As your bump grows, so does your excitement and anticipation for meeting your baby, but sometimes it can be hard to accept your changing body and you might not have connected as much with your baby as you imagined you would. For one it can be difficult when you don’t even know what your baby will look like. You are not alone if you feel like this mum, but there are a few things you can do to help bond with bump. Swimming As you start getting bigger, the weight on your body can add extra stress and so swimming is not only a lovely activity to help ease any aches and pains, but it also helps you connect with bump as you can imagine how they feel floating around inside your womb. Swimming can be so relaxing and can help you switch off from your busy schedule while focusing on you and your baby. Swimming is also a lovely way to increase your exercise, help your circulation, strengthen your muscles and increase your endurance. You may also be able to find a dedicated antenatal class which is a great way to meet other mums-to-be. Just keep out of the sauna or hot tub as the temperatures can be a little too hot for bump. Massage Another nice thing to do is massage your bump which is considered safe after 3 months and you can also add in some lovely essential oils but do check these are safe to use during pregnancy. Taking a little time out to just spend with your bump is not only relaxing but a lovely bonding exercise, particularly when you start to feel their movements or see your bump move. Singing / Playing Music Why not try singing or talking to your bump. Your baby will be able to hear you from as early as 15 weeks and so it is a really nice way to connect with them by knowing they can hear what is going on in the outside world. You may have a favourite song you want to sing to them or try some lullabies. A small study has shown that babies who were played the same song several times a week during their third trimester, had larger brain responses to the same song after birth compared to those that didn’t hear the song in the womb. The study also found that when mothers sing to their unborn babies it has heighten effects and then this could help calm a crying baby after birth – our advice, choose your song carefully as you may be hearing it a lot! Hypnobirthing Hypnobirthing uses breathing techniques and affirmations to help you stay calm and in control when giving birth and help you create a positive birthing experience. These same techniques can also be used to help you focus solely on your bump, allowing you to remove distractions and connect with your baby. Hypnobirthing can be taught at classes, which is also a great way to meet other expectant mums, or you can find classes online or even read about the techniques in a book. You may also be offered free hypnobirthing classes through the NHS so if this is of interest then do ask your midwife if anything is available in your local area or take a look online. Spend Time with Bump As you approach your due date, take some time out just you and your bump. Enjoy a relaxing bath and watch how your baby moves, play some calming music and light some candles (just make sure the water isn’t too hot for baby). You are about to experience an amazing transformation in your life where you will become a mum so do allow yourself some time to adjust. If you don’t fancy a bath then why not put on your favourite playlist and enjoy a relaxing lie-down. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy spending some quality time just relaxing and enjoying time with your bump.