Empowering Single Moms: 6 Attachment Parenting Techniques to Bond with Your Baby Before Birth

Empowering Single Moms: 6 Attachment Parenting Techniques to Bond with Your Baby Before Birth

Single mama shine Dear single mama. When I was expecting my little boy, Walter, I suddenly became aware of the various schools of thought on parenting. It was like a whole world which I never knew existed started to open up.
I felt nervous to get things ‘wrong’ and as a Single Mama, I'd have no-one to share that with!
Luckily, I was able to dive deep on my self-enquiry practices. They helped me connect to my newfound motherly instincts. They also allowed me to organically build an attachment-parenting style into my pregnancy. A lot of the techniques I practiced had more benefits than I could count... Some of those benefits include: ● Getting to know my little one (his personality, his sleep patterns, his activity style etc) before he was even here! ● Connecting deeply with my body, and bolstering my sense of awareness, so that I could spot changes more clearly ● Mind, body and soul peace ● Bolstering the idea that I am significantly stronger and more capable than I had ever given myself credit for before ● Helping me to feel more ‘ready’ and excited for the arrival of my little one... So what sorts of practices would I recommend trying?

Single mama yoga pregnant1) Pregnancy Yoga

As a yoga studio owner, pregnancy yoga was a no-brainer for me. I needed to keep my practice going (for my own sanity, as well as business!) but the types of movement I had done in the past didn’t always feel appropriate.
Pregnancy yoga was a wonderful way for me to build the strength I knew I’d need for my labour experience.
It helped me listen to the messages my body was sending me, and slow down. Plus, Walter would kick whenever I lay down for savasana, and I still miss those butterflies to this day!

2) Self-Massage

Even if we have a partner, or a friend who is available and keen to provide us with some massage, self-touch is so important during pregnancy.
One of the leading causes of post-natal mental health challenges (alongside traumatic birth experiences, complete exhaustion, hormone overload and a whole load of other things) is the changes pregnancy brings to our bodies.
For ages, I didn’t look pregnant... Then one day around week 27, POP! There he was. And for a hot minute I didn’t recognize my body as being my own any more. So I chose some of my favourite essential oils, closed my eyes, and massaged my tummy, my thighs and my breasts. All of the physical spaces which were changing. Feeling that touch reminded me that whilst carrying my baby was a huge part of what I was doing, my body was also still mine. Doing this regularly during the remainder of my pregnancy allowed me to prevent any resentment around body changes once my little boy was here.

3) Candlelit BathsSingle mama candlelit bath

Candlelit showers work too! I loved the idea that when I took a relaxing candlelit bath or shower, I was not only treating myself to a luxury, but treating my baby too.
It became a part of my daily routine, and once he arrived, I started candlelit co-bathing with him.
The skin-to-skin contact, the warm water and the light from the flames are just so lush that when we finish we are both ready for a nice, deep sleep, just like I was in pregnancy. Obviously, being careful and safe is vital with this one!

4) Journaling

I have always loved journaling - such a soothing practice for a single mama. Especially when my mind was spinning out with stress, or panic about things which (in hindsight) were totally unimportant (like, which pram was I going to choose, or which outfit he would wear coming home from the hospital).
Usually, we can’t write as fast as our minds run. So journaling during pregnancy is a beautiful opportunity to get still and write our babies a letter.
I still haven’t gone back over my entries from pregnancy since Walter was born. But I really look forward to reading them with him one day.

5) Talking Or Singing To Your Baby

Single mama yogaWhen we talk to our bumps, it helps our minds prepare for the fact that there will be a tiny human for us to take care of after pregnancy. A human that can hear, see, feel and love.
I would say my hypnobirthing affirmations out loud on repeat. Chant my favourite mantras from yoga, and sing lullabies to my bump.
It felt a little silly at times, as though I was speaking to myself. Because I even used to ask him questions like, “Should we buy pizza or pasta today, baby?” became a habit before he arrived! But the pay-off was huge. When Walter arrived, he recognized my voice, instantly turning his head to me and opening his eyes like he knew exactly who his mama was! The vibrations of my voice became a familiar and soothing settler for him and he still loves to hear me chant, or repeat affirmations to this day.

6) Attachment parenting in-utero

I believe many of these ‘attachment parenting in-utero’ activities have the power to help new parents. That includes every single mama, to build resilience against post-partum mental health challenges too.
Plus, it's lovely to create a little routine during pregnancy around the tools and tips we can lean on.
It really helps should things get a little crazy (which, FYI, they totally do!) once our little ones are finally here. Of course, when they arrive, these practices look a little different... Pregnancy yoga becomes post-natal yoga. Self-massage becomes baby massage. And we may begin singing our hypnobirthing affirmations as lullabies to our little ones, rather than listening to them on audio. Nonetheless, these techniques will stay with Walter and I for life. I believe that every expectant family could be happier and healthier if they use them regularly.