Relationship building during pregnancy

antenatal couple picture

The relationship with your baby will develop when you are pregnant. Those instinctual and loving behaviours are a great starting point for the relationship to grow. By responding to your baby both inside and when they are born leads to improved brain development and calming hormones – you can never spoil your baby.

Evidence suggests that connecting with your unborn baby is good for brain development. Simple things like taking time to think about your baby, talking/singing to baby, noticing your baby’s movements, rubbing your tummy, involving partners/siblings helps to support this important development. Staff will talk to you about your thoughts and feelings around developing this relationship with your baby.

Bonding with your baby

Antenatal expressing for diabetic mothers:

What’s is Antenatal Expression?

Colostrum is in your breasts from around 16 weeks of pregnancy. We can express this from around 37 weeks of pregnancy.  Colostrum is very important for babies; it is very concentrated and contains lots of protective properties to give your baby the best start.

How to hand express?

  • Wash your hands
  • Start if you like with gentle massage
Hand expressing massaging
Gentle massaging
  • Make a C shape with your thumb and fingers and aim for about 2-3 cm away from the base of the nipple. Start to press your fingers in towards each other without moving your fingers on the skin, then release and repeat.
Hand expressing compress and release

  • You can rotate your fingers around your breast to remove more colostrum. Continue to express for around 15-20 minutes.
  • Initially you may not see anything but keep practising to perfect your technique. You can try moving your fingers slightly up or down.
  • Once you get some colostrum you can start to collect it in a syringe.
  • You can express up to 4 times a day leading up to the birth.

If you experience any cramping pain in your uterus please stop and ask for advice from your midwife.


Use one syringe per day, storing in between expressions in the fridge.  At the end of the day put the syringe in a sealed zip lock freezer bag and then freeze. Make sure you label the syringe with your name, date and time of expression.

The colostrum can be stored for 6 months in the freezer and taken with you into hospital when you come to have your baby. Give the midwife the freezer bag to put in our fridge.  

For more infant feeding information please click on a tab - 

Light relationship building infant feeding icon
Breastfeeding sick premature babies icon
skin to skin contact infant feeding icon
mixed feeding icon
Breastfeeding infant feeding icon
Going home icon
This page was last updated on: 08 February 2018
The NHS Constitution give blood organ donation nhs choices nhs direct