With the right advice, pregnancy and motherhood can be a carefree experience.

Your first contact with your baby

Even during pregnancy you can start connecting with your unborn child. This will help you get ready for life with your baby.

Try a gentle massage. Choose your favourite cream or oil and massage your tummy. Imagine that you are caressing your baby and that he or she can feel your touch. A massage will also help your circulation and relieve tight skin. A bit of pampering will certainly do you good. Massage should, however, be avoided during the first trimester.

Talk to your baby. You can even sing to him or her. In the 6th month of pregnancy your baby can already hear the sounds of your body – your heartbeat and the blood circulating in your veins. Soon it will also hear sounds from outside your body. Your baby will soon learn to recognise your voice and the tone of voice you use when you want to soothe him or her.

Try and picture your baby. In the evening, when you are relaxing, get yourself comfortable and abandon yourself to the sensations inside you. Butterflies, kicks or acrobatics – these are the language of your baby. Try and picture him or her as she moves. When you feel a kick, give an answering tap. Encourage the baby's father to touch your tummy and feel the baby kicking. He should talk to the baby too.

Ask your doctor for a photograph from the ultrasound to help you visualise your baby more easily – keep the photo in your phone so that you always have it with you. If you have a particularly bad day or someone gets your back up, look at the photo of your baby and remember that for his or her sake you have to keep calm and look after your health.

Before the birth why not sit down and write a letter to your unborn child. Tell your baby about your wishes for him or her and talk about your hopes and fears regarding your baby and the birth. Explain how you chose your baby's name and how you decorated the baby's room and bought baby clothes. You can give them the letter when they are grown up or expecting a baby of their own.

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