Getting Real With Shadra Bruce
Babies bond with their mothers rapidly. Part of the reason for this fast bonding, some researchers say, is because the baby spends nine months hearing Mom’s voice and finds comfort in that familiarity from the start.
Fathers can be jealous of that immediate intimacy, but that jealousy is not necessary. Research has clearly established that babies can hear from inside the womb and actually react to sounds that they hear; fathers have a very special opportunity to develop the same special bond with their babies that mothers do, simply by spending a little time each day talking to the baby while in the womb. This not only strengthens the bond from child to father but helps Dad feel closer to and more involved with the baby as well.
There is ongoing research that indicates that prenatal communication actually stimulates your baby’s brain. By talking to your baby in the womb, you may be helping him or her develop more efficient synaptic connections and better cognitive ability. According to several studies, babies whose parents have actively participated in prenatal communication have more advanced development in several areas, including motor skills as well as higher APGAR scores.
The research also suggests that ongoing prenatal communication provides many other post-natal benefits, like babies who are less colicky, are less likely to cry a lot, sleep more soundly, and are more creative. There are even connections being made between prenatal communication and a reduction in risks during labor as well as a reduction in the number of emergency c-sections.
In fact, it has been shown that a baby in the womb will calm when he or she hears the same sounds repeatedly. Reading a story or playing a piece of music to your fetus can help provide the same cognitive stimulation, while also making it possible to calm your infant after he or she is born by reading that same familiar story or playing the same music the infant heard in the womb.
The research on prenatal communication is ongoing at this point, but there is enough credibility to make it worth trying. Both parents should talk to their baby in the womb throughout the day. Regardless of the ultimate cognitive benefit to your unborn child, the bonding experience will be good for you as a couple as well. If there are older children at home, it can help them bond with baby, too. Regardless of what other benefits there may be, talking to your baby in the womb helps welcome your child into a world that has already made a place for him or her.