Many mothers feel that they should start the bonding
process during pregnancy itself because research shows
babies in the womb hear what is going on outside.
Chatting and patting early on is a good headstart
for fetal bonding, as some parents and many researchers
are inclined to believe. Although just as many are
not sure about this, it is a fact that babies react
to stimuli from external sources while still in the
womb by kicking, squirming, grimacing and frowning.
And then there are those who feel that bonding can
only happen after the baby is born and when you actually
hold your baby in your arms. To them patting or talking
to their bump looks and feels funny, or even weird.
Studies however show that spending time with baby
from the time you know you are pregnant and in the
last weeks before birth especially, bring both parents
and baby closer before you actually hold your infant.
• From as early as 8 weeks your baby's first
nerve endings enable her to feel sensations.
• By the 16th week your baby's ears are functioning
enough to hear his mother's heartbeat, swishing sounds
of blood, every rumble his tiny ears can pick up.
These womb sounds stay imprinted on their minds before
they are born!
• A 6 month old fetus reacts by moving to the
sound of his mother talking or jumps at the sudden
sound of concert drums.
• A 7 month old baby is able to react to different
type of music owing to the cortex (part of the brain)
being developed enough to differentiate: they seem
to kick more in agitation when exposed to rock music
and stay calmer when some classical music is played.
• Studies indicate that babies are attuned to
their mother's voices while still inside and react
with an accelerated heartbeat. By the time baby is
born he/she is already familiar with your voices.
• The newer studies suggest that babies may
hear and feel more than we realize – so when the mother
is happy, baby is too and likewise when mother is
anxious so is her baby.
• By gently stroking the bump your moving baby
will be calmed and comforted. As parents you will
feel emotionally closer to your unborn child as he/she
becomes a real person to you.
Talk-time and Music-time
• Now that you know that your baby can hear
you, make time to talk to him/her directly. The content
doesn’t matter so you can read your novel aloud or
a page on stocks from a magazine. The idea is to get
your baby accustomed to your voice and tone and your
voice does become instrumental in comforting your
baby after birth.
• Sing and play music to your baby. Music stimulates
the baby's developing brain; it is a source of comfort
while still in the utero and even after baby is born.
Again, the type of music doesn’t matter and you don’t
have to be a great singer. The song you choose doesn’t
have to be a traditional lullaby. Any kind of music
can be as stimulating as the classical ones.
Do a pregnant woman's thoughts affect her
• There is some connection between a mother's
thoughts and her unborn child especially from six
months onwards. A preborn baby that age can share
mother's emotions because of the hormones that cross
the placenta. While babies cannot understand actual
words, they can and do react to the tone of voice.
So soothing tones calm babies and angry ones upset
What else can baby sense apart from the sounds
while inside the womb?
• An unborn baby can perceive different tastes
and sights. Experimenting with the amniotic fluid
confirmed that when a sweetener was added to the fluid
the rate of swallowing doubled while the intake reduced
when something sour was added. At 5 months when light
was shone on the abdomen the fetus reacted by being
What about the dad's influence and role in
prenatal development of the baby?
• While the father cannot influence the emotional
state of his baby directly, he can indirectly affect
the emotional health of his baby by the way he treats
the mother. He can nurture his unborn baby by caring
for the mother. The more content and secure a woman
feels the better it will be for her and consequently
the baby as well.
Is the baby at risk if the mother is always
• Pregnancy is a stressful period; the mother
has to ensure she is guarded against all kinds of
pollution, polluted thoughts included. It is best
not to stress yourself unduly over your emotional
state and add another stressor to your list. Take
time to rest, to rid yourself of tension and to sink
yourself in positive emotions whenever you can. Certainly,
the mother's hormones cross the placenta and according
to research this affects the fetus but that doesn’t
mean you have to stay positive all the time- quite
an uphill task really! It is only natural to have
all kinds of emotions running through your head during
your pregnant months so relax.