Learning Begins Before Birth - What can my baby learn in the womb?
Pregnancy can be an emotional time for the mother. Even if you have had multiple pregnancies each one will be different, but what does not change in any pregnancy is the learning process of your baby while in utero. Countless studies have been made over the years to determine what exactly goes through a babies mind while they are in their little cocoon of safety. Although it is not at our availability to simply ask the infant what he or she is experiencing, science has leaned that a great deal of education happens even before the baby is anywhere close to being born.
What can my baby HEAR in the womb?
Although we may think of our bellies as sound proof when we are pregnant, they are not. Hearing is most notable for a baby during the seventh or eighth month of pregnancy. As hearing can begin much earlier, studies have shown that when the mother speaks in these later months before birth the baby will slow down movement. While in utero sounds are quite muffled due to the amniotic fluid, but the mother’s voice tends to have a very calming effect on the baby.
It should also be noted that language is being formed in the womb as well. Studies show that what will be the infant’s native language, although not spoken currently by the baby, is understood as normal. When the native language is spoken the baby will react to the language rather than hearing a foreign tongue.
What can my baby SEE in the womb?
In addition to hearing in the seventh month, the baby has begun to see. Babies have been known to react to light around the mother’s tummy and will open and close their eyes as their big birthday approaches. When your baby is born vision is the least developed of all senses. It will develop relatively quickly though and by the age of around 4 months, babies’ vision will be almost fully matured.
What can my baby TASTE and SMELL in the womb?
This is one of the first senses formed. Taste begins at around 14 weeks. The smells and tastes of what the mother eats are within the amniotic fluid. Some babies have even been shown on ultrasounds to lick the uterine wall. Once the baby has been born, many doctors will discourage the mother from bathing until after the babies first feeding. Taste and smell tend to go hand in hand, so the baby is already used to the smell of the mother.
Can I help my baby to learn while she's in the womb?
A new mother can help the baby along in the learning process by stimulating these senses. The most important being the sense of hearing. While pregnant play soothing music or sing to your baby. You may not like your singing voice, but your baby will love the sound. Babies are calmed by their mother’s voice. Also it is important to stay calm. If you become stressed your baby will feel the effects. Pregnancy can be a very stressful time. You are thinking of everything you need and reading countless articles and books to ensure that you are a good mother. Let me put your mind at ease. Take a break, relax, and enjoy the little person growing in your tummy. That time is special and is only for you and your baby. They only grow on the inside of you for a very small portion of their lives. Enjoy every minute of it and do not worry about being a good mum. You will be great. Nature has a way of bringing that out in mums.
Until next time!
Julia & Aggie.