Bonding With Baby Before Birth

belly hearts

The distance between your home and your surrogate’s home is often very large and can present a bit of a challenge when it comes to bonding with your unborn child. Despite the distance, many intended parents will still desire to form a bond with their child while in utero. The good news is that there are many ways to form this bond across the miles, it just takes is a little creativity! Here are some bonding options that can help you get to know your growing baby.


Perhaps the easiest way to introduce your child to you is through the sound of your voice. Research continues to show that fetuses are able to hear voices from the outside world while inside of the womb and will often recognize those voices after birth. Products such as “Belly Buds” allow intended parents to record their voices from one location and then send them to another standard audio device located anywhere in the world. The surrogate then places “ear buds” on her belly and plays your recording. Using products like this you will be able to read, sing, or simply talk to your growing baby. This can help your baby to recognize the sound of your voice at the time of birth.


Consider writing letters to your unborn baby or keeping a journal for the child. List how you’re feeling through each stage and practice talking to your child. Getting into the habit of communicating with your child now can help create a feeling of familiarity at birth. You can also send your letters to your surrogate and ask that she read them to the baby. Even if you keep these thoughts just for yourself, you can begin to build a relationship with the baby by this routine act of communication.


Perhaps your baby gets very active every time your surrogate eats peanut butter. Maybe it’s Cheerios cereal that gets your little one moving. Is your future child a night owl or an early bird? Try asking your surrogate about your baby’s food preferences and times of activity. Then try mirroring those preferences. Try eating the foods that your little one likes and being active when they are most awake. You could be getting an early look into their sleep schedule and personality!


Many women will tell you that they had an inkling into their newborn’s personality before the baby was ever born. Will the baby be peaceful or antsy? Will he sleep soundly or lightly? Talking with your surrogate about any suspicions she has about your baby’s personality could offer insight into their personalities, even if it is just a guess and far from scientific. Even if your surrogate’s guesses wind up completely wrong, you can still have fun imagining the baby’s personality this way.

However you choose to form a bond with your growing baby, have fun with it! Pregnancy is an exciting and brief time in the grand scheme of parenthood, and enjoying every moment will help create a bond all of its own.

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for intended parents, surrogates and donors. She is the co-owner of Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019) as well as the children's book You Began as a Wish (Independent Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. She has two adult daughters.