Research Proves Your Voice Shapes Your Baby’s Brain During and After Pregnancy
Many moms-to-be love having a conversation with the baby in their womb. They tell them about their day, how Mamma is feeling, and how they are eager to welcome them into the world. We grew up reading about baby Abhimanyu who learnt the art of warfare in his mother’s womb. But not many of us seriously believe that our voice and what we say can influence our baby before he is born. Or, for that matter, for several years after he is born. Why he is so little! How could he possible understand? Turns out moms, your voice is way more magical than you ever gave it credit for! The findings of this new study will blow your mind away.
Pregnancy brings along with it all sorts of surprises, a good amount of pain and a whole lot of learning. As an expectant mom, you exert every possible care to ensure your baby’s development is in order. Starting from your diet to physical exercise, and sleeping pattern to emotional state, everything you do is based on this one premise – is it the right decision for the baby? In this endeavour, your doctor advises you to do certain things to boost your baby’s development. This includes keeping yourself stress-free, tracking your baby’s movements such as kicking and tossing, and surrounding yourself with positivity.
When we are talking about your baby’s development, some experts also recommend moms to “talk to their baby”. This has been founded on the belief that such conversations help relieve a mom of her pregnancy side-effects. But a new study based on intra-womb developments has some findings that will make you look at this in a whole new light! A mom’s voice is POWERFUL beyond words!
Finding #1: Your Baby Knows Your Voice Over That Of Others
We have often felt that a baby is drawn to the voice of his mother compared to those of strangers. It is a real fact! This connection starts right in the womb when the baby is developing a sense of hearing. At this point only the mother’s sounds and vibrations can be felt. That is why as soon as a baby is born he will work to hear his mother’s voice over other voices!
Finding #2: Your Voice Keeps Your Baby Stress Free
This is the finding we loved best – Mommy’s voice is calming to a baby in stressful situations! It has been proven to increase the levels of oxytocin – the hormone that induces bonding. A stress-free baby is one whose brain develops without fear or inhibition. This is why the role of your voice in keeping him happy while he is the womb cannot be overstated.
Finding #3: Your Voice Builds Oral Feeding Skills In Your Baby
The study also confirmed that it is your voice that helps build your little one’s oral feeding skills. The research team played a recording of a mother’s voice when babies sucked on their pacifiers and guess what, there was noticeable improvement in feeding skills. Now we know how to get the little one suckling and feeding better.
Finding #4: Your Voice Boosts Your Child’s Brain Power Even When He is Older
By now, have we got you wondering that while a mother’s voice has great power over newborns and toddlers, does it work as well on grown up kids? Yes, it does! When an experiment was conducted to check whether older children’s bodies and brains still responded to their mother’s voices, the results were positive! It was found that voice-selective brain regions – the ones involved in recognising and processing speech – produced more activity on hearing their mother’s voices. Isn’t that sweet?
Finding #5: Your Voice Builds Your Child’s Social, Emotional and Visual Skills
Finally, it is not just your child’s speech skills that get enhanced by your voice. When your baby listens to your voice, it activates a wide range of brain structures including ones that regulate emotion and those that process visual information. This pattern of brain activity is similar to the uniqueness of a fingerprint wherein a mother’s voice specifically produces acitvity in her own child’s brain. This unique connection is related directly to your child’s social communication abilities too! The more he listens to your voice, the likelier he is to be able to communicate better in the social realm.
Research is underway to validate and confirm these findings and understand whether they continue well into adolescence and adulthood. However, what is proved beyond doubt is that we all carry our mother’s voices in the patterns on our brain. We have a unique brain pattern that is exclusive to our mommies and us, a secret that’s ours to keep for a lifetime and one day pass on to our little ones too! Now that is surely magical!
So, go ahead, moms and moms-to-be! Talk to your little darlings to your heart’s content. Your voice will boost their brain power and delight their soul – what else can a mother ask for?