A few weeks ago I made my way to a film studio in London to join in with a roundtable discussion about talking to your bump during pregnancy. It was lovely to see a very pregnant Bex from The Mummy Adventure – who’s since given birth to a baby girl- and also Katie from Mummy Daddy Me with her new baby boy (and lovely mum!) in tow.
It was fascinating to chat with cognitive neuroscientist Eino Partanen who specialises in foetal and infant speech perception and auditory capabilities and renowned speech and language therapist, and co-author of child speech development guide,
The roundtable discussions were an easy subject for me to talk about and give my experiences on, as each time I was pregnant I found I was compelled to chat away to my growing bump. I remember feeling so special when I was pregnant laying my hand on my tummy, telling my baby how much I loved them already and feeling the excitement at the prospect of meeting my new little bundle.
So what can baby hear in the womb?
I chatted a lot to my bump during each pregnancy, for me, it felt like a natural thing to do and really helped me cope, especially throughout my first pregnancy with Lewis when I was just 18 years old. At the time I actually felt like I had no one else to talk to and by chatting away to him it really helped me come to terms with the pregnancy and I started to feel that bond with him before he was even born.
The experts agree that becoming comfortable with talking to your bump throughout pregnancy is beneficial but the big question is what can baby actually hear? Well, it’s actually similar to the noise we hear when under water. Watch the video below to hear the panel sharing our personal stories and also discussing the science behind the sound.
How to talk to baby before birth
I chatted about all sorts to my bumps throughout each of my pregnancies. We discussed amongst the panel that it doesn’t really matter what you say, but rather the process of connecting and bonding with bump is the most important thing.
Whether you’re singing lullabies, rap songs, or simply narrating your day try and get into the habit of that early conversation. In the next video, we discuss the very earliest forms of communication and how babies respond to sounds they’ve heard in the womb, both before and after birth. Katie told a lovely story about how her baby boy responded to her voice very shortly after birth. Watch the video to find out more.
What are the benefits of talking to your bump?
You know that sing-songy voice you use when talking to a new baby? Well, it’s actually a dialect known as ‘parentese’. I was definitely fluent in ‘parentese’ before I even knew what it was! The acquisition of language skill is so important, getting into the habit of talking to your baby during pregnancy and the moment they’re born is very important and really helps you to bond. it can also create the foundation for a whole lifetime of good communication skills. So get chatting away to your bump now! Don’t feel self-conscious and talk about whatever you want, you can even read the newspaper aloud if you want to!
In the last video, we give personal examples of early interactions, while the speech development experts reveal the science that drives that instinctive behaviour of talking in ‘parentese’.
Being pregnant can be completely daunting, but putting into practice and setting aside time to talk to your bump is such a beneficial thing to do for both you and your baby. I really do believe that it helps you to bond with your baby and after hearing the research from the experts it is nice to know that by doing such a simple thing you are actually helping your baby’s language development too.
You can find out more information about talking to your bump and lots of other pregnancy and baby related topics by visiting the Aptaclub website.
*This is a commissioned post