As an expectant dad, you know this already, and you’re probably deeply involved in your partner’s pregnancy. But did you realize that you can start forming a real and active bond with your baby long before baby’s born?Besides your loving touch on mother’s belly, your strongest connection with the coming baby is through your own unique voice.
Studies have shown that babies whose fathers talked to them before birth attended more to their father’s voices soon after birth, perhaps indicating that the sound of the father’s voice had been imprinted on the mind of the preborn baby.
The father would start to talk to his child, sometimes using his child's chosen name, and say things like, "I love you. It's okay. I'm here. You're going to be okay. You're safe. You're my baby. I love you. Everything's going to be alright. I'm here now, I'm here."
Numerous studies have shown that babies in utero can recognize and remember stories read aloud to them, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy. Newborns then respond to those same stories, especially read in the familiar voices they heard from the womb. And they show a preference for words with rhythm and rhyme. This opens up a whole world of language you can share with your little one—now and after baby’s born.
On top of bonding with your baby, you’ll be helping to develop early language skills and establishing a special reading time that can continue for years to come.
Many elements of a pregnant mother’s environment, from the foods she eats to the stressful situations she encounters, can have lasting effects on her growing baby’s future adaptation to its world. But, one of the most fascinating insights I took from this work is that we’re all learning about the world even before we enter it.”
This kind of fetal learning is very important because- It may have evolved to aid the baby’s survival. From the moment of birth, the baby responds most to the voice of the person who is most likely to care for it—its mother. It even makes its cries sound like the mother’s language, which may further endear the baby to the mother, and which may give the baby a head start in the critical task of learning how to understand and speak its native language.
“Learning is one of life’s most essential activities, and it begins much earlier than we ever imagined.”
As shown by the research babies in the womb respond best to rhythmic, rhyming, and repetitive auditory stimulation; such stories are the best remembered and have the most soothing effect on newborns.But of course the meaning of the words you read doesn’t matter to the baby. So you can choose the material you feel happiest and most comfortable reading aloud.
And remember, when a pregnant woman is relaxed and happy, she passes on “feel-good” hormones to her baby. It seems likely that this same effect would take place when she watches and listens to her partner reading to her belly too.
Make this special reading time your own, specially suited to your tastes.Go ahead and have fun with your choice of stories—you might as well please yourself!
Take this as your starting point and search for the poems, lyrics, and stories that most resonate with you. Relax, enjoy the language, and know the baby in the womb is enjoying it too!
Establishing a routine around reading creates a sacred, centered, regular time devoted to you and your child.
Reading a rhythmic story to a baby in the womb is also important to baby’s brain development, building the foundation for future speaking, reading, and thinking.When sounds are repetitive, rhythmic, and familiar, the pathways are defined and strengthened. So by reading a story or poem over and over again, you are creating and reinforcing pathways in your baby’s brain, and these will lay the groundwork for continued learning and development.
Let’s put this aside for a moment and think of some ways that you can truly relax. Yes, you are entitled as a pregnant woman to take time for yourself and your baby. It’s your right and even your duty! Pregnancy is one of those rare times in life where you can claim that you are doing something very important when you are just sitting still.
If you just sit in a comfortable place and breathe, you’re doing the most important thing of all, nurturing and caring for your baby. As you take each deep breath in, be aware that you’re also breathing for your baby. Now, be aware of the rhythm of your heart beating. Each beat brings invigorating blood to your baby, making baby stronger every moment. And when you add your soothing voice to the mix, reading a calming rhythmic story, you have the formula for perfect relaxation for both mother and child.
The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail.
Dr Unnati Chavda
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)