Saturday January 25, 2020

Language Lessons For Your Baby May Start in Womb

The study showed that foetuses can hear things, including speech in the womb

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The findings if a new study by MIT researchers could offer a possible way to reduce the risk of autism. Pixabay
  • A baby can distinguish the difference between sounds used in various languages even a month before being born
  • The study showed that foetuses can hear things, including speech in the womb
  • The team examined 24 women, averaging roughly eight months pregnant

New York, July 18, 2017: Love to speak to your unborn baby? Well he or she can typically distinguish the difference between sounds used in various languages even a month before being born, an interesting study has shown.

The study showed that foetuses can hear things, including speech, in the womb, although the voice is muffled.

In the study, the foetal heart rates changed when they heard the unfamiliar, rhythmically distinct language (Japanese) after having heard a passage of English speech, while their heart rates did not change when they were presented with a second passage of English instead of a passage in Japanese.

“The results suggest that language development may indeed start in utero. Foetuses are tuning their ears to the language they are going to acquire even before they are born, based on the speech signals available to them in utero,” said lead author Utako Minai, associate professor from the University of Kansas.

Also Read: Pregnancy seems Safe for Breast Cancer Survivors: Study

“Pre-natal sensitivity to the rhythmic properties of language may provide children with one of the very first building blocks in acquiring language,” Minai added.

For the study, published in the journal NeuroReport, the team examined 24 women, averaging roughly eight months pregnant.

Minai had a bilingual speaker make two recordings, one each in English and Japanese — argued to be rhythmically distinctive language, to be played in succession to the foetus.

“The intrauterine environment is a noisy place. The foetus is exposed to maternal gut sounds, her heartbeats and voice, as well as external sounds.

“Without exposure to sound, the auditory cortex wouldn’t get enough stimulation to develop properly. This study gives evidence that some of that development is linked to language,” explained Kathleen Gustafson, a research associate professor at the varsity. (IANS)

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Here’s how Low-Dose Aspirin may Help Mothers Lower the Risk of Preterm Birth

Low-dose of aspirin regularly can help mothers lower the risk of preterm delivery

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Low-dose aspirin therapy in early pregnancy could provide an inexpensive way to lower the preterm birth rate in first-time mothers. Pixabay

Daily low-dose aspirin, from as early as the sixth week of pregnancy through the 36th week, may lower the risk of preterm birth among first-time mothers, suggest the results of a clinical trial which involved women from several low and middle-income countries, including India.

The study, published in the journal The Lancet, involved more than 11,000 women. The results showed that women taking daily low-dose aspirin were 11 per cent less likely to deliver before the 37th week of pregnancy, compared to those given a placebo.

“Our results suggest that low-dose aspirin therapy in early pregnancy could provide an inexpensive way to lower the preterm birth rate in first-time mothers,” said study author Marion Koso-Thomas of the US National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Preterm birth is the most common cause of infant death and the leading cause of long-term neurological disability in children.

According to the study authors, advances in newborn care have improved survival for preterm infants, but this care is limited or unavailable in many parts of the world.

Earlier studies have suggested that low-dose aspirin may reduce the risk of preterm birth and pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening blood pressure disorder of pregnancy.

Aspirin pregnancy
Earlier studies have suggested that low-dose aspirin may reduce the risk of preterm birth and pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening blood pressure disorder of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, these studies were not large enough to statistically determine the therapy’s effectiveness in reducing preterm birth. The researchers enrolled 11,976 women with a first-time pregnancy from seven sites in India, Pakistan, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala and Kenya.

Roughly half were assigned at random to receive 81 milligrams of aspirin daily; the other group received a daily placebo. Women were included in the study only if they maintained a pregnancy for more than 20 weeks.

Preterm birth (before 37 weeks) occurred in 11.6 per cent of the women who took aspirin and in 13.1 per cent of the women who took the placebo. Similarly, birth before 34 weeks (early preterm delivery) occurred in 3.3 per cent of the aspirin group and 4 per cent of the placebo group (a 25 per cent reduction).

Women in the aspirin group also had a lower rate of perinatal mortality (stillbirth or newborn death in the first seven days of life), compared to the placebo group (45.7 per 1,000 births vs 53.6 per 1,000 births).

Also Read- Here’s Why Yogurt Consumption May Help in Avoiding Breast Cancer Risk

The risk of high blood pressure disorders of pregnancy at term did not differ significantly between the groups. The low cost and safety of low-dose aspirin therapy suggests that it could be easily adapted for wide-scale use, suggested the study authors. (IANS)