The importance of a mother's voice for her unborn baby

Published: Jun. 25, 2018 at 6:01 PM EDT
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We know it’s important to talk to your baby before birth, but one study shows just how important the sound of Mom’s voice is to the developing infant.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston say a mother’s voice, as well as the sound of her heartbeat help the baby’s brain grow. In their study, researchers focused on babies born prematurely who spent weeks in incubators hearing hospital sounds instead of in the womb hearing their mom’s voice and heartbeat for the full term.

Using tiny speakers in incubators, researchers played the sound of the mother’s voice and heartbeat for half the babies in the study for several hours each day. They found that those infants developed a larger auditory cortex –the part of the brain that controls hearing and language development. The study is published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Science.