If you've ever felt the urge to communicate with your unborn baby, here are some interesting ideas for how you might help accomplish it.
There's been a lot of debate around the subject of how much true benefit an unborn child derives from the touch or sounds provided to them before birth. Since I'm already years well beyond my own two pregnancies, unfortunately I can't perform my own field testing on this subject. However, I've had friends who swear they've benefited from playing music for their "bump" or from performing gentle massage as a means of providing human touch before they're able to actually hold their newborn.
As a somewhat random, but somehow parallel thought, I've also read first-person accounts from people who've returned from a deep coma, claiming they were fully aware that someone was reading to them daily or holding their hand, while they were still suspended in a state of coma and unconscious. It's for unexplained reasons like these, that I feel compelled to leave my mind open to the possibility that there might actually be some measurable benefit from attempting to use outside means to communicate with your unborn child (aka, The Bump).
One common thread with all of these theories or methods, is that they seem possible and none of them appear to be harmful or invasive so there's not much to lose with trying them. At the very least, if your "bump" doesn't end up "hearing" you, at least you and your significant other will share a way to begin relating and bonding with your yet to be born child, and that's a priceless benefit for everyone.
Hey, It's Noisy in Here!
If you stop to think about it, living inside the womb is probably a pretty noisy place to reside. Between mother and child, there are a lot of physiological functions that need to go on inside the womb. First, there's the sound of constantly circulating body fluids, along with the nonstop rhythm of the mother's heartbeat. Even the movement of the mother's diaphragm as she speaks, will undoubtedly create sounds for your unborn baby. Everyday acts as simple as walking, will produce the sound of rhythmic footfalls on the sidewalk that your baby will hear.
Your Baby's Language May Develop Sooner Than You Think
New research has indicated that babies may begin to absorb language during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy. According to Patricia K. Kuhl, PhD, who is a Professor in the Speech and Hearing Sciences Dept. in addition to being an Endowed Chair for Early Childhood Learning at the Bezos Family Foundation, "babies brains do not wait for birth to begin absorbing information." Kuhl goes on to state that a mother's voice in particular, can be heard much better by the baby because it's sound is "amplified by her body". If this is true, we might need to begin to watch our language sooner than we think!
Music to Their Little Ears
Babies spend about 40 weeks listening to the rhythmic and soothing heartbeat of their mother, so it wouldn't be surprising to imagine they might also enjoy hearing the classical sounds of Vivaldi or Mozart too. Some studies indicate that at around 18-20 weeks into their development, babies can begin to hear sounds from the outside world. And since music has so many positive aspects anyway, what harm could it be to play music throughout your pregnancy? At the very least, you'll enjoy it and it also could help you to relax too.
If you really want to expand on this experiment, you can check out the Lullabelly Prenatal Music Belt that is designed to stretch across your "bump" and plugs into almost any portable music device. If your baby emerges as a musical savant, you'll either have Mozart or Katy Perry to thank, depending on your personal playlist.
Speak to Your Bump with Belly Rubs
You've seen your dog roll over to beg for a heavenly belly rub, right? If you're pregnant, chances are you've found yourself absentmindedly rubbing your belly in public to help relieve some of the skin tightness and itchiness on your pregnant belly. Once you've passed your First Trimester, why not create a bonding ritual with your "bump" by gently applying massage oil or soothing skin lotion onto your pregnant belly and massaging it in using a gentle circular motion. Or better yet, why not call upon your partner to help give you a gentle belly massage, so they can share in with the bonding process too?
While you may never conclusively determine if your "bump" ever "heard" any of these communications while still in the womb, undoubtedly all of you will derive some benefit from any one of these "bonding" type experiences, as long as you do them together as a family.