Pregnant women often wonder when does the fetus develops hearing because they are concerned with every development stage of their little one. The baby’s hearing in the womb is linked with overall development. Pregnant women talk to their babies as they grow in the wombs; they hum lullabies or read stories as well. Some play classical music to promote the brain growth of their growing child, and some encourage their partners to talk with the baby so that their voice can be recognized too.
However, all these exercises are only valid once your baby develops its ears. The early formings of what will become your baby’s body parts, like eyes, ear,s nose, brain, and face, begins in the second month of your pregnancy. It is the stage when cells inside the developing embryo start arranging themselves into vital organs.
As soon as they are born, can a foetus hear?
Beginning at roughly 10 weeks into gestation, the inner ear structures begin to form; nevertheless, it takes a few months before hearing may be fully realised. It helps to get a better understanding of how their hearing develops when they are scanned using a 3d ultrasound after 13 weeks of your pregnancy. Even as early as 14 weeks, some experts believe that certain foetuses may hear and respond to sonic vibrations. A 1994 study by Queen’s University of Belfast researchers concluded that babies can hear by the time they are 19 weeks old in the womb; this is the most commonly quoted study on the subject. Pregnant women respond to sounds in the 500 Hz frequency range, which is on the lower end of what adults can hear. – Acoustic frequencies between 250 to 3000 Hz can be detected by 33-week-old foetuses, as the ear’s structure develops.
When Is a Fetus Capable of Thinking?
In contrast, as any parent of a young child can attest, hearing is not listening. Listening, on the other hand, is an active and engaged activity. A foetus may be able to hear the outside world at 18 weeks of pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean they’re paying attention to what’s going on around them. During the third trimester, the ability to focus on and respond to noises appears to increase.
Timeline of Ear Development
1- 9 Weeks
At the start of 9 weeks, little indentations in the side of your baby’s neck form as the ears continue to grow on the inside and outside. These indentations eventually start to move upwards before they turn into the ears.
2- 18 Weeks
With continuous development, around the 18 weeks of your pregnancy, your baby will hear its very first sounds.
3- 24 Weeks
By 24 weeks, your baby’s responsiveness to sound will intensify even more as those little ears are quickly developing.
The hearing of your baby in the womb at this point in your pregnancy are noises you may not even notice. These mere sounds may include the sound of your body, such as the beating of your heart, your growling stomach, air moving in and out of your lungs, and the sound of the blood moving in the umbilical cord.
What Does Your Baby Hear in the Womb?
Almost all pregnant women are often curious to know what it sounds like in the womb once the baby develops its ears and its listening abilities. In simpler words, sounds travel easily through open space. That is why you can not easily hear someone yelling when your head is underwater in a swimming pool. Likewise, your baby is not being developed in an open space when it is still inside you. The amniotic fluid surrounds it, layers of your body, and the amniotic sac between it and the outside world. Hence, even when the baby’s ears are fully developed, it detects muffled sounds in the uterus.
To describe it better, try talking with your mouth covered. You will hear muffled sounds just like your baby is listening in your womb. You may be able to make out the tone and pitch of the voice but not the actual words.
However, louder sounds like a barking dog, a wailing siren, and a honking horn can be easily heard by your baby. These sounds are not bad for your baby as they will listen to them in a hummed tone and not get startled.
Should Women Avoid Loud Sounds during Pregnancy?
There is no reason to avoid any loud environment in your pregnancies, such as a concert, wedding party, dining out, or baby shower. It is mainly because the amniotic fluid’s physical barrier muffles all the sounds, making it non-harmful for the babies. Even in extremely loud noises, the sound would not be deafening for your little one.
However, you should often avoid loud spaces for a prolonged period in pregnancy as it could cause some development damage or hearing loss in a growing fetus. Typically, it means that you should avoid eight hours of exposure to continuous noises louder than 85 to 100 decibels. These sounds are standing near a chainsaw or a lawnmower. It would help if you dodged prolonged loud noises, but the momentarily loud sound is not harmful.
Is Playing Music Good for the Baby?
Many pregnant women believe that playing classical music for your baby will improve its IQ. However, there is no scientific evidence for such claims. You can play regular sounds for your baby, though, as there is no harm in doing so. Pregnant women play calming music more in their pregnancies as they believe it soothes their baby.
You must be careful that prolonged noise exposure can harm your little one, so the music should only be played for a short period.
If you want more information regarding when does the fetus develops hearing or possible hearing problems for your baby, you can book your appointment with the best ENT specialist through Marham.
1- Which factors can affect fetal development?
Genetic, nutritional, environmental, uteroplacental, and fetal factors can influence fetal growth.
2- When does a fetus’s brain develop?
The fetus’s brain develops in the 5th week of the pregnancy.
3- Is it safe to drink cold water in pregnancy?
Yes, it is absolutely safe and it does not affect your baby’s development adversely.