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Bonding - What Helps Bonding?

BondingCertain physical and emotional conditions contribute to bonding. Early contact is strongly recommended. Immediately post-birth, you are on a hormone high. Oxytocin, the “love” hormone, and prolactin, sometimes called the mothering hormone, flood your body. Adrenalin and endorphins are released. Chemically, you and your newborn are in the perfect state for mutual attachment.

In modern hospitals babies are usually given to their mothers as soon as possible. Ideally, mother and baby are in close skin-to-skin contact immediately after the birth, the mother touching and stroking her newborn, the baby inhaling his mother's scent, hearing her heartbeat and instinctively rooting for the breast. Touch is a language that babies understand. Stroking, nuzzling, massaging, cuddling, napping together, bathing together – these are the ways you and your partner can communicate your love for your child and develop that special bond.

Various studies have shown that both vaginal delivery and breastfeeding may positively influence the mother-baby bond. That's not to say that you will necessarily struggle to bond if you've had a C-section or are bottle-feeding. Childbirth educators recommend that bottle-feeding moms get some of the benefits of breastfeeding by cuddling up skin-to-skin and maintaining eye contact with the feeding baby.

A good support system helps. You and your partner are in this together and his involvement and support will make your transition from couple to loving, bonded family easier.

Bonding - What hinders bonding? [more...]
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