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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
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  • 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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Being Positive During Pregnancy May Lead to Kids Being in Shape: Study

For the study, the researchers analysed responses from 7,000 parents about their personality, mood and attitude during pregnancy

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The results showed that a mother's psychological background during pregnancy is a factor associated with teenage weight gain. Pixabay

Did you know even your mood and attitude during pregnancy can have an effect on the body weight of your children when they grow up? A new study has found that teenagers are less likely to be overweight if their mother or father had a positive attitude during pregnancy.

Negative attitude, or a lack of self-belief in your ability to bring in changes to your lifestyle through your actions, may be associated with unhealthy weight gain in your children during teenage years, suggests the study published in the International Journal of Obesity.

“We’ve been able to show that a lack of self-belief in a parent’s ability to influence change by healthy eating, stopping smoking or breast feeding is a contributing factor to their child being overweight by the time they are 15,” said lead study author Jean Golding, Professor at University of Bristol in Britain.

For the study, the researchers analysed responses from 7,000 parents about their personality, mood and attitude during pregnancy.

Similar answers from their children at age of eight and the child’s fat mass measurement up to the age of 17 were also analysed.

Pregnant woman
Pregnant woman. Pixabay

The results showed that a mother’s psychological background during pregnancy is a factor associated with teenage weight gain.

The study examined a personality attribute known as the Locus of Control. It is a psychological measure for an individual’s attitudes towards their lifestyle and a belief in being able to change outcomes, such as health, through their own actions.

Someone with an external Locus of Control would feel that there is little point in making an effort as what happens to them is due to luck and circumstance.

Also Read: thyroid Dysfunction May Lead to Diabetes During Pregnancy

The researchers found that teenagers at age 15 had an excess weight of actual fat to the extent of 1.7 kg if their mothers did not think their actions would make a difference and held a laissez-faire attitude.

If their fathers had this attitude the excess weight of fat was 1.49 kg and if the child later thought this way the excess was 1.5 kg, the study said.

“This is important research for health campaigners looking to change behaviours and the next steps should be looking at the differences between parents who managed to change their Locus of Control compared to those who did not change,” Golding added. (IANS)