You may not have seen your baby yet, but it's likely that you've already formed a relationship with her. Many new moms say they first feel that connection with their baby when they feel the first kick or see their baby on an ultrasound.

In addition, your baby has probably already begun forming a relationship with you, too, and will be able to recognize your voice and start trusting you. Babies in the womb are aware of their surroundings, say researchers.

Unborn babies have senses that help them develop important connections to their mothers and the world around them. This, the earliest form of human development, represents the most formative stages in a person's life.

Babies operate in the womb with a rich spectrum of senses, including touch, thermal, smell, taste, and mouthing as a way to explore texture, says Dr. David B. Chamberlain, former president of the Association of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health. What's more, babies possess a certain type of telepathy that enables them to pick up on the emotional disposition of their parents, he says. In other words, moms, keep talking to your tummy!

Establishing trust

It's important for both mom and baby to establish a bond before birth for several reasons, according to Carista Luminare-Rosen, Ph.D., author of Parenting Begins Before Conception and founder of the Center for Creative Parenting. She believes babies have the ability to sense their parents' love, giving them an innate sense of attachment that leads to the all-important establishment of trust.

Selfhood is developed in the womb, says Luminare-Rosen. When you give yourself permission to feel love, when you open up your spirit and emotions, that's mothering. You're already a parent before the baby is born.

It's also important for moms to bond with their unborn babies because it helps to establish that the baby is an actual person rather than some future concept. This may be especially important for first-time moms, who need to ready themselves for the big responsibility of caring for a child

How to Bond

So how do you form a bond with your baby? First, know that everyone makes connections in different ways, and there is no right or wrong way. Given that, here are some tips from the experts:

  • Talk.
  • Newborn babies will recognize mom's voice, so talk to your belly. Have a conversation (albeit one-sided, for now) with your baby throughout the day. Dads are also encouraged to get in on the act.

  • Sing.
  • Don't worry if you can't carry a tune. Music provides a soothing, calming environment for the baby and can help lift mom's spirits too. Plus, babies can recognize music they've heard in the womb after they're born, according to Luminare-Rosen.

  • Keep a journal.
  • Take 10 minutes daily to write in a journal to tell your baby what you're feeling, even if you're feeling fear or anxiety.

  • Touch.
  • There is truly nothing like feeling your baby moving around inside you. Relish it. Rest your hand on your belly, and try to identify your baby's head, knees, and feet. Visualize what she will look likean exercise that will make her seem all the more real.