This weekend I went swimming with my daughters.
Floating under the water, I heard the reverberations of their voices above me. I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying, although a vibration of sound resonated through me.
It was soothing and comforting.
It made me feel like I wasn’t alone.
When I came to the surface. Their voices seemed so much louder, like an echo of throbs rather than calming mutterings.
I began to wonder is this what if what I had experience, is similar to a baby being inside the womb. It is believed that by week 18 a growing baby in utero becomes sensitive to sound. Their ears begin to perch on the sides of their head, and the bones of their inner ear (the hardest bones in the body to break) and nerve endings in the ears are formed. During their time in utero they become increasingly in tune with the inner workings of the mother’s body, the sound of their heart beat, and their voice, a deep murmuring sound of comfort.
Encountering the outside world, is quite a different experience a kaleidoscope of colour, bright lights, temperature and loud noises, so is it any wonder they cry when they enter this world (I know this isn’t the real reason!)
So how can we ease their transition into the outside world?
Dim the lights, skin-to-skin touch with parent and baby held together in a blanket, limit the number of people talking in the room all at once, use a soft, quiet, nurturing voice to welcome your baby.
Remembering this is their first experience of the outside world and this time with mother and baby is sacred.