Communication in the antenatal period

Key messages for professionals to print and give to parents:

  • unborn babies can recognise their mum's voice from 16 weeks and dad's from 20 weeks
  • unborn babies respond to singing and being read to from 24 weeks. They may move about to show that they are listening
  • babies develop preferences for music while in the womb
  • they can move in rhythm to music and their heart rate increases
  • babies are able to remember from the first trimester
  • babies communicate through movement all the way through pregnancy
  • it is really important to communicate and stimulate a baby right from the start
  • you can help to keep your baby happy and help it to develop in lots of ways before it is born:
    - stroke the tummy
    - sing
    - play music
    - expose your tummy to light, and
    - gentle vibrations.
  • talking to the unborn baby helps it to make sense sense of the world and start to link words and actions
  • communicating with your unborn baby helps attachment and bonding
  • mothers communicate non-verbally to their unborn babies through the way that they feel. Unborn babies are aware of how their mum feels so try to control stress levels and take time to relax. Baby will love sharing this time with you!

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