Sign up to receive week-by-week pregnancy newsletters. Each week, the newsletters cover what’s happening to you, what’s happening to your baby and what you should be thinking about. They also include recommended reading and relevant advertising. The newsletters have been edited by Ann Richardson, best-selling author of Toddler Sense and co-author of Baby Sense and Sleep Sense. They are available in English and Afrikaans.
– Getting the “inside” information
Planning to have a baby or expecting a baby? A lot of planning and thinking today goes into important logistics such as choosing your gynaecologist and paediatrician, attending ante-natal classes, booking the hospital of your choice, writing a birth plan, extending your home to accommodate the new baby, buying the best pram, cot, etc. However, just as important as all these detailsi, if not more so, is to meet the challenge of preparing intelligently for what is going on right inside you, the development of a beautiful, new human being. This baby is not just an extension of yourself, but a unique little being with his or her own set of fingerprints, own personality, own features, own dreams. And you can start bonding with and respecting your new baby right from the very beginning, even from before conception.
The phenomenon of prenatal learning (learning in the womb), though not widely known about in South Africa, has been researched from as early as 1920 by medical doctors and specialists, psychologists and educationalists. Schools for prenatal learning are common in parts of the USA, Canada, Japan and a few other overseas countries. Parents are being taught to bond with their unborn child through feelings, through music and through learning. Research has shown that babies who have experienced this bonding in utero are easier to care for, cry less, and are generally loved and appreciated by others. Mothers who have thus bonded with their unborn child experience easier deliveries, and feel strong attachment to their baby after birth. Such babies grow and develop rapidly into friendly children who are not afraid of strangers, children who are sociable and highly competent.
Dr Yoshiharu Morito, M.D., creator of a Japannese prenatal education programme running since 1989, states the following: “A failure at the beginning might be a prelude to future unhappiness and violence to self and others. Therefore, prenatal education, in nurturing our social nature, could save the financial resources that are being consumed by social ills today.”
If the above sounds far-fetched to you, consider the following: your little fetus can express his/her needs, interests, feelings, likes and dislikes by self-initiated and reactive movement. By as little as 4 months gestational age, the fetus has facial expressions. It can frown, squint and grimace. By 5 to 6 months the fetus is sensitive to touch. It can discriminate between tastes (and prefers sweet stuff!). At 24 weeks it shows distinct musical likes and dislikes and will prefer the single notes of a flute to rock music. These are only a few of the wonderful abilities your unborn baby already has.
But how can you as a parent-to-be enhance your baby’s development in utero? The answer, in a nutshell, is simple: talk. Talk, talk, and keep on talking to your unborn child. Include daddy and the siblings, if there are any. Listen to different types of music. Touch your unborn child lovingly. Say a rhyme as you rub the anti-stretchmark cream onto your tummy, e.g. “Round and round the garden…..” Try to relax. Make sure you eat properly and snack on healthy foods. Walk, swim or do light exercises. Exercising is most important for you and your unborn baby. Be sure to build positive relationships with others during your pregnancy. It takes a town to raise a child, and you will need all the support you can get. Establish a good future bedtime routine by going to baby’s room at the same time every evening. Put your feet up and make yourself comfortable in a rocking chair. Switch on the music. Touch your baby, talk to your baby, bless your baby. Stick to this routine after the baby is born.
If you are keen to lay the foundation for a sound and meaningful relationship with your child, starting in utero, you may contact Lynette van Wyk, who has been running workshops on this topic for many years now. You will learn when and how baby starts smelling, feeling, hearing and tasting while still in the womb and how baby even learns in utero – his first school. You will be advised on techniques for bonding with your child from day one onwards.
The next workshop will be on Tuesday 5 May, 19:00 for 19:30. For more info contact Lynette at 0837933320.
Planning to have a baby or expecting a baby? Meet the challenge of planning for this baby not just as an extension of yourself, but as a beautiful human beginning. A lot of planning and thinking today goes into the most important logistics such as choosing your ginecologist and pediatrician, attending ante-natal classes, booking the hospital of your choice, writing a birth plan, extending your home to accomodate the new baby, buying the best pram, cot, etc.
But right inside you, while you are so busy planning everything in detail, a new person is developing: a unique little being with his or her own set of fingerprints, own personality, own features, own dreams. Lynette van Wyk, who runs the TODDLERS WORKSHOP franchise for 17 years now, hosts talks for couples to prepare them intelligently to start respecting their new baby right from the very beginning, even before conception.
Although the subject about prenatal learning is being researched as early as 1920, little is being done to promote this locally. Schools for prenatal learning is common in parts of the USA, Canada, Japan and a few other countries. Parents are being taught to bond through feelings, through music and through learning. Most of the researchers are medical doctors and specialists, psychologists and educationalists.
Results show babies and children that are easier to care for, who cry less, who are generally loved and appreciated by others, easier deliveries, attachment to baby after birth, rapid growth and development, very friendly children, children who are not afraid of strangers, and children with a high ability and sociability. And, if this sounds far-fetched, wait and experience the opposite.
Dr Yoshiharu Morito, M.D., creator of a Japannese prenatal education program, running since 1989, states the following: “A failure at the beginning might be a prelude to future unhappiness and violence to self and others. Therefor, prenatal education, in nurturing our social nature could save the financial resources that are being consumed by social ills today.”
Amongst the many seminars that are planned for National Pregnancy Awareness Week, TODDLERS WORKSHOP is planning a workshop for expectant parents on Tuesday 10 February at TODDLERS WORKSHOP in 39 Brewer Road, Summerstrand, 19:00 for 19:30. At this occasion Lynette will brief proposed parents on how to lay the foundation for a sound and meaningful relationship with their child, starting in utero. They will learn when and how baby starts smelling, feeling, hearing and even tasting while still in the womb and how baby even learns in utero – his first school. They will also be advised on techniques on how to start bonding with their child from day one onwards.
People interested in attending the workshop on Tuesday 10 February, has to book with Lynette at 0837933320, preferably after 17:00 or email her at email@example.com. The cost is R50 per person or couple.