My Snarky Pregnancy: Connecting With Baby In The Womb
So you have managed to talk to it, rub it, poke it for a fun willing response, maybe read to it, play music to it or even quietly curse it as you try to reach for something you dropped. Perhaps your partner has chats with it every morning or you find yourself asking it to gently move into a more comfortable position. Or maybe you have yet to converse at all. The progression of the baby bump is an odd thing. It goes from gentle waves of movement to aggressive kicks and flips. You go from a lovely glow to feeling engorged and uncomfortable. All along the way, picturing this human who happens to be residing in your abdomen.
But what is that baby up to in there and does your conversation really make any difference? I was at the doctor not long ago and was told that he is not yet in the perfect birthing position. Yes, he is head down, ready to go, but if he could move, just slightly to the left, it would make both of our birthing experiences much more enjoyable. The doctor’s suggestion? Talk to him. Well, I found out that he isn’t a very good listener.
Babies actually do hear you, there is no doubt about that. It has been proven that they recognize their mother's and father’s voices. They have even found that babies find music and books that they heard in the womb, soothing. They are startled by loud noises and even develop a more safe and secure environment in the womb through thoughtful words and loving expressions. But will my prompting have any impact?
Okay, so he isn’t likely to roll over like a dog I have trained, and encouraging him to be kind and not tear me in half is not exactly a promising strategy but perhaps the connection I am developing and the overall mindfulness of the experience will help me to have a more conscious and empowered birth. Regardless, one thing is for sure, by talking to my belly, I am actually setting the foundation for language development and comprehension!
According to research conducted by Patricia K. Kuhl, PhD, a speech-and-language pathologist at The University of Washington, babies can begin to absorb language as early as 30 weeks into pregnancy. Babies at this stage begin making sense of the language they hear from their mother. So when you aren’t doting on them or gently begging them to move into the right position or get their foot out of your rib, watch your language…. the baby is listening.