Feeding your baby & building close, loving relationships

We recommend parents connect with their growing baby during pregnancy.

Take time each day to relax and think about your baby, stroke your baby bump, notice when baby moves and talk to your growing baby. We would encourage partners and siblings to join in too. This will help parents be more responsive once baby is born and is good for baby's development. These connections start the foundations for close and loving bonds that continue after parents meet their baby.

"New babies have a strong need to be close to their parents, as this helps them to feel secure and loved. When babies feel secure they release a hormone called oxytocin, which acts like a fertiliser for their growing brain, helping them to be happy."

Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative

This relationship is further supported by skin to skin commencing at birth and being repeated throughout baby's early weeks and months.

All babies benefit from skin to skin as it helps them feel safe and secure and adjust to the outside world when this occurs initially directly after birth. 

At birth skin to skin should last until after the first feed, for at least an hour or for as long as mother wishes (however mother decides to feed her baby). If this isn’t possible immediately or is interrupted, then skin to skin should be introduced as soon as possible.

Further information on skin to skin.