New study shows that babies in the womb respond to their mother’s voice, surprisingly paying attention even when they are reading a story.
The John Hopkins University in the US that conducted this research had asked 74 women who were 36 weeks pregnant to read for two minutes while in the mean time their babies’ heart rate and movements were monitored. It was found that these babies were moving and had lower heart rates when their mothers started to read aloud. This statement was given by Kristin Voegtline. She further mentioned, "It is quite fascinating how the foetus learns to recognise and react to the mother's voice before prior to birth - here, we showed that they can detect onset of maternal voice and differences in maternal voice, some women were napping prior to asking them to read aloud from a passage - these foetuses showed a brief startle to onset of maternal voice."
Voegtline further mentioned that the heart rate of the foetuses was found to be lowered and the movement suddenly stopped when mothers switched from chatting to reading aloud.
"The near-term foetus has a mature auditory system that reliably detects and responds to sound," she said. The researchers concluded a mother's voice "shapes auditory learning in utero with implications for postnatal recognition of, and preference for, the maternal voice".
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