Bonding With Baby Before Birth
Making a connection with your unborn child can strengthen the bond you share, make you feel closer, and enrich you and your baby's lives.
One of the best ways you can bond with your baby, says Thomas
Ivester, MD, clinical instructor in maternal-fetal medicine at the University
of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, is by having an ultrasound.
"Bonding during pregnancy gives a mom a better sense of
responsibility in caring for herself, and by extension, the baby," he says.
"When you can actually see the baby, that increases the feeling that the
baby actually exists."
Recent advances in technology have made ultrasounds even more
valuable tools, says Ivester. For most of the last 25 years, ultrasound images
were available only in two dimensions. In recent years, 3-D ultrasound has been
developed. At first, those 3-D pictures took a "painfully" long time to
develop, says Ivester, and were produced as still images that were difficult to
The latest advances in 3-D technology, however, mean that you
can now see moving pictures of the developing fetus. "You can actually see
the baby's chubby cheeks ... see him sucking his thumb, yawning, turning
over," says Ivester. "It's fantastic."
Most 3-D ultrasounds are only being performed in major medical
centers at the moment, but parents-to-be are calling from "hours away"
to be able to have one done, says Ivester.
"The reaction we get from moms and dads is phenomenal,"
he says. "They're stunned. All of a sudden, their baby is real."