Born Bonded is a programme to help parents-to-be to bond with their baby and to start doing so before birth.
Why Born Bonded?
Most parents want what is best for their baby; however some struggle more with the emotional side of parenting than the simpler business of physical care. Unlike a DVD player, a baby does not come with a ‘How to’ manual! The challenges of the early days with a baby can outweigh the joys at times. This is where prior preparation is essential. Without this, problems can become overwhelming, the joys diminish and depression may occur.
My aim is to ensure parents have the knowledge and skills to develop a secure bond with their baby: a strong relationship that if established in the first months will last a lifetime. Common sense suggests that it is good to bond with your baby but this is now backed up by research from neuroscience, child development and therapeutic services. A strong bond with their parents has now been scientifically proved to be the best foundation for a baby’s future health and happiness.
What is Born Bonded?
The Born Bonded programme is based on my twenty five years experience of helping parents-to-be and parents successfully manage the transition from partners to parents by bonding with their babies. This isn’t about achieving perfection, and indeed it is rare to do so! The parameters of success range from positively enjoying pregnancy, birth and the baby to resiliently experiencing the normal ups and downs associated with this time.
Many parents to be are concerned about the more serious problems that can arise during the difficult early months of parenthood such as Postnatal Depression (PND). PND is a common condition, and whilst it can generally be successfully overcome with the help of family, friends or services it can make what should be a positive time in a woman’s life both unpleasant and distressing.
What I observed in my work for the NHS was that of the risk of PND could be reduced with preparation in pregnancy and support in the early days/weeks/months (this varies from person to person). I say reduced rather than eliminated because unfortunately no one can guarantee that PND can be prevented. Bonding, however, seems to be a strong protective factor.
The Born Bonded programme is meant for the general, curious reader or those looking for self-help. It describes an approach to managing emotions in order to prevent problems occurring. It works by helping you to build up resilience, bond with the baby and achieve balance. It will be most beneficial if you can start implementing the approach before the baby arrives.
About the programme
The programme has three sections:
Section One – Information on why bonding is crucially important for your baby, why it is good for you, and how it can make the whole business of parenting so much easier for life. This includes an explanation of your baby’s emotional development, their brain development and how the two are related.
Section Two – I will show you how to bond with your baby, introducing you to a unique approach called ‘Comfort Zone’ that can help you get it right from the start. As with many good ideas the beauty of this approach is both its simplicity and its power to help you to develop your own strategies for success.
Section Three – Finally we look at prior preparation for parenthood. Forewarned is forearmed! A little knowledge about some of the common difficulties that can occur and some strategies for success that may help. If not, what to do if further assistance is required.
Currently the Born Bonded programme is available as a guidebook and as a group work training programme.