Bonding

Bonding is that special tie made of glances, contact and care that bonds a parent and the baby child right from the first moments after the birth.

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Today we often hear about bonding. This word was coined almost thirty years ago to define the special and unbreakable bond that unites a parent to their child forever.

It is therefore a unique bond that unites the infant to the parents and vice versa from the first moments of life and represents an indispensable affective basis in order to deal with subsequent separation in a relaxed way.

For this reason, it is important that, at the time of birth, and over the few hours that follow it, the mother-child - but also father-child - pairing can find an intimate space and a few moments on their own, enabling them to establish this bond, which is so important.

Bonding develops in babies through the main senses: touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell. There are even theories according to which, in the first days of life, the baby lives in symbiosis with its mother and does not distinguish its body from hers. The mother is therefore the satisfaction of all its needs because she and it are a single thing.

Conversely, maternal or paternal attachment is expressed through pampering, kissing, cuddling, watching, feeding and communicating in different ways with their child. In fact, the most intimate moments between parent and infant are those which involve skin to skin contact: breastfeeding, bathing, massage, sleep etc., when an embrace and physical contact occur quite spontaneously, dictated by the natural instinct of protection and parental nurturing.

This is a veritable reciprocal relationship: as the baby elicits responses of care and affection in the parents, the care from mum and dad elicits responses of affection from the baby. 

Also from a physiological point of view, it has been proven that babies born at term who have skin to skin contact with their mother in the first ninety minutes after birth adapt better to outdoor temperatures, have a higher blood sugar level and cry much less than those that are separated or placed in a cot.

For the mother, then, the first moments after birth are critical because, seeing her baby and holding it in her arms, she will develop that instinct of nurturing and protection that will bond her to her child in an unbreakable way for the rest of her life.