This fascinating discussion on the Mumsnet forum caught my interest.

“So I was wondering what do other fellow pregger mothers do to bond with there baby? My midwife has concerns because I dont chat or sing to my bump. Should I be worried I dont feel the need to?”

“My mw seemed keen for me to sing to my bump during my last pregnancy. Seriously, the baby would not have wanted to hear me singing…”

“Mine said this to me too! I feel like a dick doing it! I’m pretty sure the baby is used to my voice as it has to listen to me teaching all day!”

“I really really hope your midwife never has to deal with a yellow folder case after multiple loss. We are really weird about our bumps in a vast array of ways, for obvious reasons. It would be horrendous to be told we are damaging and probably damage mums mental health. angry

“As midwives we are now encouraged to get mums to start to think of the baby as a person before birth, to encourage bonding and start a good nursing relationship straight from birth. However, I don’t think not talking to your baby means you aren’t bonding. It’s all about how you talk about your baby and how you plan for the day he/she’s born and life with a baby. I certainly bonded with my bumps, but never talked out loud or sang to them. That just makes me feel like an idiot. I may have had the odd chat in my mind though. Mainly along the “get off my bladder” lines.”

“I’ve got to be honest, I think this is totally mental and a massive overstep by midwives. Ok, I can believe that women who sing and talk to their bumps are bonding with them well, but it doesn’t follow that women who don’t sing and talk to them aren’t bonding or that this has any validity as an actual diagnostic question to women. Not to mention overlooking the women who are deliberately holding themselves back from bonding, although they’d love to, because of previous losses. (perhaps women who lie in the affirmative to midwives about this question because they are so worried about what people will think of them as mothers are more likely to get PND?)

If my midwife asks me this, she’s going to get a flat look and an “Are you kidding?” Honestly, antenatal care can feel incredibly infantilising, and this is one of those times.”