Do Babies Start Learning In The Womb?
Do babies start learning in the womb?
When I was a child I remember my mother narrating stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata to me and her favourite was the story about valour of Abhimanyu. How Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna learnt about entering Chakravyuha while in his mother Subhadra’s womb but couldn’t get the skill set of coming out of it as Subhadra slept off while the latter half of the plan was being narrated. At that age I used to be really amazed to know that an unborn baby in the womb could hear all that the mother was hearing. Today ages after Mahabharata episode, research has proved that unborn babies seem to develop a fine ear for certain sounds. Research reveals that babies had their first lessons in their native language while still in utero. Now it’s likely the babies might be picking up on the rhythm and melody of the speech, rather than individual words. Who knows?
When I was carrying my babies my MIL used to tell me daily to read good “Bhagwaan ki kitaben’ to the unborn baby so that s/he gets good ‘Sanskaar’ and I used to laugh it off. Later I read somewhere that a developing fetus gets all the information he needs just by listening in on his mother’s conversations with others. He also may be picking up something from any books she reads aloud. Besides being able to tell the difference between English and French, a study shows that babies in the womb may be able to recognize the specific rhythms and patterns of the stories they hear. Isn’t it amazing!!
Do moms need to converse directly to their swelling belly?
Here is a brief of a very interesting research done, A group of pregnant women were made to read out loud one of two stories — The Cat in the Hat or The King, the Mice, and the Cheese — twice a day for six weeks before they delivered their babies. After birth, when the infants were three days old, they were played tape recordings of unfamiliar voices reading those stories: They consistently changed their sucking patterns on the pacifiers to hear the story they’d heard in utero. Awww J that is so cute but explains well that babies do hear and listen to outside sounds in utero.
The new research suggests that babies began to absorb language when they are inside the womb during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy — which is earlier than previously held. Newborns can actually tell the difference between their mother’s native tongue and foreign languages just hours after they are born.
What do babies learn before birth?
Let there be light
Research proves that babies can see light despite of being inside ‘womb without a view’. A baby’s eyes, which form in the first trimester, are sealed shut until about the seventh month and after that when they open, the fetus is able to see and if a very bright light is thrown up inside the uterus, the fetus turns away from it. Similarly, doctors suspect that the fetus may be able to detect a faint glow if a strong light is pointed right at mom’s belly.
Mom, I like tasty food
A pregnant woman is always told to eat for two and the fact remains that the quality of what she eats matters as much as the quantity because as the taste buds in the fetus develop around seventh or eighth week, studies indicate that the flavors and aromas of the foods mother eats during pregnancy, which pass through to her amniotic fluid, may affect her baby’s taste preferences long after birth. Thus if you want your baby to accept new foods easily at a later stage in life then you must eat more varied diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Hmmm! Mommy, you smell good
An unborn baby not only tastes foods, but can smell them as well. Researchers have noted that, at birth, amniotic fluid sometimes carries the scent of cumin, garlic, fennel, and other spices a mother has eaten while pregnant. Amniotic fluid, which babies swallow and breathe in during their time in utero, not only has the smells of the foods mom eats, but of mom herself.
In fact it is from smell only that the newborns recognize their mothers. In fact, studies have shown that if a mother washes just one breast right after birth, the baby will prefer to nurse at the other, unwashed breast. That is why at times a new mother is advised not to shower until after the first feeding — to allow their natural aroma to help establish breastfeeding.)
All this goes to show that a baby isn’t just passively waiting to be born while in the womb. He’s already building important skills and developing a strong bond with one of the most important people in his life — his mother.
The main message for the new moms here is that your babies are listening, learning and remembering almost everything during different stages of pregnancy so better gear up in time and do not wait for their birth to build that bond with yourself, help them pick up varied information. Teach them to absorb information about aesthetics, language and music. Talk to them of positivity in life so that when they grow up they know that despite of all evils around them, life is beautiful.
Yes make them believe in the womb that life is indeed beautiful.
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