Bonding with the baby – for a close parent-child bondThe baby is there and is placed on the naked upper body of the mother or father. This first direct contact, this first sniffing and familiarization with the scent of the parents, builds trust and security. The technical term for this is bonding.
Midwife Kathrin Tolle-Radigk knows the value of bonding, and how it can strengthen the parent-child relationship from birth onward. The expert from the Helios Klinik Jerichower Land tells us everything we need to know about bonding in the first year of life and beyond.
What does bonding mean?
The term "bonding comes from the English and means "connection". Infant. His parents.
"Protection, warmth, love and attention is what every baby needs after birth. Bonding helps us. Because through the first skin contact after birth, we create an intense connection between the baby and its parents", according to Kathrin Tolle-Radigk.
Bonding is supported by:
– Closeness – heartbeat – smell – warmth – first attachment to the breast
Protection, warmth, love and attention is what every baby needs after birth. Bonding helps us. Because the first skin-to-skin contact after birth creates an intense bond between the baby and its parents.
Why is bonding important?
Bonding shapes the child for future relationships, because it helps to, Trust to create. It also provides a A feeling of security, By teaching parents to respond appropriately to the body language and emotions of their offspring. In addition, through bonding, parents learn how to cope with their new role as mother or father and gain confidence in their abilities as a parent.
Through bonding, parents create a zone of security, safety, love and affection. The mother's breastfeeding also satisfies the baby's needs and provides the baby with breast milk.
Bonding also has a positive effect on the child later in life. This is how Strengthening of self-confidence and to develop the feeling of empathy towards others.
Advantages for the baby:
– promotes basic trust – easier adaptation to the outside world – calmer sleep – better temperature regulation – breastfeeding supported from the start
Advantages for the mother:
– Milk production promoted – recovery after birth improved – pain perception reduced – emotional balance increased
How long does bonding take?
"The baby can always get love and security. When, how much and in which situations this is particularly important, parents usually sense instinctively", according to the midwife.
Secure bonding already in the womb
A first form of bonding takes place even before birth in the womb. Meditation, yoga and breathing exercises are particularly suitable for this purpose.
Even the voices of family members, music and the occasional "laying on of hands can strengthen the bond already during pregnancy.
Bonding methods for a close relationship
There are various ways to strengthen the parent-child bond between child and parents in the long term. After birth offers Skin contact with blood, amniotic fluid and cheese goo to. Placing the baby on the mother's breast strengthens the bond, as the baby perceives the mother's scent, her familiar heartbeat and her warmth.
Breastfeeding also has a positive effect. This is how intensive breastfeeding promotes the bond between mother and child. When fathers give the baby breast milk from the bottle, it is best to be torso-free when doing so so that the baby can also feel the father's body odor and body heat.
"The first year of life is the year of holding, carrying and physical contact. Co-sleeping, a baby sling, baby massages, baby swimming as well as regression gymnastics with child and long breastfeeding have a positive effect on bonding behavior", says Kathrin Tolle-Radigk.
Love and security the child can always get. When, how much and in which situations this is particularly important, parents usually sense instinctively.
Actively promoting bonding: this is how it works
Skin contactThrough direct skin-to-skin contact, the baby senses the heartbeat of mom or dad and can memorize their body odor. Cuddling is important for the bonding phase now and in the years to come.
WarmthThe body warmth of mom or dad makes the newborn feel particularly secure. It is important that the room is at a comfortable temperature and that the baby's head does not get cold. Bathing together also promotes emotional connection between child and parents.
BreastfeedingWhen breastfeeding, mother and child release the "cuddle hormone" Oxytocin, which promotes the bonding ability. In addition, the baby receives closeness, security, warmth and nourishment during breastfeeding. If breastfeeding doesn't work, make as much skin contact as possible when feeding with a bottle. Especially the first time should be. Belong to your newborn. Visits should be minimal in the beginning.
CarryingAt the beginning, the baby should be held in the mother's arms and rocked gently. The child feels warmth, but also security.
Eye contactBabies may not be able to focus properly at first, but over time they will quickly recognize their parents' faces and feel safe and secure.
No overstimulationA quiet, warm room with dim lights is the best place for the baby to be. In the first months, not too many stimuli should be poured on the newborn baby. Every day, parents learn the needs. know better the signals of her child. This takes time, but the closer the bond between parents and child, the better they can empathize with their offspring.
Bonding and cesarean section
A cesarean section does not usually prevent the first bonding immediately after birth | Photo: Canva
Also with a Cesarean section bonding is possible. The mother usually receives a special "bonding cloth" which allows a first skin contact between mother and child after the sectio. However, this is only possible if the cesarean section is not performed under general anesthesia.
After a caesarean section (Sectio) fathers can also bridge and bond with their child in the first minutes after birth. For this purpose, the midwife lays the naked newborn baby on the free upper body of the father. While the mother is still receiving follow-up medical care, the father can already talk quietly to his child and establish a first connection. Once the mother feels ready and is medically cared for, she can place her baby on her chest and enjoy her first bonding moments as well.
Three tips for bonding after a C-section
"Usually, mother and baby are doing well after a planned or unplanned cesarean section, so bonding can take place in the first few hours", according to the Burger midwife. She advises discussing in advance with the midwife in charge or the surgical team how an erst bonding after delivery can be made possible.
Skin-to-skin contact: Talk to your midwife in advance about whether you can wear a special bonding cloth or how best to make skin-to-skin contact after the sectio. Talk and sootheYour heartbeat and especially your voice are very familiar to the baby. Talk to the baby in a gentle and calm voice so that he can recover from the birth by hearing a familiar voice. BreastfeedingAsk if you can put your baby on and breastfeed in the delivery room. So you can combine bonding directly with breastfeeding in the first minutes of life.
Can bonding be made up?
Although the foundation of bonding is laid at birth, "It is a process that takes place over many moments and hours. Straight During the first months of life parents have many opportunities to make up for this "missed" birth Make up time at the beginning", says the midwife.
You can relive the birth by listening to a so-called Bonding bath. To do this, the baby is bathed. subsequently placed moistly on the breast. Wrapped in a warm blanket, mother can. Baby the moment of arrival together.
Mom2B – the best advice through pregnancy: After birth: Bonding& First "sniffing
What happens during bonding? Schlibke is a specialist in gynecology. Obstetrics at the Helios Clinic Sangerhausen. In conversation, she explains what is behind the term and how parents can lay an important foundation for the parent-child relationship in this first phase.