Experts Agree: Baby’s Language Development Starts From The Womb

Babies are capable of doing things earlier than we think they could. And this study on language development is just one of the many proofs of that.

The Premise



“I got pregnant with my first baby out of wedlock so, there were a lot of negative reactions about it. My husband and I went through some tough times,” Marie shared. The 30-year-old mother of three came from a family of Christian ministers and was studying in a Bible institution when the pregnancy happened.

“As a way to cope up with the negative feelings I had, I sang and spoke to my unborn baby as if he was there. I told him he was wanted and loved over and over,” she added.

When I first became pregnant, I knew it right away, before a test could have told me so. I had a feeling inside my body; I called it a “light I could feel.” — Shirley Katz, PhD, CCC

Her firstborn is now nine years old, a young boy who seems to possess an old soul.

“When my son’s a few weeks old, he’d quickly fall asleep when I sing to him the songs I sang while I was pregnant with him. If I deviate from the usual playlist, he will cry,” the young mom reminisced with a laugh.

In another interview, another mom of three, Theresa, shared her story about her second child.

“We just moved in a new city as my husband got a new job when I became pregnant with my daughter. It was an unplanned pregnancy and an awful one at that. I was throwing up almost all day and I couldn’t get down anything. To top that, I had a seven-month-old baby to take care of. It was bad timing to get pregnant with all the adjustments to go through,” she said.

“My husband and I were constantly fighting throughout my pregnancy, and I think the chaos of the whole situation affected the baby,” she continued.

Her daughter’s eight years old now.

“She’s very emotional,” Theresa said. “And she fights a lot with her older brother and younger sister. I think it’s because of all the negative emotions I felt when I bore her.”

…stress hormones released by pregnant mothers can make their child more reactive to stress after birth. Therefore, reducing women’s stress during pregnancy can be of significant health benefits to mother and newborn alike. — Guy Winch Ph.D.

Grain Of Truth


While most of us might think what these two mothers shared is just some old rubbish wives’ tales, scientists think they’re not.

In one study, a team of researchers was able to prove that babies inside the womb understand the languages they’re parents are speaking in the outside world.

Accordingly, the baby’s sense of hearing is developed when he reaches the gestational age of 30 weeks. The new study was able to dole out strong pieces of evidence that prove that at the last ten weeks of their development inside the womb, babies can demonstrate what they’re hearing from their mothers.


The Significance Of The Mother’s Language


“The mother is really the first language influencer of a child, and her speech significantly impacts her baby’s brain development even while in the womb,” one of the researchers said.

The study moved the “measurable result of experience with speech sounds” among babies from six months (based on previous research in language development among babies aged zero and upwards) to before birth.

“It’s a breakthrough!” the team stated. “We never knew babies could understand this early but now; we have strong indications that they’re able to. There’s potential for further studies to aid other fields with this finding.”

Having a baby is a milestone occasion in many women’s lives. It is a time of profound role transition and development of reordering of priorities. For many women, motherhood brings joy, a sense of wonder, and tremendous fulfillment. — Andrea Schneider, LCSW