The moment a woman finds out she’s expecting, her life is forever changed. Immediately, she begins to consciously plan what she eats to make sure her baby is getting all the necessary nutrients. Mothers know the lifestyle choices they make during pregnancy can impact the physical development of the baby during the crucial prenatal months. But expectant mothers may be surprised to know they can also make choices that effect the baby’s cognitive development. It is widely accepted that a child’s ability to learn also begins during the prenatal months.
A baby’s hearing is fully developed by the 18th week of pregnancy. Independent studies show at this point, a child can actually compare and contrast simple sounds. The research shows encouraging this type of exercise at the earliest stage of learning can result in significant long-term developmental benefits for the child.
“Research suggests that a child’s intellectual development is influenced equally by their inherited genetic blueprint and the early immediate environment,” according to Dr. Mark Pitzer, Ph.D. This crucial early environment is not just the “0 to 3” years that we hear so much about, but actually the “prenatal to 3” years.