With a living child in your stomach, one of the most pressing questions any caring parent may ask is, “what is my child experiencing inside the womb”. It can seem almost like an alien world inside the womb, but we’ve all been there. The pre-birth world is a unique one full of many sensations that make your child much more aware than you would think. They hear, touch and even respond to their mothers emotions. Pre-birth babies are far from just unconscious bodies.
There are also a number of things you can do with your child pre-birth, which will make their post birth life much more enjoyable. From reading to your child and ensuring you are in a positive environment, you pre-birth child will have a much more enjoyable time in your womb.
Whether you should be scared for your child, excited, encouraged or you have no idea, this article will explain the key elements of your child’s life pre-birth, and what you should do with him/her while they are getting ready for the real world. This article will guide you through life before birth in the womb.
Pre Birth Memories – What Your Baby Experiences
Your baby in the womb will have a number of unique experiences. Their range of sensory stimulation is not as robust as an average human, but they still have a wide range of experiences.
Pre Birth Memories – Tactile Experience
As one of the most powerful senses, touch is developed usually eight weeks into a pregnancy. Children will begin by responding to touch around the lips and cheeks, and by 11 weeks they will begin exploring their own body. This will look like in ultrasounds the child exploring their surroundings with hands, feet and mouth. They will crawl along the amniotic sac wall, holding onto the umbilical cord and touch their buttocks.
Leading experts suggest that the fetuses are trying to use touch to both soothe and teach themselves about their environment. Premature children will try the same thing, looking for boundaries but unable to find them in the drastically different environment.
Most children will also recognize and react to touches from their mother. They are likely to kick back when touched on the stomach, and if it is a firmer touch they may move away from the stomach or stick their arm out in a protective gesture.
Pre Birth Memories – Sounds
During pre-birth, you child’s ears will begin to function at about 20 weeks. Pre-birth children will respond to sound and vibration around 26-27 weeks, and by 30-32 weeks they will hear airborne noise such as voices or music. They are more likely to give a response(kicking or startling) to a loud sudden noise such as a door slamming or car backfiring.
Pre-birth children will often become accustomed and seek out familiar sounds once born from when they are children. Things like commonly played pieces of music or even familiar stories will evoke a sense of pleasure.
They also become accustomed to their mothers heartbeat, whooshing of blood through her body and just the general soundscape of the womb. Research has shown newborn infants will turn their head when they hear their mother’s voice vs. the voice of a random female.
Pre Birth Memories – Emotions
Surprisingly enough, the link of sensation does not stop at the physical. Children can sense and will respond to the emotions of the mother. If you are feeling stressed and confused, your feelings during pregnancy can affect the baby as well. Baby’s heart rate will increase in response to a stressed parent, and babies whose mothers are suffering from depression or anxiety may be more likely to develop mental health issues later in life,
The emotional link between mother and child goes far beyond the physical, and seeing this intense emotional link illustrates the importance of creating a nurturing and caring environment for expecting mothers.
Pre Birth Memories – Visions
Even upon birth children can’t really see very well. Babies do not have the ability to easily tell the difference between two targets, or move their eyes between the two images. This is by far the least developed of the many senses children possess. Also there is very little visual simulation in the womb.
Stories for Babies in the Womb – Communicate With Your Baby
As discussed earlier, children will prefer to hear stories they were told in the womb once they are born. This being the case, it is important to tell your children stories they will not only want to hear, but you will like to tell them. A landmark study found that children who were read a particular Dr. Seuss book, preferred to be read that after birth than a random selection of other children’s stories.
The Importance of Pre Birth Communication
Pre Birth communication and stories for unborn babies are important for a number of reasons.
Research has shown that children upon birth will respond more frequently to the sound of their mother’s voice vs. the voice of a random female. This illustrates the necessity of expecting mothers to respond and communicate with their unborn children early and often. By ensuring one has constant communication with their unborn children, they can be confident that their child will respond to their voice consistently.
It is important to talk to your child as they are in the womb for a number of reasons. Firstly, research has shown that by talking to your child in the womb, their word recognition and language development are accelerated, vs. those parents who did not.
Communicating with your child pre-birth is also shown to increase the bond with your child. The child will become familiar with your voice, as by 6 months in the womb the pre-born child becomes accustomed to the various sounds of the womb, including the mother’s voice.
How to Talk About Memories before Birth with Your Kids
Talking about memories before birth with your kids can be a unusual conversation, but if you keep a few things in mind you should be fine.
Firstly, be accepting of everything your child says. Don’t make them feel weird or like something is wrong with them when they tell you about the memories they have. The worst thing you can do in this situation is alienate your child. Tell them that it is normal for every child to have these types of thoughts and memories, and reassure them if they feel like something is wrong.
Secondly, inquire and ask questions about their memories. Try and find out more about them and show interest in their memories. By getting your child to open up about the memories they have before birth, you will not only learn interesting details about your child’s early memories, but more importantly establish a case of trust with your child. By listening to their memories your child will begin to feel comfortable opening up to you and telling you what they feel.
Can My Unborn Baby Feel My Emotions?
While it is unknown if your unborn baby can feel your emotions, they will definitely respond to whatever it is you are feeling at the moment. Research has shown that children’s blood pressure and heart rate will increase in response to a mother feeling anxious or nervous.
To ensure your child has the healthiest possible pre-birth, ensure a few things. Firstly, avoid overly stressful situations. Obviously having a baby is one of the most significant moments in any woman’s life, and this comes with a certain amount of anxiety. However, by keeping a positive mindset and being surrounded by supporting and caring people, you can buttress this anxiety and create a more comforting environment.
Secondly, don’t overly limit your life just because you’re pregnant. Obviously as the date of birth gets closer you simply can’t do everything you used to, but don’t stop hanging out with friends, or going for walks and engaging in hobbies. Becoming a social recluse and never leaving your house will only strip you of joy and increase your negative emotion and create a poorer climate for your pre-birth baby.
Should I Read Stories to Unborn Babies?
Research has shown that reading to babies in the womb is shown to increase word recognition and enhance language development. It also is shown to increase the parent-child bond, and provides a great wind-down at the end of the day.
Reading to your child also gets you in the habit of reading children’s books. This added benefit will ensure you never miss story time with you child, and also gives you a chance to work on your theatrical delivery.
How Common Are Pre Birth Memories?
It is hard to say exactly how many people have pre-birth memories. A survey from prebirth.com found that 53% of people had a memory from pre-birth, while 47% had memories post birth. But there is an obvious selection bias in that research.
I think worrying about how common pre-birth memories are, is less important than simply embracing whatever memories your child has of before birth, and using it to create a tighter bond with your child. Whether you child has pre-birth memories or not isn’t the real question, the question is what you do if your child does have them.
In the world of pre-birth there are a lot of factors to consider. Some people might think that being a parent starts once the child is born, but in fact it begins from the moment the child is conceived.
This article began with a detailed analysis of the life a pre-birth child. Learning about pre-birth tactile sensation, pre-birth visions, pre-birth emotions and pre-birth sounds shows the wild and very aware world a pre-birth child experiences. They have a vast array of sensation inside the womb, and are aware of their surroundings in their own unique way.
Next we discussed the impact of various activities on your child pre-birth. Reading to your pre-birth child has been shown to increase their language and reading capacities, and simultaneously can increase the bond you have with your child. Reading to your pre-birth child as well will also put you in the habit of consistently reading to him/her. This will build a positive habit that will transfer well once they join you in the real world.
In order to ensure your child has the best shot out of the gates in life, follow this definitive guide on what to do with your child pre-birth.