The Impact of Fathers’ Bonds With Babies During Pregnancy
For fathers, bonding with their child during the pregnancy is a more demanding process than for mothers. Dads don’t have a direct line to their baby and don’t carry their child everywhere they go, so finding those opportunities to spend time with their unborn baby is a challenge. However, the impact of fathers’ bonds with babies during pregnancy is felt both before and after the baby is born.
A Sense of Safety for Mom and Baby
Mothers have a direct connection to their children. Not only does she take the baby with her everywhere, but an umbilical cord develops, connecting the mom to her baby and transferring blood, oxygen, and nutrients. Even with an umbilical cord tying them together, some moms-to-be struggle to feel connected to their child alone. When a father invests himself in connecting with the baby, the time he spends organizing checkups, studying nutritional needs, and feeling mom’s belly for little movements is an assurance for mom during a time of self-doubt.
When a pregnant woman feels more confident in her partner’s dedication to their child, she, in turn, gains confidence and security. Positivity and a sense of safety for mom can translate to a healthier birth and happier baby!
A Soothing and Familiar Voice
Within the second month of pregnancy, a baby’s brain starts developing. A child’s brain will continue to change and benefit from stimulus for the rest of their life going forward. It doesn’t take long for babies to develop their hearing in the womb as well, so speech becomes a powerful tool for dads looking to bond with their children. Fathers that speak to their unborn son or daughter help accelerate and strengthen brain development, even fine-tuning future language skills. Another added boon for dads who speak to their child in the womb is that their baby will recognize their voice and find comfort in that familiarity.
A More Connected Family Unit
By developing a bond early, fathers do their part to create a stronger family unit in the future. A shared sense of love, appreciation, and safety between mother, father, and child provides the foundation for a healthy family life. One of the most powerful impacts of fathers’ bonds with babies during pregnancy is the love and strength that grows as their children do.
As impactful as it is for a father to bond with their baby early, sometimes both parents can experience a lack of immediate connection to their child. This is also a normal outcome, as raising a baby for the first time is a bizarre and stressful experience. If you notice a lack of bond between yourself and your baby, consider visiting a pediatrician to better understand how parent-child bonds form and the steps you can take to find that connection as a new dad.