Yes, your baby is listening to you. It’s true, studies have found that the baby, while still in the womb; can hear you and even starts to recognize your voice and respond to it. Even Indian traditions have promoted Garbh Sanskar (which is widely practiced); meaning educating the foetus in the womb, establishing that not only can the baby hear you but it also has a considerable impact on it. In Mahabharata, Abhimanyu also learnt a war skill when he was in the womb, as Arjuna, his father, talked about the Chakravyuh.
However, your baby will start listening and even start responding to your voice and other sounds only after about 18 weeks into your pregnancy because the baby’s ear starts to develop around this time; initially it can hear little sounds or noises but soon it starts to recognize voices too, especially, yours!
Foetal Sense of Hearing
About 9 weeks into your pregnancy, small indents appear on either sides of the baby’s neck and they gradually move up to become the spot where the ears are formed. The baby’s ear continues to develop and about 18 weeks into your pregnancy, the ears are developed enough for your baby to detect some limited noises.
Fun Fact 🙂 – the baby even hear sounds that you don’t notice, like, the gurgling of your stomach and the sound of the air going in and out of your lungs!
By week 24 (or week 25) the baby starts to respond to voices; researches have shown that the baby sometimes even turns its head in response to the sound. However, the clearest voice that the baby will hear will be yours because your voice reverberates through your bones and across your body, thus, amplifying it!
Don’t Let Dad Feel Left Out – Bonding with the Baby
Women start experiencing several physical changes and symptoms right from the initial stages of pregnancy and even engage in certain activities and exercises like pranayama for baby’s wellbeing that draw the two closer, however, even though the father cannot experience these physical changes, you can help him bond with the baby too!
The baby learns to recognise other voices (apart from the mother’s) during the third trimester. Researches have shown that the baby reacts differently to words and sounds repeated during the third trimester compared to ones never heard. Get your partner talk to the baby, feel around your belly when he kicks or moves in response, and they will soon start to love it and so will the baby. It might even react to certain sounds in a certain way, like, the baby that kicked every time he heard ‘All is Well’ in the movie ‘3 Idiots’!
Just relax and wear a comfortable maternity top during the day or put on PJs at night so that you and your partner have easy access to feel and talk to the belly. Though you both might feel uncomfortable initially, just relax and slowly it will be natural.
You can read about how to get ready for the baby’s arrival here.
Morph wishes you a happy pregnancy!