Preparing for your new baby

Our goal in this session is to prepare you to have a strong bond with your baby.

img Reviewing Your Chat With Zuri Zuri taught you that your relationship with your baby begins when he or she is still in the womb. Sometimes stress can make it hard to be excited about the baby's arrival, but you can learn to think and act healthy.

Identifying Unhealthy Thoughts

A strong bond with your baby is important for your health and your baby's health, and this relationship begins before the baby is even born. Sometimes, however, we have negative thoughts about the pregnancy or the baby. This is normal, and if it happens to you, it doesn't mean that you are a bad mother. But these thoughts creep into our mind and make us feel guilty. It's important to identify these thoughts so we can work on replacing them.

Here are a couple of examples of the negative thoughts some women have, and how these thoughts make it hard to develop a healthy relationship with our babies:

Unhealthy Thought Makes Us Feel/Do Which May Result In
I can't be bothered about myself, let alone think of the baby. No effort to care for oneself and unborn baby. Risk of poor health for mom and baby.
I don't feel any connection to my baby. It doesn't matter until s/he arrives. No effort to develop a bond with unborn baby. More difficult to develop a healthy bond when the baby is born.
img Writing Prompt Reflect on how you are feeling about your pregnancy. What types of negative thoughts do you have from time to time?

Replacing Unhealthy Thoughts with Healthy Thinking

When these negative thoughts enter your mind, it's helpful to tell yourself that it's OK. Positive thoughts and feelings can grow over time. Once you realize this, you might begin to feel less guilty, which helps your baby develop and lets you begin to focus on replacing your negative thoughts with healthy ones.

Healthy Thought Makes Us Feel/Do Which May Result In
If I try, I can develop a deep bond with my baby over time. Begin making an effort to develop a bond with the baby. Strong and healthy relationship between mother and baby.
My child needs me, even though s/he is unborn. Attend to unborn baby's needs. Healthy delivery and newborn.
img Writing Prompt Let yourself imagine giving birth to a healthy boy or girl. What are the first words you will say to your newborn?
img Let's Practice Practice is a big part of the Healthy Moms program. We must learn how to Think Healthy, and practice is an essential part of learning.

1. Eating a Healthy Diet

img Writing Prompt Review your previous diet chart. What was challenging about trying to eat healthy after the last session?

Create a chart like this in your notebook and use it to monitor your diet.

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner
Ex. Tea, porridge, banana Chips and sausage Mandazi Ugali, beef stew, sukuma wiki
Day 1

Day 2

2. Making Time for Rest and Relaxation

In this session, you learned about the importance of practicing slow breathing and singing or humming a lullaby and imagining a baby going to sleep. Here are the activity instructions:

img Slow Breathing:
  • Relax your body. Inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 3 seconds.
  • Do this 2 to 3 times per day for 10 to 15 minutes each time.
img Singing or Humming Your Baby to Sleep:
  • Imagine that you are cradling your baby to sleep by singing or humming a lullaby
  • Try to do this 3-4 times a day
  • Soon it will feel natural
Writing Prompt What songs will you sing or hum to your baby at night?

Create this chart in your notebook and track how often you try the rest and relaxation activities.

Did you practice slow breathing today? Did you sing or hum?
Day 1 Yes, ____ times/ No Yes, ____ times/ No
Day 2 Yes, ____ times/ No Yes, ____ times/ No

3. Keeping Track of Your Mood

Remember, keeping track of your thoughts and feelings is a great way to see how you change and grow over time. So at least once a day, imagine the 10-step emotion ladder from Session 1 and rate how you are feeling. On the bottom step (1) are women who feel very sad and blue. On the top step (10) are women who feel great with no sadness. Which step best shows how you are feeling?

Create the following chart in your journal. If you are feeling very happy—as happy as you have ever been—you might tick the box for a 9 or 10. If you are having a really tough day, you might tick the box for step 1 or 2. Tick whatever box is right for you. Just remember that low numbers mean more sadness, and high numbers mean more happiness.


img Writing Prompt On your lowest days, what made you feel this way? What made your best days bright?
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