CAN BABIES HEAR VOICES WHILE INSIDE THE WOMB?

On October 5, 2012, in Blog, Research, by Bellybuds

Original post here

It has long been suggested that babies can hear voices and music while they are still in the womb, and for years now some mothers have been known to talk to their unborn chil- dren and play them music .

A number of studies have now been carried out to test this theory, including one that involved recording sounds picked up by the inner ears of unborn sheep . These studies found that the womb dampens most sounds, except those with low frequencies; high-pitched sounds are muffled . The researchers concluded that deep vowel sounds are likely to be heard but that high-pitched consonants will most likely be inaudible . Music containing a lot of bass is therefore more likely to be heard than classical music .

The researchers further concluded that, while unborn children could probably hear the melody of speech, the definition of individual words would be too muffled to hear . Fetuses younger than thirty weeks were found not to respond to any sounds at all . The ears of fetuses are filled with water, so they hear via vibrations in their skulls .

This makes the mother’s voice the most heard sound in the womb, because it vibrates to the baby . This is thought to shape the development of the child to recognize and prefer its native tongue and its mother’s voice . It is also believed that babies can recognize music that they heard regularly before they were born . However, no evidence has been found to support the suggestion that cer- tain voices or types of music enhance a child’s intelligence .

 

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