Prenatal programming and voice – Rosey Sembatya.

When the mother talks to her child in the womb, the child is able to hear her. When the mother does not talk to her child, she will still be able to hear other sounds that come from the outside. It is said that from about the second trimester, the child in the womb is able to hear the mother clearly, and as the child’s link to the outside, whatever the child hears sets the pace of her expectations of her outside environment.

In the olden days, pregnancy was considered sacred, and there were certain things a pregnant woman was not supposed to do. For example, move around carelessly, cross the roundabout, consort with a man who is not the father of the pregnancy, attend events unnecessarily; consume alcohol, smoke, engage in lewd conduct among others. Apart from my belief that God is literally residing in you, as well as the health implications, I think it was to limit what the child in the womb hears. The more gatherings a pregnant woman is exposed to, the more voices/noises the child hears, and the more toxic her perception of the outside environment becomes .The reason as to why a mother has to be careful about the noises the child in the womb is exposed to is because the child’s brain is programming. This would mean that it would require the mother to reprogramme the child’s perception when born, and that is even more difficult.

I remember praying so fervently for my child. I reminded God of so many things as per scripture, I spoke life upon each and every body part, that it forms so well, that I won’t need to over compensate during her upbringing and smother her. I had terrible fibroids; huge that it was as if I had to feed two babies in the womb. Painful; I struggled to stand that I needed a painkiller injection every after a day or two. I was a wreck but, I never lost my voice.

I kept telling her that she is a warrior.

That she is God breathed.

That the fibroids are trying to take the space that belongs to her, and that she should not let that happen because she is of a heritage of God who fights battles and wins. I spoke so much to her that I think all the names I called her endearingly got imprinted in/on her brain. I remember an incident that made the power of voice clear to me. I was breastfeeding her  a few days after giving birth as I prayed over her, and each time I would mention Love, one of the names I used, to refer to her in the womb, she would stop suckling as if listening. Bliss.

Because the mother’s voice is the most distinct and reassuring to the child, the mother has to ensure that she uses it to her advantage; to control whatever else the child hears from the outside. Apart from the fact that it de-stresses (it is difficult for the mother to speak to her child in the womb harshly), it is also the first step towards bonding and building trust.

A mother can speak, read to the child, tell her stories, sing or play music for the child, have conversation with people, laugh, basically manage the environment. In other words, even if one works in a noisy environment, the mother has to understand that she has the last word on how the child thrives with all those noises, through her voice. I know this sounds utopian but it also points to your faith for if you believe that an awesome human resides in you, you ought to connect with this human in some way. Remember the child in the womb is relying on you to manage the environment outside because you can.

Please remember to read my next article on prenatal programming and fathers

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Rosey is the founder of Malaika Children's Mobile Library. She is enthusiastic about early childhood and child protection. She loves tea and dogs.

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