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The relationship of a mother to her child is very close. It has already developed during pregnancy. But very important is an intensification of the relationship between you and your baby directly after birth. In these first hours after birth, your future relationship is established through the so-called bonding.
But what exactly happens in this situation?
What Is Bonding And Why Is Baby Bonding So Important?
When the baby is placed naked on your chest after birth and is allowed to stay there, for the time being, this is to serve to bond. The two of you are allowed to enjoy this closeness for up to two hours, and you should also demand this in the hospital or birth center after the birth, say experts.
Why is baby bonding so important? Why does bonding have such importance? Bonding actually happens over a long period of time and not just in the first few hours after birth. Bonding is an English term, into German it could be translated roughly as connection or bonding.
In most hospitals today, they know how important baby bonding is. This is supported after birth: The baby is placed on your bare skin. This usually happens right after birth.
This way, your baby can hear your heartbeat, sense your smell, and hear your voice. He will recognize your voice because he has already heard it in your belly. Your baby will immediately move its mouth and make sucking movements. He is looking for your breast.
Most children are then quite determined and move instinctively in the right direction. It has a positive effect on breastfeeding if you put your baby to the breast right now and, of course, on bonding. However, most children do not want to drink so soon after birth.
When their lips touch their mother’s nipples, that’s enough. Only after half an hour or a little more do children really drink. Before that, something else is more important: your baby is looking for your face.
Es versucht, Deine Augen wahrzunehmen. Es wird seine Hände an Deine Haut drücken und darüber streichen. Und es wird versuchen, Deinen Geruch mit dem Mund wahrzunehmen.
Baby Bonding Is Important – For Father And Mother Alike
By the way, many newborns actually manage to move upward from their mother’s belly to her breast. They make movements that resemble a cross between a seal and a push-up. This is strenuous, and the children have to take many breaks. But they actually make progress this way.
The importance of bonding isn’t just between mother and child, though – the father should be involved, too. In most birthing rooms, parents are therefore left alone with their children for some time. They then have time to gaze at their child and get to know each other.
After all, bathing, dressing, and perhaps even stitching up birth injuries are not so important at first. That can all happen later. For parents and children, these first minutes and hours are precious; they will always remember this time later.
Bonding Doesn’t Just Happen In The First Few Hours
As important as baby bonding is in the first hours after birth – it doesn’t just happen then. Bonding can also happen between adoptive parents and their children. Yet adoptive parents are generally not present when the baby is born. So what is bonding if it has nothing to do with biology alone? In general, bonding can be described as an infatuation.
The unconditional closeness between mother and child, the unconditional trust of the two in each other, and the feeling of needing to be close to each other describe bonding quite well. And thus the bonding meaning is also clear: these people belong together and are there for each other.
If the baby is born on schedule and naturally, there is nothing to stop bonding after birth. But what about babies who are born prematurely and have to go into the incubator? What about babies born by cesarean section, adopted babies, or babies who need to be taken to the intensive care unit right away?
Baby bonding is also possible in these cases. This is because premature babies, for example, are placed on their father’s or mother’s chest for several hours a day during kangarooing, where they can build an intense relationship through closeness.
Nowadays, hospitals also make sure that children undergoing intensive medical treatment can be close to their parents or at least to their mother. During a cesarean section, your baby will be placed on your chest. You can hold it in your arms and caress it even before your wounds are stitched.
What Do Kangaroos Have To Do With Baby Bonding?
Kangaroo bonding is when premature babies are placed on their father’s or mother’s bare chest in a relaxed environment. There, the children perceive their parents’ breathing and heartbeat. They feel the adults’ body heat and smell their body odor. This closeness generates positive feelings.
And these in turn have a positive effect on the health of premature babies. What is bonding? At the end of the day, this question has not been answered. Because to this day, no one knows exactly why premature babies who are allowed to kangaroo gain weight faster. The children’s breathing also develops better.
Intense Maternal Feelings Do Not Always Develop Immediately
Most mothers develop very intense feelings for their baby immediately after birth. Bonding is then not a problem at all: it happens automatically in the first hours after birth.
However, it can also be that women are very exhausted after giving birth. Then they need some time to build up this intense closeness to their child. Bonding is a process that happens over time.
It is never really finished. And so it’s clear: every time you soothe your baby, every time he smiles at you, every time you are close, bonding happens. And it will still happen when your child is already in kindergarten or elementary school.
The relationship with your child will always change, it will grow and become more intense over time. But basically, bonding begins with birth.
The exception is mothers who are affected by postnatal depression after giving birth. This is an illness that makes bonding very difficult and absolutely must be treated. The earlier the depression is detected, the better it is for you and for your baby. Because you can only build a close bond with your baby if you overcome the depression.
Bonding Is Very Important For Babies
The importance of this early bond between mother and child can be seen by comparing children who have enjoyed intensive bonding with those who have not had this good fortune. Babies who had close skin-to-skin contact with their mothers after birth cry very, very little in the first 90 minutes after birth. It’s only when they’re tucked up warmly in a bed that babies start to cry.
According to pediatricians, they do so about every five minutes, for about 20 seconds to 40 seconds at a time. Children who were able to form a bond with their parents or caregivers early in life are more likely to be at rest within themselves and calmer.
These children can later build a very good relationship with other people and are happy with themselves. Because this bond between your baby and you are the safe haven from which your child can explore the world independently. What is bonding?
It is the most important prerequisite for basic trust, trust in the good in the world. You can recognize securely bonded babies by the fact that they have greater self-confidence and explore their surroundings without major fears. Curiosity dominates over fear of new things.
Some children do not have the chance to become securely attached at birth. Swiss midwife Brigitte Meissner has developed an idea that can provide bonding later.
If mother and child have had a traumatic birth, the so-called bonding bath can still provide the connection between mother and child weeks later. For the bonding bath, the baby is bathed in warm water. It is then placed on the mother’s bare chest, naked and still wet. This is to recreate the situation immediately after birth.
Warm blankets ensure that mother and child have plenty of time to themselves in this situation and in no way freeze. If necessary, bath additives Bach flowers (so-called Resche drops) and/or wild rose oil can do the baby good in helping to dissolve the emotional injuries from the birth.
Many mothers cry during the bonding bath, it has been noted. This is obviously a very emotional moment. Therefore, the midwife also recommends that a trusted person be present. Some babies also cry in this situation.
They usually calm down at the breast. Other children, however, simply fall blissfully asleep. The bonding bath is also recommended for breastfeeding problems, because the breast search reflex that occurs during this process allows children to practice sucking properly once again.
What is the breastfeeding reflex? This is the name given to the reflex that makes newborns automatically search for their mother’s breast immediately after birth. The bonding bath is repeated several times.