Episode 3: Nicola Lathey on building bonds before birth
Nicola shares her advice on bonding with your bump through songs, rhymes and touch.
Speech and language stimulate your bump – During development in utero (inside the womb) the brain undergoes changes,3 which can be influenced to some degree by what it is exposed to. Your baby not only begins to learn a language and its nuances6, but learns the specific characteristic of your voice7, helping you to recognize each other after birth.
"Hearing your language and its specific features helps your baby to tell these sounds apart after birth."
Love your bump - bonding with your baby
Pregnancy can be a daunting time. Many mums worry that they won’t feel an instant bond with their baby, but you can start to practice bonding with your bump almost immediately. Talking to your bump can be beneficial, but if you feel uncomfortable or it feels unnatural having a one-way conversation with your belly there are other things you can do.
1. Timmons J. What can a fetus hear? Healthline 2015. Available at http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/when-can-a-fetus-hear (Accessed March 2016).
2. Kuhl PK. Early language acquisition: cracking the speech code. Nat Rev Neurosci 2004;5(11): 831–843.
3. Moon C, et al. Language experienced in utero affects vowel perception after birth: a two-country study. Acta Paediatr 2013;102(2):156–160.
4. Byers-Heinlein K, et al. The roots of bilingualism in newborns. Psychol Sci. 2010;21:343–8.
5. Partanen E, et al. Learning-induced neural plasticity of speech processing before birth. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2013;110(37):15145–50.
6. Mampe B, et al. Newborns’ cry Melody is shaped by their native language. Curr Biol 2009;19(23): 1994–1997.
7. Lee GY and Kisilevsky BS. Fetuses respond to father’s voice but prefer mother’s voice after birth. Dev Psychobiol 2014:56(1):1–11.
8. Voegtline KM, et al. Near-term fetal response to maternal spoken voice. Infant Behav Dev 2013;36:526–533.
9. Moon CM & Fifer WP. Evidence of transnatal auditory learning. J Perinatol 2000;20(8):S37–44.
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