Most doctors will tell you that the bonding experience between mother and child cannot be stressed enough. This is the most important time for both to experience closeness and for the maternal instinct to kick in. If there are no complications during the birth, most hospitals encourage the baby to stay with the mother soon after birth rather than being placed in the nursery.
Scientists have been studying the unique bond that exists between newborns and their mothers. They do not know a lot about it at this point but ongoing studies with monkeys have shown that newborns that do not get the bonding time with their mothers have stunted growth and fail to thrive. They are of the opinion that the same thing happens in human relationships.
Since first time mothers can have problems trying to breast feed their infant, bonding is suggested as a way of decreasing these problems. It helps to create the natural responses between mother and baby. It is important for dad to bond with the baby, too. He can be a part of the bonding experience and it will benefit not only the baby, but the mother and father as well. Sharing this experience can develop a closeness between all three and allow the father to feel he is a part of what is happening. All too often the new dad feels left out of everything as such a fuss is made over the baby and mom.
It is natural at first to be a little scared and in awe of this tiny little human being that has made an entrance into your world. This is especially true if you are a first time mom or dad.
One method of bonding with either mother or father is called kangaroo care. It is done by either parent and the baby having skin to skin contact. The baby wears nothing but a diaper and the parent holding the baby has a bare chest. This skin to skin contact is practiced in neo-natal units in hospitals. Research has shown that this contact helps to stabilize the baby’s heart rate. It has also shown that babies who experience this closeness are calmer, they sleep more, gain weight faster, and do not cry as much. This method is named after the kangaroo who carries her young in a pouch where it is close constantly.
Bonding is an important part of this learning experience for both the parents and the baby. Babies that are handled a lot by both parents soon learn the difference between mom and dad. They will know which one is holding them and they have different reactions to each.
Giving birth is one of the most rewarding experiences you can ever have. Just realizing that you are responsible for this tiny little human being can open all sorts of feelings from the maternal and paternal instinct to doubting that this is something you can do. New parents may panic and wonder if they are up to taking care of a baby. Most care giving is natural. If you just give in to the flow of things, you will find that you will learn very quickly what your baby wants. The different cries your baby has will soon become distinguishable. You will know which one means he is hungry or wet or just wanting some attention.
The birth of your baby is a very traumatic experience for him. He is snatched from the warmth and comfort of the womb, which has been his home for the last nine months. He is thrust into the bright lights and strange hands of this world that is so unfamiliar. The bonding experience will give him the comfort and soothing he needs. He will start to feel comforted when he is held by mom or dad.
It is natural at first to be a little scared and in awe of this tiny little human being that has made an entrance into your world. This is especially true if you are a first time mom or dad. Don’t worry if all the feelings you’ve heard about don’t come flooding out at first. Give yourself time to adjust to the fact that the baby is here now. For months he has been talked about and looked forward to but you are never quite prepared for his arrival. If you give yourself the time to rest and get used to a completely new lifestyle, the rest will come naturally. The time you spend bonding with your child will create a special closeness that nothing will ever change.