Bonding With Your Baby Before Birth

We know the bond between mother and baby is strong, but when does that bonding begin? How can we increase that bond throughout our pregnancy, even if our little one wasn’t planned? And how can our unborn child learn to love the people who matter most to us even before birth?

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Preggie Pals
“Bonding With Your Baby Before Birth”
Episode 11, July 9th 2012

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

Sunny Gault: We know that the bond between mother and child is strong but when does that bonding begin and how can we strengthen that bond as much as possible even if your pregnancy was unplanned? Today, we’re exploring that relationship with Tracy Wilson Peters. She’s the co-author of the book, The Greatest Pregnancy Ever-Keys to Mother-Baby Bond” and this is Preggie Pals, Episode 11.

[Theme Music/Intro]

Sunny Gault: Welcome to Preggie Pals broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. I’m your host Sunny Gault. Thank you so much for listening. Preggie Pals is all about empowering women to pursue their own individual child birth choices. We would love for you to get involved. To become part of our show, simply visit our website, for more information. If you have a pregnancy related question, you can ask our experts. Call the Preggie Pals hotline at 619-866-4775 and leave a message and we’ll have one of our experts answer your question in an upcoming episode. Alright, let’s introduce the panelists here in the studio. We have someone brand new and that is Stephanie. So Stephanie, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Stephanie: Hi, my name is Stephanie Saalfeld. I am 29 and I’m a gemologist. I’m due January 9th and gender is still unknown. It’s our first baby and we are having a hospital birth.

Sunny Gault: And I just love what you do for a living. We’re talking about that a little bit before this show. Just looking at diamonds on a daily basis it’s so glamorous. They are woman’s best friend, absolutely. Okay, then we have Christine. Now, Christine has been on our sister show, The Boob Group. But, Christine, tell us for our listeners a little bit more about yourself.

Christine: Sure Sunny, well, I’m Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald. I’m 40. Right now, I’m a stay-at-home mom and I’m expecting a singleton in October of 2012 and we don’t know yet. It’s a surprise and when we did our little anatomy scan and we couldn’t tell, I would like to know. [Laughs]

Sunny Gault: So, how many weeks did you do that?

Christine: We did it at 20 so, I’m hoping in the next few weeks, we’ll find out, fingers crossed.

Sunny Gault: So, was it just, wad the baby kind of acting goofy, just not in the right position or what was the deal?

Christine: Well, I have to say if it’s a girl, her legs were crossed. [Multiple Speakers] [Laughs]. She was being quite discreet.

Christine: Well, if it is a girl, we’ll say it will make number 3. I’ve got twin girls at home who are 2 ½ and so this time around we are hoping to do a home birth.

Sunny Gault: Really, I love that. That’s fantastic and you’re hoping for a boy?

Christine: It would be nice.

Sunny Gault: It would be nice. It would kind of even the plan for you a little bit probably in your house, right?

Christine: Yeah, exactly.

Sunny Gault: Okay, we’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]
[Featured Segment: News Headlines]

Sunny Gault: Okay, here’s a look at what’s making headlines around the internet and we have an article here which we’ll also post to our Preggie Pals pinterest board if you guys want to check it out. It says, it’s from actually Yahoo News. It says, fertility drugs linked to breast cancer hinges on pregnancy according to a recent study. Now, I don’t know if you guys have taken fertility drugs in the past. Me personally, I actually had to do this with my first child. What they’re saying is that these fertility drugs, if you get pregnant using these fertility drugs, there is a possible increase in getting cancer. Apparently, if you don’t get pregnant which is the whole idea, you want to get pregnant, if you don’t get pregnant, it actually can help you in other ways medically. But, if you get pregnant, it could be linked to other types of cancer. So, my question to you guys is if you knew, now we hear all these studies out there, whether it has anything to do with pregnancy or not, we hear these studies about if you eat this, you know, you could get cancer. If you don’t eat this, you could get cancer. Drink wine, don’t drink wine, all these kind of stuff. So, this is, I feel like this is another one of those articles that comes out. So, if you knew, if you were in a position where you had to do some sort of fertility thing and you knew that in getting pregnant it could lead to an increased risk of getting some sort of cancer and in this article, it talks about breast cancer, would you still do it? Christine, what do you think?

Christine: That’s a real, real tough one. I mean, gosh, I think there’s so many different treatments, you know. I think, you know, before it was birth control pills, you know, and this, that and I don’t know. I mean, I think, thankfully, I didn’t have to use any form of fertility treatment but, you know, I think, gosh, I’m 40 now and [Laughs] [Multiple Speakers].

Sunny Gault: So, you wanted to have more, something like that, that might be something that you’d go for.

Christine: Yeah, if I really, if it’s to say, “Hey, this is that window of opportunity, you got to do it.” Take the risk, may be.

Sunny Gault: Yeah. What do you think Stephanie?

Stephanie: I don’t think it would change my mind. It seems like everything causes cancer.

Sunny Gault: That’s how I feel too. [Multiple Speakers]

Stephanie: It’s a risk to take.

Sunny Gault: Exactly, at what point, I mean, if more studies came out and there was a higher percentage or what point would this have to get before you really do consider, “hmmm…I shouldn’t do that”, or is it just, you know, “if I want a baby and if that’s leads to cancer, oh, well.”

Stephanie: Exactly, [Multiple Speakers]. I mean, unless they said, you well, you’re guaranteed to get breast cancer.

Sunny Gault: Right.

Stephanie: You know, I might think about it, if there is a 100% chance.

Christine: Have a vasectomy right now. [Laughs]

Sunny Gault: Right, we can adopt. We’ll do something else. [Laughs]

[Theme Music]

Sunny Gault: Even before you get pregnant, you hear about the incredible bond a mother has with her child even prior to birth. So, how exactly is this bond created and does it happen for all women? Today, Tracy Wilson Peters is joining us via phone. She’s is the CEO of CAPPA. It’s the largest child birth organization in the world. She’s also the co-author of the book, The Greatest Pregnancy Ever-Keys to Mother-Baby Bond. So Tracy, welcome to Preggie Pals.

Tracy Wilson: Thank you so much. I’m excited to be on Preggie Pals. Thanks for having me.

Sunny Gault: Thank you. Yes absolutely, so Tracy, are all mothers to be able to bond with their babies prior to giving birth?

Tracy Wilson: They are, this is wonderful news to every mother. It’s not something that’s widely known. It’s actually this new science that’s come out in the last 15 years and it’s really starting to get out now. Bonding prenatally is something that happens and something that is for every mother, not just a few, you know. Everyone can experience it, it’s a great gift.

Sunny Gault: Are there some types of mothers though that may have more of a struggle, I don’t know, even recognizing that bond because, you know, you hear some women, especially when you’re pregnant, you’re like, “Oh, I’m bonding with my baby. It’s this best experience ever.” And then other women, you know, are just like, “Well.” Do we experience difference levels of this bond?

Tracy Wilson: Yeah, I think that that’s absolutely true and I think that the key here is that we need to educate some pregnant women which is a wonderful thing that your show is doing about a couple of things. One of the most important things that we need to really educate them on and inform them on is the consciousness of the baby during the pregnancy. Often times we see the, you know, the baby, it’s just in there, it’s developing and we really don’t have a way to bond with the baby during pregnancy. But, that’s absolutely not true. Babies are very conscious of their mother’s feelings. They’re conscious of their mother’s, you know, stress level or happiness level and they’re really experiencing life outside the womb before they’re even born, just through their mother’s feelings. And so if we can let moms know how conscious their babies are in utero- they have a better interest, you know, have more of an interest in tuning into that relationship before the baby is born.

Sunny Gault: Okay, and are we talking about just an emotional bond or is there something physically happening as well?

Tracy Wilson: Well, most of the child birth education in the past is focused on the womb and the, you know, the environment in the womb, the placenta, the umbilical cord to transfer blood, oxygen and nutrients and we focus a lot of that. But, what we haven’t focus on in yet is physical connection that’s happening but, there’s also that deep emotional connection. So, when a mother experiences stress in her life or happiness in her life, she actually has a physical reaction to that. You know what stress feels like, we all do. Then what we have learnt through science is for sense, it is actually magnifying those emotions that a mother feels and sending them to her baby through the placenta, the placenta is now known to be a communication device between mother and baby. And that’s something that most mothers are completely unaware of and so, yes, it’s the physical connection where she feels the baby, you know, kicking, moving and turning and she can actually see- don’t you love it when you see the baby moving in your tummy, you can look down and see that, that the baby is moving but, there’s also that emotional connection. And so once we let them know that, they have much more have easy times, you know, feeling connected to that baby and beginning to take steps to bond with the baby.

Sunny Gault: So Tracy, what exactly is happening in our bodies that is triggering this bond?

Tracy Wilson: Well, let’s just think about life in general. Life is stressful. We certainly cannot avoid all stress in life, okay. And the key word isn’t avoiding stress. It’s managing stress. So, when you have, we go for our daily routine and we know how busy life is today and we’re so disconnected from our bodies in general, you know. We’re not having mind-body moments all day unless we’re actually making that effort to do so. So, as we’re going through our lives and we’re just encountering our daily lives, we’re having emotional reactions to those things, you know, a co-worker who may be, gave you a special birthday card that day and that brought you joy or may be, something that happened at work that didn’t, you know, bring you joy and what happens is when we have any feeling, any person who has a feeling, we actually create message or molecules in our body. They’re sometimes called Adrenaline or Cortisol and doesn’t distract hormones but we also hormones that are related to these feelings like, Oxytocin, you probably, you know, you know about that and that can be fixed to the baby as well. So, it’s really just about being conscious of the fact that whatever is going on in our lives is creating that little person, that we’re building her nine months. Does that make sense?

Sunny Gault: Yeah.

Tracy Wilson: So, really getting conscious of those things, like, you know, taking time out of your day to distress, to unwind, to create joy. Purposely planning to be around those people in your life to bring you joy, making time for them, making time for your partner and, you know, and really nourishing that relationship, that benefits the baby in your womb.

Christine: Wow, and Tracy, we’re just wondering how can you, you know, positively create more of those, those positive messenger, you know, connections. I know I heard about talking to your baby and singing to your baby, I mean, does that really help?

Tracy Wilson: Yeah, those are excellent ways to do that. Although, we really encourage moms to try to go a step further than that and really take them, what the late. Dr. Fredrick Wirth called, “The Feel Of Breaks”. He had a program called prenatal parenting and he passed on. But, that is what it’s all about. It’s really all about taking the time out of your day to do something quiet. Sit down, enjoy something like being in the sun or listening to some music that you like because when you create joy in your own life that’s just directly passed to the baby. So, it’s just making little moments throughout the day and not being unconscious, you know. I think that it’s so hard for some of us women today to take time for themselves. We even feel guilty sometimes, don’t we?

Sunny Gault: Yeah.

Tracy Wilson: When we say, “ you know what, I’m going to close my office door right now and I’m going to, I’m gonna honor what my body is telling me and I’m gonna take a break here. I’m gonna put my feet up. I’m gonna take my hands on my belly and I’m gonna actually think positive, think about something happy that makes me feel joyful.” That’s how you do it. You really have to be mindful and that’s really why the first half of our book, The Greatest Pregnancy Ever is all about creating a life that makes you happy, you know, as a mom, as a pregnant mom and really examining and becoming mindful and conscious of the life that your living.

Sunny Gault: So, Tracy and it sounds to me like we have to take the initiative on this, right? I mean, it’s really up to us to make this happen.

Tracy Wilson: Yes, it is. You know, babies send us signals all the time, you know, their little kicks and their little turns, but this is something that we do have to take responsibility for. It’s definitely not something that, well, I did not write this book to make mothers so guilty about every stress that they feel in their life or every French fries that they eat, but what we want moms to do is just become mindful on that, you know, becoming conscious is something that you have to do yourself and we have little suggestions all through the book on how to do that. One of the suggestions that I give moms all the time is to make herself a sticky note collection, to keep that sticky notes on her mirror what where she looks and when she gets stressed in the morning reminding her to get connected to her baby. She can do all kinds of things. You can set your iPhone to remind you, you know, tell stories to remind you to take a lunch break with your baby. [Laughs].

Sunny Gault: So, you know, sometimes we hear women say, “I just don’t feel like I’m bonding with my baby. I’m just not feeling this connection, this wonderful connection that I’m supposed to be feeling.” So, really is that more about then for those women taking more of an initiative, really applying themselves. I mean, I guess I’m just trying to figure out if there’s anything that’s just supposed to happen just because you’re female and you’re carrying a baby? Is there anything just innate?

Tracy Wilson: I don’t think it’s that simple. I really don’t think it’s that simple and if someone isn’t feeling connected to their baby, that’s certainly not an indication that there’s anything wrong with them or that they should feel guilty about. What it probably means Sunny, is that they need to take more time for themselves. Often times, when we don’t feel connected to the baby or our partner or, you know, that we’re not feeling happy in our lives, it’s hard to feel connected. And you mentioned earlier when you were talking about the news about some people might not have planned their pregnancy and the reality is 50% of women today don’t plan their pregnancies and the curse, most of these babies come, that doesn’t mean that they are not wanted though. You know, it’s just a surprise to lot of people and that means that the mom has probably a lot of, kind of, deep internal looking that she needs to be [Inaudible 00:14:59] in her life because now, she’s bringing a child into the world and she may need to make some changes, you know, then that’s normal.

Sunny Gault: Right, you know, we hear a lot about mother’s instinct and I feel like this is somehow tied to that like, you hear it a lot when people are trying to figure out, “oh, am I having a boy? Am I having a girl? You know, what is your body telling you?” Is that tied into this at all as far as having a bond with your baby? You know, if you have a greater bond with your baby, do you have more of those mother’s instinct?

Tracy Wilson: That’s really interesting Sunny, because one other thing that’s so fascinating to me is when we were researching for our book, we came across a really great study that was done over a year. They looked at mothers, they did some testing with expected mothers throughout, the first trimester, the second trimester and third trimester and what they did was they showed faces to these pregnant women. And they were just different people’s faces and what they found was so fascinating to me was in the third trimester, when they showed these same faces of just some random people to these pregnant mothers, the pregnant mothers in the third trimester became super, super tuned into any sign on the faces like, aggression or anger or stress. They could point out with amazing accuracy which people showed any kind of little sign of stress or anger or you know hostility on their face that they never saw on their first trimester. And what was fascinating to me about that is that how many of us know that’s true. You know, how many of us during our pregnancy suddenly decided that we’re not gonna be friends with a certain person or that we didn’t want a certain family member to come around our child or did we suddenly move to a new environment, right? And that is amazing. You know, for so long we told pregnant women, “oh, you’re so selfish just because you’re pregnant.” It’s almost like a negative thing. Now what we know is that the nature is designed to protect that baby and I, did you hear how excited I got? [Laughs]

Sunny Gault: I did, alright. [Laughs]

Tracy Wilson: Yeah, what I’m trying to say is our instincts are sweeper, you know, tuning in when we’re pregnant and that’s a good thing. And you know, the more a mother does bond with her baby and takes that time out of her very busy life to just spend time thinking positive things and doing things that bring her joy, the more she’s going to feel connected to that baby before the baby is even born.

Sunny Gault: Great advice. Okay Tracy, we’re gonna take a quick break. When we come back we’re gonna explore all the ways mothers to be can better bond with their babies prior to giving birth. We’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

Sunny Gault: Alright, welcome back. We are talking with Tracy Wilson Peters. She has a book that’s out that called The Greatest Pregnancy Ever-Keys to The Mother Baby Bond. And in this section of our interview we’re going to talk about specific ways we can bond with our babies while pregnant. So now Tracy, your book, it’s divided into four parts which you say are the keys to bonding with your baby and I love this. The sections actually stir up the word “Bond.” So let’s talk a little bit more about these phases and how can it increase the bond between mother and baby.

Tracy Wilson: Absolutely, so the first phase is the B for bonding and that is really the beginning and that’s designed to really be pretty much the foundation of the whole book, really respond. And that’s what we really ask mothers to look at their life and that’s where we talk about having a positive attitude and how that can impact your life and how that can impact the future of your parenting. We talk about the keys to mindfulness and it is so important in today’s world, just being mindful, mindful of our environment and who we are, you know, allowing to be in our lives during our precious pregnancy and our mothering. We also have a tool in the first part of the book which is called conscious agreement and it’s just a four step process that teaches women how to help you actually separate from anything that is causing them stress and to tune into their own consciousness and see what suits right for them when they have to make a decision. We talk about relationships a lot in the first part of the book because the relationships that a mom has really, you know, her child and that’s really important. So, we talk about finding supportive relationships and that’s really the foundation of the book is that, the first part is the B and that’s the beginning.

Sunny Gault: At what point because I think a lot of women are probably thinking when can my baby, when can I really start that bond with my baby? I mean, at what point, is the baby old enough or mature enough in your womb to be able to kind of, react to what’s happening between mother and baby?

Tracy Wilson: Well, the babies tune in from conception. Babies are not there, that’s something that’s not really out there but, some conception, babies are developing at an extremely rapid pace and the first 3 to 8 weeks, that’s actually when all the baby’s major organs are forming in that first trimester and babies are, you know, able to even respond to noises and all of that by the end of first trimester. And so, that bonding really starts early on. And babies in utero are feeling individual versus thinking individual. Their brains are developing and that first part of the brain that develops is the feeling part. So, even if they don’t or are not able to think, can you know, process and prevention, they do feel the feelings that mother is transferring to them.

Sunny Gault: Okay so, that’s the B, the B part of it. What about the O, observing?

Tracy Wilson: Great, well, that’s during first trimester and that’s what we really ask people to, we have lot of activities in the book that really encourage moms to observe their own lives, look at their jobs. Is this job going to be something that I can keep after I have a baby? Is this job family friendly? You know, if the job is not family friendly during your pregnancy as the boss is giving the mom her time to attend the doctor’s appointments, that is the job going to be family friendly after I have the baby? Probably not, so, things like that, that needs to be observed. How about the relationship with the partner? That’s very important. So, this is the time for moms to really start to observe her life and she can really start to think about reducing her stress and finding physical support for herself during that, you know, during that trimester. And really saying that provides to support the kind of pregnancy that she wants to have and kind of birth that she wants to have. Often, you know, everyone reads a book what to expect, right. And now there’s that movie out about it. But, really Laurel and I are on a mission to teach people is not about what to expect. It’s about what to manifest and that we as women have the power to create the life that we want to have and that’s why we have to observe what’s going on before we can change anything that needs to be changed.

Sunny Gault: You know as we’re going through all of these different points, I’m wondering, you know, is it the same for women who are having their second or their third child or even, you know, like, Christine here in the studio had twins prior to this pregnancy. I mean, do we all go through this regardless of how many children we have or the type of pregnancy we’re experiencing?

Tracy Wilson: I really think that we do. I really that, and congratulations to Stephanie and Christine by the way. I think that it’s really important that we recognize that every baby is different. Every pregnancy is different and the whole world is completely different. Christine for example, you have a 2 ½ year old, right?

Christine: Yes, I do.

Tracy Wilson: So, I imagine that, you know, you probably have a lot of joy, but you probably do have some stress that comes from just having two children at home. [Laughs]

Christine: Oh yes absolutely.

Tracy Wilson: Yeah, and you know, a lot of times when we’re pregnant with subsequent children, we start thinking about what we’d like to do differently and it’s sounds like you’re planning a home birth.

Christine: Yes.

Tracy Wilson: And that’s something that you decided that you wanted to chance and that’s absolutely great that you’re just looking at, you know, what you want differently and feeling like, you know, you can’t be on the driver’s seat.

Christine: Yes, I think you know, I think about this baby and you know, or to say my philosophy has evolved since having, you know, my twins and I really am looking toward tomorrow holistic, more natural approaches and so, I guess, yeah, this pregnancy I’ve started thinking about what can I do to encourage that. So, absolutely, it is different this time.

Tracy Wilson: And that’s why, you know, life is always evolving around us and everything is always changing and change is good. The changes are always comfortable. And so, yeah, I think that Sunny, your question was, you know, this is, does this apply to everyone and I think it absolutely does.

Sunny Gault: Okay, good. Okay, so moving on to the N, Nourishing.

Tracy Wilson: Right, so that is really what we’re talking about in the second trimester and we really talk about nourishment and when we think about nourishment, we think about food, right? And food, food is the huge part of how the baby develops and the kind of healthy pregnancy that a mom has. But, we also really get into nourishing herself and that’s what we talk about seeking out, you know, the kind of care, healthcare provider that’s going to make her feel nourished and listen to and value the kind of, may be even some extended healthcare like, acupressure, acupuncture, chiropractic care, I really can never recommend that enough, chiropractic care even through pregnancy. But, it’s really, you know, nourishing your partner relationship as well. It’s really important, we just talked about this. 50% of the babies, they aren’t planned. Well that means they’re not planned for the partner either probably and that means that the partners have a lot of work to do during this 9 months and that’s a great time to do it. It’s much better to nourish your relationship during the pregnancy when you have time to talk about all the things that parents really need to kind of try to get on the same page about versus waiting until after the baby is born and … oh, but, we never talked about this before and we never talked about your mother. [Laughs] We never talked about these things that cause couples to break up. You know, and so, it’s really important that we look at our whole life and how we can really nourish all those relationships.

Sunny Gault: Okay, good and the final one is D, Deciding.

Tracy Wilson: Right, well we have so many things to decide. During pregnancy it can be very overwhelming. If you Google the word “Pregnancy”, you get so many hits and it’s so hard to sort information and then you have all your friends telling you, you know, everything you should or shouldn’t do during your pregnancy. Really it’s about using that tool that emerges in the beginning of the book that conscious agreement and really looking at how does the, how do these things make me feel, right? We’ve all heard the word informed concern surrounding medical procedures, right? The problem with informed concern is it really does not go far enough because you can concept your procedure or something in your life all day long but then feel really bad about it later on, right? So, using that conscious agreement around making decisions is what the last part of the book is about. And that’s where we really talk about all the considerations that she needs to look at like, where is she having this baby? How does she feel about certain medical tests? What if an induction comes up? How does she feel about that? Really making her to think through all the decisions she needs to make, breastfeeding or formula feeding, what about, you know, day care, what about my job? All of these things are really important. Then, you know, there’s a kind of things that parents can, if they don’t think or really think about the decision that they need to make, that’s what we have to solve.

Sunny Gault: Well, I’d like to just ask our panelists here in the studio. How are you guys bonding with your babies?

Stephanie: I think I do, may be not every day, may be, I should make more of a conscious effort that, you know, I’m only 13 ½ weeks at this point. So, you know, I know it’s in there, you know, I’m trying to keep, you know, my moods up, obviously, hormones, you know. I’m just getting out of the first trimester so, you know, why is everyone in the world crazy? [Laughs] you know, and I find myself rubbing my belly even though really… there’s not a whole lot.

Sunny Gault: Yeah, but you know there’s something there.

Stephanie: Yeah, and, you know, I’m getting more and more excited.

Sunny Gault: Yeah, so Tracy, I know we briefly talked about talking to your baby and that was a good thing. About rubbing your belly because you know, I found myself doing that throughout my pregnancies as well. Do babies feel that, I mean, what’s the deal behind that?

Tracy Wilson: They don’t necessarily, when they get a little bigger, they can feel the physical touching or the pressure of the touch. But, what they feel is more important than the actual touch of your hand on your belly is the emotions that you’re releasing when you put your hand on your belly and you’re releasing oxytocin that is rushing through your system and through the placenta into the baby’s environment and that baby is feeling that love so when you’re around your partner, you’re experiencing love feelings or you’re releasing some good hormones into your system, your baby is going to connect that after birth with and he’ll bond with the father’s voice and it’s all connected and so, [Laughs]

Sunny Gault: No, that’s good.

Tracy Wilson: It’s so exciting that, you know, you can purposely send love to your baby and that your baby is learning that he can trust this world that he’s going to be born into and that the world is a loving place.

Sunny Gault: So, we’ll toss the question to Christine ‘cause I think your situation is really cool as far as having twins prior and I want to know how the bonding has changed for you from having a singleton now from having twins prior?

Christine: Oh gosh! You know it’s funny in some ways. When I had my twins, I think I was much more conscious of having two. I mean, it was a much more medical experience just going to the doctor every two weeks. So, it’s been less of that but, I think, you know, I’m feeling more and I’m very aware of his or her, you know, position where, you know, he’s kicking and I’m trying to visualize that, you know, where the head is and so I’m having fun with that and then also that I have my girls at home, you know, I think I’m really been talking so much about how this baby is going to fit into the family. So, not only do I have me and my husband but I have my girls and we’ve talked about the baby is going to do this, the baby is going to do that and it’s been really fun just to share what role this baby will play and so my girls are having fun with that and they come up and you know, touch my belly, they kiss my belly and they say, “baby”, you know, I think they get it. So, it’s just kind of fun to be able to just share that with them and so it’s really, it’s not just me but it’s, you know, I really do feel like I have that support in my family around me too.

Sunny Gault: Yeah, Tracy now, how does that work with siblings? I mean, I guess I’m trying to figure out when the baby knows that, “hey, when I come out, not only I have a great mom and dad, but I’ve got great siblings too.”

Tracy Wilson: It works exactly the same way and that exactly what happens. The baby gets to know everyone that spends a significant amount of time with the mother prior to the baby being born. So, if mom’s around, her beautiful 2 ½ year old twins and you’re hugging them and your loving them and you’re feeling that connection with those children, again you’re releasing a hormone in your body that’s being sent to the baby. So that baby is making the connection about the sibling already in a so amazing, I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about anything in my life other than my own children.

Sunny Gault: Oh that’s great! I love it. Well, if you guys want to learn more about Tracy and her book, you can visit the episode’s page on our website. Look for today’s topic which is “bonding with your baby before birth”. We’re also gonna be giving away couple copies of her book. For more information on that, you can visit the contest page on our website and we’ll also include her book in our amazon store.

[Theme Music]
[Featured Segment: Prenatal Fitness Tips]

Sunny Gault: Before we wrap things up, here are some prenatal fitness tips.

Lisa Druxman: Hi Preggie Pals, I’m Lisa Druxman, fitness expert and chief founding mom Stroller Strides, a fitness program that moms and babies can do together. I’m going to answer some of your most common questions when it comes to exercise and pregnancy. And today, I’m going to answer kind of a hot topic one from me. And it’s should you be monitoring your heart rate during exercise with pregnancy? So many people are thinking that they need to keep their heart rate under that 140 beats per minute. You guys, this recommendation is old. This is not part of the current guidelines. So, even if your doctor has mentioned it, respectfully have them check out the latest ACOG guidelines, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists because that recommendation was removed from the guidelines in 1994. What does your doctor recommend or what should be recommended to monitor exercise intensity? You should be using something called “Rate Of Perceived Exertions” or sometimes also a “Modified Board Scale”. What it really is going to be is a scale of intensity with 0 being nothing and 10 being the highest level. And so, they want to find out how are you feeling. If it feels like you are able to talk as easily as I am talking to you right now, alright, probably not working out very hard and trying not hard enough to get a benefit. However, if you are feeling so out of breath and so intense that you can’t talk. Well, let me tell you, that’s too much for you and probably too much for your baby. So, what I do recommend is that you look up rate of perceived exertion or modified board scale to figure out what’s the right intensity for you. But, you don’t need to be looking at your heart rate because it’s very inconsistent for moms during pregnancy because a blood volume changes which is another talk in itself. So, check with your doctor, check out the latest guidelines, make sure you’re exercising safe so you can have a great pregnancy, a fit pregnancy and I do hope you guys would visit for more great information on how to stay fit throughout your pregnancy and your parenthood and be sure to listen to Preggie Pals for more great prenatal fitness tips.

Sunny Gault: That wraps up our show for today. If you have a pregnancy topic you’d like to suggest, we would love to hear it. Visit our website and send us an email. We’re also looking for bloggers to join our Preggie Pals blogging team. If interested, simply fill out the form at our website. If you’ve any questions about today’s show or the topics we discussed, call our Preggie Pals hotline at 619-866-4775 and we’ll answer your question on an upcoming episode. Thanks for listening to Preggie Pals, your pregnancy, your way.

This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and materials contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Suggestions and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. For such information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problems or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

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