Thursday February 21, 2019

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.

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“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)

Next Story

Study Claims, There Should Be Treatment Options Given for Miscarriage

Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy and affects an estimated one in four pregnancies. 

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Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy and affects an estimated one in four pregnancies. Pixabay

Though miscarriage is a traumatic experience for both parents, resulting in feelings of loss and grief that in some cases can lead to anxiety and depression, women experiencing miscarriage should be offered a choice in the treatment they receive, suggests a study.

Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy and affects an estimated one in four pregnancies.

Although guidelines recommend trying to resolve an unsuccessful pregnancy naturally, the new analysis shows that this is only successful in 70 per cent of cases, and potentially comes with complications that are rarely communicated to patients.

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Some women are more keen on having a quick surgical intervention so that they can resume their lifestyle immediately, some are very keen to avoid surgery and prefer to go with a tablet, and others want to take a more natural approach,” Wattar added. Pixabay

The study from the University of Warwick and Queen Mary University of London, demonstrates little to no difference in medical effectiveness in resolving an unsuccessful pregnancy between medical and surgical options.

Thus, the team recommend the doctors to offer women a choice of treatment options for miscarriage to enable them to make an informed decision that takes account of potential uncomfortable side effects, long waiting times and extended periods of recovery.

“What we have to do is provide women with evidence about the benefits and effectiveness of each treatment option and potential side effects so that they can choose what they feel most comfortable with,” said lead author Bassel Wattar from Warwick Medical School.

“Some women are more keen on having a quick surgical intervention so that they can resume their lifestyle immediately, some are very keen to avoid surgery and prefer to go with a tablet, and others want to take a more natural approach,” Wattar added.

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Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy and affects an estimated one in four pregnancies. Pixabay

For the results, published in the journal Human Reproduction Update, the team reviewed 46 trials involving over 9,000 women who experienced spontaneous loss of pregnancy (miscarriage) before 14 weeks gestation.
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During a miscarriage, the body will aim to resolve the unsuccessful pregnancy naturally but conservative treatment can be painful with increased bleeding, increased likelihood of hospital admission, reduced quality of treatment and reduced satisfaction.

However, surgery which include electric vacuum aspiration, and medical treatment with a tablet were found to have similar effectiveness in treating miscarriage as conservative treatment. (IANS)