too!
The first week or two after birth should be spent resting as much as possible – don’t be afraid to sit on the sofa or stay in bed! Spending time with your baby in these first few weeks will help you bond and establish a feeding routine. If possible, get your close family and friends to help out with household chores.
Most importantly, don’t feel guilty for resting and don’t put pressure on yourself. Remember your baby can sense your mood – a happy mum means a happy baby!
Developing a bedtime routine
Establishing a sleep routine is essential to help your baby learn the difference between night and day, in turn, promoting a much easier and more restful sleep for you both.
One good way to establish a bedtime routine is to use 2-3 drops of essential oil in an aromatherapy diffuser. Begin with 5 minutes before your baby goes to bed and build up to 20 minutes over the course of a few weeks. Don’t forget to find a good quality blend such as our To Infinity & Beyond Pure Essential Oil. This blend has a mixture of cedarwood, lavender, and chamomile – which helps to nurture the bond with you and your baby and promote healthy sleep patterns during the ‘fourth trimester’.
Seek support if you need it
You’ve no doubt been through one of the hardest things your emotions and body can go through so don’t be afraid to reach out for support if you need it!
We run Mentor Mum groups and baby classes which form a support system where you can share experiences and seek advice. We also have a great workshop called Dad’s Army, so that partners can learn all about bonding with their baby and what they can do to support you.
Remember – the better you can look after yourself, the better you can nurture your baby’s development, from the womb and beyond.