What is Prenatal Learning?

Every mother knows that her child's physical development begins during the crucial prenatal months. Taking a prenatal vitamin to enrich a child's nutritional environment is the standard-of-care for providing an optimal environment during a child's earliest physical development.

It is widely accepted that a child's learning ability begins during those very same prenatal months. Educators, scientists, criminologists and physicians alike have long ago acknowledged the vital importance of a healthy and enriched prenatal environment as it pertains to the long term development and learning ability of a child. An age-appropriate prenatal curriculum strengthens a child's ability to learn during the developmental period when the advantages will be most significant for the child.

In the prenatal months, the brain is at its most receptive stage of learning. The prenatal baby's hearing is fully developed by the 18th week of pregnancy. Independent studies have demonstrated that, for the duration of the pregnancy, the baby can actually compare and contrast simple sounds. By encouraging this simple 'auditory exercise' during this crucial period, these studies have demonstrated that the child may realize significant long-term developmental benefits. Dr. Mark Pitzer, Ph.D. writes, "Research suggests that a child's intellectual development is influenced equally by their inherited genetic blueprint and the early immediate environment." This crucial early environment is not just the "0 to 3" years of age that we hear so much about, but actually the "prenatal to 3" years of age.

An expectant mother's uterus is not a 'soundproof booth'. The developing child can certainly hear many of the sounds and noises in his or her mother's external environment. However, these sounds are fairly fleeting. The one true and consistent sound presented to the child naturally during those months is the mother's heartbeat. For the duration of pregnancy, this is the natural language heard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is a natural, simple, and repetitive sound. Therefore, in order to truly communicate with and encourage early comparative learning during the prenatal months, sounds similar to the mother's heartbeat are the most developmentally appropriate.
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