The Green Moms Weekly question is this: Why is it as important to begin your journey as an attachment parent during pregnancy as it is after the birth of your baby?
Being an attachment parent can begin even before your baby is born. Mostly this is done by educating yourself and preparing for the birth of your little bundle. I have lots of ideas on how you can accomplish this:
Natural Childbirth – The more alert you and baby are the easier it will be to start bonding and learning the art of breastfeeding.
Consider Water Birth or Home Birth – Proponents of water births believe this is one of the most peaceful entrances to the world that can be had by a baby. It is easier on mom if she can soak and relax and the environment is less of a shock to baby since they are immersed in water during pregnancy. Home births mean that doctors and nurses are not trying to whisk your baby away for shots and other interventions. Want to have the best of both worlds? Check out some of the ideas in the book Homebirth in the Hospital: Integrating Natural Childbirth with Modern Medicine.
Breastfeed – The bond between a mom and her suckling baby is tremendous and special. You do not want to miss even a moment of it or shortchange it either. Make preparations to breastfeed for an extended period of time.
Eat Healthy and Stay Active – Make a conscious effort to eat the best foods for you and baby. Also make sure to get plenty of exercise. Eating nourishing foods puts less stress on your pregnant body and staying active will help you have a healthy birth.
Interventions After Birth – Don’t let bonding be interrupted by needless interventions… circumcision, vaccines, trips to the nursery, etc. In fact, make it clear that baby is to be kept at your side at all times and “handled” by medical staff very little.
Invest in a Sling – Plan to wear your baby in a sling or wrap. Before baby arrives is the perfect time to read reviews and find out which sling sounds like the best fit for you. If you have any friends who practice babywearing ask if you can try on some of theirs so you can get a real life feel for them.
Forget the Crib – Cosleeping is much easier on mom and baby and it makes it a million times easier to bond. Figure out the sleeping situation before baby arrives by adding a twin bed next to your own if need be, making sure baby cannot fall out or get wedged against a wall, or getting a co-sleeper bed.
Get Help – Ask friends and family to help out with household duties like cleaning and cooking so that you can enjoy your time with your new baby.
Educate Yourself About Developmental Stages – Be prepared with this info and you won’t have to needlessly stress.. you can just enjoy that little bundle and savor every moment. This is a process you will continue for your entire journey as a parent.
Find Your Tribe – Attachment Parenting is easier if you surround yourself with people who share your values. Start looking for them early so you will have that support system in place before baby arrives.
Stop and Smell the Roses – Enjoy all the little moments of your pregnancy.. the kicks, hearing the heartbeat, purchasing new baby stuff, etc. Also reflect on the moments you will savor as a new parent… that unique baby smell, the way they grasp your finger or pull your hair while they breastfeed. Its all good and we need to enjoy every moment of it while it lasts because it is over to soon!!
Enjoy those babies!
Read: Attachment Parenting starting at conception at Happy Green Babies and
Attachment Parenting During Pregnancy by Natural Moms Talk radio.